Together For Cinema Founder, Ian Morrish, provides EI with a full report of one of the latest projects to be completed; Rose Road Association, Southampton, Hampshire.
Rose Road Association is located in Southampton, Hampshire. It is full of people working passionately to achieve their vision – a world where disability is not a barrier. They have been doing this since 1952 across Hampshire and the surrounding areas, working with children and young adults with complex and multiple disabilities and health needs and their families. They have become a much-needed extended family for many people and they do it with fun and professionalism. Their mission, vision and values are at the heart of the way they work and their aims show their determination to develop this for all who need it, expanding and growing in the services they provide.
Together For Cinema (TFC) became aware of Rose Road Association in March of 2021. It was actually Mike Hey of White Lodge in Chertsey, the venue of our 25th cinema room installation, that introduced us. Soon after our introduction, on April 13, we got together in Southampton and it was clear that there was an opportunity for us to help. There was a large space available that Rose Road were willing to redesign to accommodate the proposed cinema room, and this is a luxury that we very rarely have presented to us.
So, we have the venue we have the will to deliver, and we’re confident that the industry will support with product donations to help create this new facility. The challenge, as it always is, is to find the right installer to project manage and install. By pure coincidence Iain Brown, formerly of Kensington Home Technology, contacted me on April 14 for a catch up. He had closed his London business and moved down towards the coast of Dorset and had set up Wessex AV. Iain had already completed four cinema room installations for TFC and once he heard about Rose Road he was on board and ready to go!
We both visited on April 16 and met with Juno Hollyhock, the CEO of Rose Road. Her enthusiasm further enthused Iain and I and we were totally on board and committed to help. The proposed area for the cinema room installation was an area that had no defined purpose.
However, very quickly we all identified it as being the perfect area to transform into a cinema room reception and gaming area, along with a multifunctional cinema room that would be used for film viewings, training, fundraising, karaoke etc. This newly defined area was going to be a busy space with varied use. However, there was much to do before we could start installing.
The area identified was about 9m square and needed partitioning to create the structure that we had all discussed. The idea was to leave an area of about 6m square for the cinema room, with an external area that doubled up as a smaller TV and gaming area, as we’ll as a cinema room reception. Once plans were defined work started soon after and the team at Rose Road quickly completed all they needed to do get us to the point where we could look at securing the cabling for our first fix. Soon after this we got together to discuss the equipment that might be suitable to try to gather from our contacts in the industry. Projection was definite and as the room was a dedicated facility, we agreed on an acoustically transparent fixed frame screen. Some speakers, a Blu-ray player, an AVR, a cabinet, some acoustic wall paneling and lots of cables. An ambitious ask but one we felt we could achieve. We were ready to go out to our colleagues in the industry.
With first fix almost upon us it was urgent to secure the cables and these were secured very quickly from Chris Pinder at HDConnectivity. Chris is hugely supportive of Together For Cinema and we had been in close communication recently with relation to some fund raising plans so I was optimistic that he would be happy to supply the cables required, and he certainly was.
The screen was required next and I was delighted to liaise with one of my old ISE customers, AV Stumpfl, and they kindly supplied exactly what we needed. After these two items were secured we had a bit more time to source the other items and I’m delighted to say that some old favourites stepped up again to help. With this in mind a big thank you must again go (and in alphabetical order!) to Crestron, Denon, Epson, Karma AV, Legrand, Monitor Audio and Sony. Thank you all…
We’re also grateful to the following:
– Chimera for supplying the fabric for the acoustic walls and this is the first time they have donated to a Together For Cinema installation.
– All those companies and individuals that donated DVDs to the cause. Rose Road selected about 300 of the DVDs that were donated so we still have some left over for our next installation!
– Chris Turner and Matt Emberson of Faradite who were keen to help. However, as the Faradite product range didn’t match any of the items that we needed they kindly agreed to create the post install video for us. The end result is excellent, and very much appreciated, and can be seen on our You Tube Channel.
This was held on September 15 and we were lucky enough to have some excellent representation from our industry, as well as two special guests who kindly helped open the cinema room and some Rose Road staff accompanied by children and their parents.
From our industry we were delighted to welcome Alex Emson of Monitor Audio, Marcus Stone of Legrand, Chris Pinder of HD Connectivity, Matt Emberson of Faradite and Stuart Tickle from AWE
Europe, as well of course as Iain Brown from Wessex AV who kindly installed the cinema room. On top the AV industry representation, we were honoured to be joined by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and Geoff Holt, a man who, by his own admission, can be a ‘bloody minded’ paraplegic when he chooses to be! Mind you to sail single-handed around Great Britain, you would have to be!
