Take a look inside director Michael Bay’s Barco home cinema...it's 4K amazing!

posted on Friday, 19th June 2015 by Steve May

projectors  home cinema  4K  High-end  Barco 


When one of the planet's most successful movie directors sets out to create “one of the very best home theaters in the world,” you can be assured the end result will be something very special indeed. Michael Bay has redefined the summer blockbuster with his Transformers series, and been responsible for some of the most successful movies of the past two decades. He likes to think big. For his own theatre he turned to Jeff Cooper Architects, responsible for designing the Directors Guild main theater in New York, and with a list of Hollywood clients, including George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.

The 50 seat theatre features a 25-foot acoustically transparent screen from Stewart Filmscreen, and DLP-based Barco Cinema at Home 4K projector. Enthuses Bay: “It is simply is the best. I’ve worked with Barco for 15 years, it’s my one and only projector. When I present my large-scale films to audiences for screening, I bring in Barco equipment. I obviously wanted the very latest and best technical specs out there – and with the image being the most important thing to me – I knew my theater had to have a Barco projector.”

Key attributes of the projector, he says, are brightness and colour performance – both vital for 3D cinema, an area of particular interest. The installed Barco can deliver 4K 2D images at 60 fps, as well as 4K 3D images.

Michael _Bay Cinema

Bay Booth

According to the director, his theatre offers some of the best AV he has ever experienced. The gear may be cutting edge, but the cosmetic design nods to classic art deco. There’s even a domed fibre-optic starlight ceiling, capable of a variety of lighting effects, as well as emulating various heavenly constellations. “This was a detail that I grew up with as a kid in the old Los Angeles grand movie theaters, so I wanted to create that feeling here,” he says. The theatre features steeply raked, curved rows of purple mohair stadium seating, each optimized for line of sight and audio; the side walls are curved and acoustically treated. The room aesthetics are the work of longtime Bay collaborator Lynda Murray.

Naturally, the room is equipped for Dolby Atmos playback too – the first Dolby Atmos Blu-ray with Transformers Age of Extinction after all. The speaker configuration comprises seven front soundstage speakers behind the screen and a surround side and ceiling array of 18 more.  System control is via Crestron.

The theatre isn’t just for popcorn munching though. It’s fully integrated with Bay’s own editing suites and postproduction facilities, enabling him to review dailies direct from the set. Big screen entertainment is a serious business after all...

Photos by Lucian Capellaro


Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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