The "Narnia Theater" is actually named after the method of access to the back of the theater's cabinets. See the pictures towards the end of this page.
The theater is designed to be reminiscent of 1940s-era theaters, with a very "clean", non-geeky look: no visible wires, speakers, or projectors hanging from the ceiling. (I think I succeeded: one of my visitors asked if I could listen to music in the room, because it apparently had no speakers!)
Cost was also a concern: the theater was constructed using the builder's contractors, a very little of my own work (wiring and some sheetrock modification), my lone "theater carpenter" Joshua Hopwood (503)-679-6627 (who did the columns and cabinet doors and television framing) my existing rear-projection 57" television, and a great deal of my own design.
This is the final look when you enter the theater and turn to the right to look at the "front" of the theater.
These pictures were taken before the front of the theater had doors over the cabinets:
The next two pictures show how I used to view standard 4x3 video, and how I view them now. The next picture shows what standard video looks on a normal widescreen television:
I asked my theater carpenter to make two small speaker cloth-covered panels that hide the ugly gray bars:
Access to the back of the television and components is through a small door in the "wardrobe":
Here are the plans for the Narnia Theater:
This next diagram shows the design of the "tilt-in" columns.
Normally, columns are built and attached to the wall and then the crown and base mouldings are applied afterwards.
This design was used so that the house carpenters would build the baseboard and crown moulding first, leaving a pocket inside the bottom of the crown moulding and inside the top of the baseboard platform. Later my "theater carpenter" added the columns.
Each column is C-shaped when viewed from above (with the missing side toward the wall). Cutouts are made in the column's front for the speakers. The speakers are sitting on shelves mounted to the wall.
The columns are installed by tilting it toward the wall into the top pocket while the column is resting on the floor in front of the baseboard, lifted 3-3/8" to clear the baseboard, and dropped 3/8" into the shallow box inside the baseboard.
The house carpenters inverted the platform I had designed for the baseboard pocket, and I've rendered the drawing to show what they did. I don't recommend this, they just found it easier to build: they attached the platform to the subfloor upside down (with the feet of the platform sticking up and the horizontal board flat against the subfloor). The column actually rests on top of the edges of the platform "box", just inside the enclosing baseboard.