We were all treated to drinks and snacks (popcorn and sweets of course!), a short viewing and then Juno Hollyhock, CEO of Rose Road, and myself said a few words. I have to say Juno coped with the children’s heckling better than I did. Thanks must go to all that attended and we are very grateful to Matt Emberson of Faradite who kindly shot lots of footage for the Rose Road post install promotional video. Also present was a film crew courtesy of Chris Pinder from HDConnectivity and more about this will become apparent as time goes on.
Iain Brown, Director, Wessex AV, explains, “This was my fifth installation in conjunction with Together for Cinema so I have a good understanding of the process. I attended the site on April 16th to see the space and discuss their requirements. The room we were looking to use was being used as a general storage area. The space was open plan and quite large. Working with Mark Duncan, the facilities manager, we managed to mark out a space which allowed us to create a good sized room, without having to move any of the ceiling mounted AC units and still providing the necessary fire exit space. The room we designed was about 6.5m x 6.5m, and benefitted from having no natural light. It was established that although the room will be predominately used for movies, the space would also need to be used for team meetings and training.
“Once we had a room design I then set about designing a system that met the clients brief. Like all the projects I have done for TFC, we look to incorporate the hardware that has already been generously donated as the basis of the design. I was keen to get as big a screen as possible, as we had a big room. We also had the space and receiver to install a 9.2.2 surround sound system which would give us great sound in the room.
“Meanwhile Rose Road built the room in double quick time and within a couple of months the room was ready for us, painted and carpeted – and they were looking for an opening date in August! This was prudently moved back until September. But still a lot to do! We then had to push our suppliers to secure everything we needed and I had to move things around to get everything installed in time. As always our suppliers came through. As with all projects there are snags that crop up in the install, but with the help of Mark Duncan and his team, these were overcome and we managed to be ready for the opening.”
Juno Hollyhock, CEO, Rose Road Association, adds, “When I was contacted by another respite charity to recommend Together for Cinema, I remember looking at the stunning video of their new facilities and wishing wistfully that we had the space, the funds, the time and the expertise to give our children something similar.
“Our children are rarely able to go to a mainstream cinema and enjoy a film with their families. Multiple barriers, both physical and social, stand in their way. Fast forward (see what I did there) to a meeting with Ian Morrish from Together for Cinema and his whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm left me in no doubt that they believed that we could have our own cinema room and they were utterly invested in making sure that this happened.
“From the early nervous pacing out and marking with gaffer tape of a glorified store cupboard to our formal launch last week of an all singing/all dancing large screen cinema room, we have been supported by Together for Cinema and their team of experts and donors every step of the way. Gathering some of the highest end audio visual equipment in the industry is no mean feat and we have watched in wonder as screens and speakers and projectors and all sorts of hi-tech equipment has arrived at our centre in Southampton to be made into a wonderland of film and entertainment for our children.
“Iain from Wessex AV, our installer, has become legendary here at Rose Road for working away for hours and hours in the half dark at weekends and well into the evenings to get us up together and ready in time for our local celebrities to come and cut the ribbon.
“We love our new cinema room and the looks on the faces of our children was so beautiful when they saw it. Many of them have sensory impairments and this level of audio and visual excellence helps to ensure that they have the fullest sensory experience possible. We are beyond grateful and deeply moved at how hard everyone at Together for Cinema has worked to make this a reality for us – and how quickly they have achieved it. Our heartfelt thanks go to Ian, the sponsors and the technicians who made this possible.”
Geoffrey Trevor Marden Holt MBE, DL, adds his comments, “Having been involved with Rose Road for many years, I know the difference this cinema room will make to so many people. What Together For Cinema is doing by bringing the AV industry together to give back to our community is hugely appreciated and I was delighted to be part of the official opening.”
AV Stumpfl (Screen): Decoframe, 16:9, 336 x 196 cm, Flex white CI micro perforated.
Camira (Cloth): Acoustic wall frame cloth.
Crestron (Control): CP3, TSR-302 and CEN-RFGW-EX.
Denon / Sound United (AV Receiver): AVCX3700.
Epson (Projector): TW6100.
OneAV (Cables): Various cables as required including 9 x HDMI cables, 200m of speaker cable
and 200m of CAT6 cable with Patch Leads.
Karma AV (Fabric Wall Frame): 20 x 2.4m strips of acoustic wall framing, & rotary insertion
Middle Atlantic / Legrand (Cabinet): C5 Credenza rack including cabinet, shelving, blanks,
bars and drawers.
Monitor Audio (Speakers): 3 x WT380, 4 x CPWT260 in wall, 2 x C265 and 2 x CW10 in black.
Sony (BluRay Player): UPB X800M2 with smart apps.
TDI Group (Accessories): Projector mount, PDU, rack accessories, connectors
Various: DVD donations
Wessex AV (Various): Timber framing and acoustic mats
On top of the list above many other products and accessories were generously donated by Iain Brown
of Wessex AV.