A local family creates a room to amplify their time together.
For a family of movie lovers, the time to retreat indoors in 2020 was perfect for cozying up for family movie night—it was also the ideal time for the McClellan family to renovate their basement into a film lover’s paradise.
The McClellans’ once-bare basement in their south Woodbury home is now is now a retreat for cinema-goers—the space includes a movie theater-grade screen, gallery seating and even a concession stand. Jennifer McClellan, vice president of home remodeling company New Spaces, took on this project to amplify their family time.
“For as long as I can remember, my husband, Josh, has had a long-standing love affair with movies. He passed this passion onto our four children,” McClellan says. Now, the family can’t get enough of their home movie theater. With access to streaming services, there’s no reason to leave the house when you have everything, including the popcorn machine, at the touch of your fingers—or in this case, just down the stairs.
“We decided to install a home theater during COVID-19 to bring that experience of the big screen right to our lower level. Having the home theater has created many opportunities to bring our family and friends together, whether we are catching a movie on a Tuesday night as a family, our children are hosting friends or my husband is having friends over to catch a football game; the theater is proven to be an ideal gathering space,” McClellan says.
The theater was designed around the aesthetics of the 1960s, emphasizing function and utilizing style. The McClellan movie theater is warm and inviting while replicating the dreaminess of the ’60s midcentury modern style.
“From the arabesque detail in the carpet [vintage-looking] concession stand, to the gold accents on the popcorn machine, we wanted the space to reflect a bygone era yet have state-of-the-art technology, like an amazing projector and a viewing screen that can be utilized with the lights on,” McClellan says. “We also incorporated a full-width LED star ceiling. complete with a shooting star feature, and wavy board acoustical panels that look amazing when lit by the color-changing LED wall sconces.”
The family’s favorite movie to watch together is none other than Top Gun, while their favorite show is Yellowstone. “My husband and I watch Yellowstone with a glass of wine; it’s a great pairing,” McClellan says.
Wine and Dine
The wine cellar, adjacent to the home theater, is a glass-encased room to hold the McClellans’ wine and beer collection. In the room, the warmth of the wood also is a nod to the inspiration behind the theater itself, keeping in tune with the 1960s theme.
“The oldest wine in our cellar is going to probably be a Bordeaux France,” McClellan says. The McClellans have also traveled to Napa Valley in California for wine. “We went to Napa, and we had a bunch of wines shipped home,” she says.
The most unique and interesting thing about the wine cellar itself is the combination of beer and wines, but the rarity in the beers themselves. “It’s actually more like a beer cellar,” McClellan says. “My husband collects stouts.” And many in the collection are rare.
The primary wines the family has in the cellar are red, and all of the beers are stout. Both drinks are the heavier of the two in their spirit category of taste. Stout beers tend to be darker than most beers, and red wines tend to be dryer than whites—making it a tasteful mix for a night of movies.