Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Setting the Scene

Along time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

now showing sign

... by which I mean, in August of 2014, in Milwaukee ....


... my son and his girlfriend moved into their first apartment together and decided to decorate it in a movie theater theme.

I made the Now Showing sign for them that I blogged about earlier. Everything else they made or bought themselves.

Yes, those are genuine red velvet theater seats around the dining room table.


JT and Anna bought them from an old theater that had gone out of business. The chairs were still bolted to the floor and attached to the adjacent seats when they went to buy them, so they had to do a little disassembly work before they could even take them home.


JT built a platform for each chair out of 2x4s and attached casters to the platforms. Then Anna gave the wood and metal parts a fresh coat of gold paint. The seats are a little banged up in spots from years of wear and tear, but they still flip open and closed.

The casters make the chairs easy to move, so they can be pulled away from the table and wheeled over to the big screen for extra seating there.


The curtains were fashioned out of tablecloths and tacked to the wall.

Opposite the screen, JT built a shelving unit that holds their projector.


He hooked their surround sound, GameCube, XBox, computer and TV cable into it.

The rest of the shelving unit holds a mix of modern equipment, movies and vintage memorabilia.


I made the clapboard as a prop for a kids 4-H play I wrote and directed a few year back. The old film reels were picked up at garage sales and thrift stores over the years. (There are more sprinkled throughout the apartment.) And the vintage movie projector on the right belonged to my parents when I was a kid.

The inside cover of the old projector, which still has the operating instructions attached to it, is displayed on another shelf.


The projector still works, but the bulb is burnt out. (Anybody know where you can buy replacement bulbs for vintage equipment?)

In addition to the old projector, my mom gifted JT with a whole box full of family movies that date from 1963 to 1972. (I forsee another blog post about those coming soon.)

Kodak 8 millimeter film

Elsewhere in the apartment, JT and Anna have an old-time snack bar set up.

home theater

Anna found the piece in an antique mall. It was originally a jewelry display case. When she bought it, it was painted a light blue, and some of the glass was missing. She replaced the glass, added shelves, cleaned it up and painted it black, then filled it with traditional movie snacks.


They also have a retro popcorn maker (it's new; it just looks old) ...

home theater

... and lots of other small film-related items, like this miniature projector:

vintage pencil sharpener

 It's actually a pencil sharpener. (The sharpener part is on the back.) For a miniature, it's got a lot of great details: The reels on the top even spin.



Did I mention JT is a film major?