Legendary home theater designer (and Cineluxe contributor) Theo Kalomirakis went back to Greece last year to supervise work on his summer home only to find himself locked down in the country, thanks to the pandemic. He quickly realized his confinement was a blessing in disguise since it allowed him to enjoy the cuisine, walking on the nearby beach, his work-in-progress home—and the attention of the Athenians, who have embraced him as a long-lost son.
Theo decided to have his personal home theater transported from the U.S. and reconstructed in the basement of his new home, where he implemented a number of upgrades (which we discuss in the episode).
He was also able to realize a childhood dream. Greece is famous for its outdoor theaters, and, wanting to emulate those, Theo as a teenager built his first home theater out on the terrace of his parents’ apartment in Athens. Never able to find a way to do something similar at his Brooklyn home, he seized on the chance to take advantage of the 10,000 square feet of property surrounding his summer home to create the ultimate outdoor movie space.
Our conversation covers the circumstances that brought Theo to Greece and the creation of his new personal theaters along with a slew of other subjects, including his latest work and his love for movies. Here’s a road map:
0:00 How the pandemic brought him back to Greece.
5:06 How he planned his new home theater.
5:49 How his new yard became an outdoor theater.
7:14 The status of his archives, which document the history of home theater.
8:18 How he’s been embraced by the Greek film community.
8:26 Donating his collection of 5,000 laserdiscs.
10:13 Donating his collection of 6,000 Blu-ray Discs.
11:40 The Greek passion for movies.
13:30 The effort to finish his home theater.
13:53 The improvements over his Brooklyn theater.
16:06 Theo’s preference for a clean, modern design style vs. the “movie palace” approach.
19:16 How his outdoor theater was inspired by Greek theaters & his first home theater.
22:45 A description of the outdoor theater.
25:17 His efforts to archive his collection of Blu-ray Discs and 9,000 DVDs.
27:35 The impressive recent re-issues of Technicolor movies.
30:49 What 4K brings to re-issues.
31:42 Technicolor vs. contemporary films (The Harvey Girls vs. Tenet).
33:10 Wrap-up / tweaking his home theater.
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Michael Gaughn—The Absolute Sound, The Perfect Vision, Wideband, Stereo Review, Sound & Vision, The Rayva Roundtable, marketing, product design, some theater designs, a couple TV shows, some commercials, and now this.