Private Screening

Although well-suited for formal entertaining, this Gothic Mediterranean home in Manalapan, Fla., has a fun side, too, says builder Lauree Simmons. One of the 15,830-square-foot residence's most inviting spaces is its lower-level media room, where the homeowners and their guests can experience a night at the movies without leaving home.

May 01, 2004

Although well-suited for formal entertaining, this Gothic Mediterranean home in Manalapan, Fla., has a fun side, too, says builder Lauree Simmons. One of the 15,830-square-foot residence's most inviting spaces is its lower-level media room, where the homeowners and their guests can experience a night at the movies without leaving home.

An authentic snack bar with a full-size popcorn machine and individual candy drawers marks the entry to the room, setting the stage for a cinematic design theme. Inside, two tiers of reclining seats accommodate 14 people. With the touch of a button, red velvet curtains open to reveal a 58x104-inch viewing screen. Then the lights dim, and drapes automatically close over the French doors that overlook the home's entry courtyard. "This really creates an authentic theater effect," Simmons says.

Every seat is hard-wired with its own video control system, allowing the screen to serve as a television or game system monitor as well.

Although the homeowners originally intended their plush Florida digs to serve as a vacation retreat, they opted — while the home was still in the design stage — to make it their primary residence instead. "They wanted a place where their entire family, from their children to their grandchildren, could gather for rest and relaxation," Simmons says. "I call it a 'being togetherness' home." It was completed in February 2003.

Style of home | Gothic Mediterranean

Location | Manalapan, Fla.

Total square footage | 15,830

Hard costs | $425 per square foot (excluding land)

Builder/interior architecture | Simmons Building Corp., Jupiter, Fla.

Building architect | Garcia Brenner Stromberg, Boca Raton, Fla.

Interior design | Simmons & Saray Interiors Group, Jupiter

Custom-built primary residence

Major Products Used | Projector: Runco | Projection screen: Da-Lite | Digital receiver/DVD player: Pioneer | Touch-panel controls/amplifier: Crestron | In-wall speakers: James, Sonance | Subwoofers: Velodyne | Lighting controls: Lutron

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