“If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed will come to the mountain.” And that’s exactly what Audio Etc… LLC in Dayton, Ohio, is doing during the coronavirus lockdown by bringing its 32-foot-long x 9-foot-tall x 8-foot-wide mobile home theater to clients during the COVID-19 quarantine, building a new revenue stream for the company.
“If you can’t go to the theater, we will bring the theater to you,” says Kirby Gaboury, president of Audio Etc.
For years, the company’s most common use of the mobile showroom has been as a fundraiser for local and national charities such as National Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as at other events, such as galas or golf outings, where live auctions, silent auctions and occur.
At those events, guests bid via live auctions or silent auctions for a “dinner and movie” package that includes a catered meal at their home for six people, followed by the chance to watch a movie inside the mobile theater, complete with its with D-Box motion technology seating, Dolby Atmos surround sound and a 4K projector experience.
The projector is routinely an Epson Pro Cinema 4K unit, but depending on the type of event, the projector may be changed out to JVC Laser or 8K, or a Sony 4K. Gaboury does not like to keep these expensive projectors in the trailer just in case it gets broken in to. The entire showroom is controlled with URC.
During use, the air-conditioned theater is powered by a Honda 6500 generator that sits in the back of Gaboury’s Ford truck, but it also has a hefty Furman UPS power supply on board.
“Last year we did 26 events raising over $23,000,” says Gaboury. In addition to the mobile showroom, Audio Etc. has a large community-use room in its 17,000-square-foot facility where local non-profits and charities can use the space free of charge.
With the advent of the coronavirus lockdown, Audio Etc has expanded its use of the mobile showroom to make it available for clients for rent, not just for charity events. The company now offers a “dinner and a movie” package that is in high demand for movie-going clients, especially since cinemas are still closed across the country. The mobile theater not only gives six customers a dynamic movie-night experience, but also enables Audio Etc’s clients to check out the latest gear and perhaps purchase upgrades or even completely new equipment to enhance their home.
“To substitute for some lost business due to COVID-19, we decided to rent the experience,” says Gaboury. The price tag for the dinner-and-a-movie experience ranges between $400 and $800 depending on the food.
“This is the true meaning of taking the show on the road,” he adds.
While the guests are enjoying the movie, inside his truck Gaboury has a 27-inch JVC TV hooked to a Sony Blu-ray player with a Polk Audio mini soundbar so he can watch his own movie. There is also an HDMI link to the cab of the truck so he can watch the same movies as the guests if desired.
Audio Etc’s mobile home theater might look familiar to anyone who attended past CEDIA Expos. About five years ago, Kirby Gaboury of Audio Etc. bought the D-Box mobile theater that the motorized seating company used at the trade show for many years.
Mobile Home Theater Equipment List
- 1 Integra ADM 20.4 power amp (drives outdoor speakers)
- 1 Integra 30.3 Blu-ray (used as Zone 2 CD player for outside speakers)
- 2 pair of Definitive Technology AW6500 (outdoor sound)
- 1 86-inch pullout equipment rack
- 1 Marantz SR8012 11.2 Atmos Receiver 205WPC
- 1 pair of Definitive Technology DI 6.5 LCR light and right speakers
- 1 Definitive Technology CS-8080HD center speaker
- 8 Definitive Technology SR9080 bi-polar Atmos surround speakers
- 2 Furman F1500-UPS power supply
- 2 Furman Batt1500-EXT external battery packs
- 1 Definitive Technology Supercube 8000 subwoofer (front)
- 2 JL Audio E-Sub e110 powered subwoofer (under seating platform)
- 1 Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB 4K projector
- 1 Chief universal mount
- 1 Screen Innovations 100-inch Pure White screen
- 1 URC MRX-10 controller
- 1 URC 7100 touchscreen/ TRC-1080 handheld remote (backup)
- 2 URC light dimmers
- 6 sets D-Box HD 3 axis actuators with 3-tier seating
- 6 commercial theater loungers
- 1 D-Box controller
- 1 Luxul 3150 router and wireless access point
- 2 Sony UPB-X1100ES Blu-ray player (one as backup)
- Rack fan kit