Hi. I’m back after a several-week hiatus (caused by a car accident followed by a complicated recovery) and hoping to talk to you all more often now…but let's get straight to the marquee topic.

Conventional wisdom (and joke format) says give the good news first, then the bad news. This case, however, calls for a different order—and in any event is a light year away from a joke.

Due to the Corona virus and Covid-19, we have all (75% of America as of this writing) been sequestered in place. Many believe the scope will go to 100% soon. Enforcement is tightening with some cities threatening fines and imprisonment for violation.

World Theater Closed slider
(Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash)

We are all living a stir-crazy, bored-to-death life with no clear end in sight.

What if we all had the near-equivalent of a commercial theater to gather the family around nightly with different themes and genres of movies, music videos and other programs to watch? Truthfully, I personally can’t think of a more “tolerable” distraction. There are almost infinite sources of material to be rented, bought, streamed—all with a no-contact exchange.

Several months ago, when the economy was at an all-time high, I knew several families who did, or almost did, make the leap to a fully featured home theater. Those who did are now thanking me regularly for the little extra push. They are faring the quarantine more comfortably now.

Here’s what I have recently done to try and help in some small way. I have a disc library of nearly 4,000 DVDs, Blu-ray, and UHD 4K movies and concert videos. Even before the outbreak I used them as a lending library for current and potential clients.

Recently, I sent an “all points” invitation to a wide network of friends and clients welcoming them to come take a dozen or so and then swap for a different dozen when done. It's no big deal to wipe things down for safety on the way out and when they come back to the house. My neighbor took the entire Sopranos series. Doubt I will see him before summer.

My suggestion is that if you are a like-minded videophile, installer or collector, you might consider starting up a movie exchange club—and/or putting the finishing touch on your own home theater to complete that sought-after upgrade or finally get it up and running. There is such a wealth of historical information, color, cultural perspective, Academy-class acting (especially in the classics) available that you may never otherwise have a chance to see. What a great time to catch up. Who knows? Even when we can walk in the sun and congregate again, we might be drawn back to our sequestered days in our cherished theaters.

In the meantime, be well and be safe.

Terry Paullin, founder of Front Row Cinema in Livermore, CA, has built more than a thousand home theaters over a 30+ year span. He shares projector installation and calibration tips, comments on new projection and display advances, offers up suggestions on what you should be watching now on your rig, and generally goes off on whatever pleases or irks him about the current state of front projection.

Comments (6) Post a Comment
MARK Posted Apr 4, 2020 4:31 PM PST
Some of my younger acquaintances don't own either a Dvd or Blue-Ray Player anymore, the times are changing
Masa Posted Apr 4, 2020 4:44 PM PST
Yes, projector will revive and entertain people in dark mood by Corona. Only thing I hope is make projector home theater easy to use, quick to switch.
Piet Bakker Posted Apr 4, 2020 11:54 PM PST
Good to read that you are doing well. I enjoy my HD750 from JVC every week. I use the projector for homemade presentations of films or TV on my screen from 2.80 to 2.20 meters. Also in the Netherlands we keep a distance 1.50m so no club at home.

Watch out, it seems to be stabilizing here in the Netherlands.
Kane Posted Apr 7, 2020 2:56 PM PST
Yeah, I used to lend movies from my collection. I got sick and tired of having to keep track of who I lent to and then personally going to pick them up after 6 months and being told either that they hadn't even gotten around to watching it yet or that they planned to return it. Unfortunately this lending library is now closed.
Paul Posted Apr 9, 2020 8:03 AM PST
Hi Terry, sorry to hear of your car accident, I hope you are making a full recovery. Totally agree that a home theater is a perfect means of relieving the 'cabin fever' of the corona virus home isolation. We have been watching many old classic movies lately and have found that Western's , with their gorgeous panoramic outdoor scenery, particularly ones filmed in CinemaScope, really are a great stress reducer. For us our projection home theater is a real blessing at this time.
Aaron Posted Apr 11, 2020 5:59 AM PST
Great ideas and I sure am happy to have my little home theater too! Seen some great obscure stuff recently that I never would have otherwise. Enjoy your theater, it must be amazing.

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