CE Pro December 2021 - 4

From the Editor
by Arlen Schweiger
Remembering a One-of-a-Kind
Home Theater Wiz
DONNY HACKETT was the MacGyver of
home theater construction, someone who
truly relished the " custom " aspect of the
custom electronics industry.
I met Donny more than a decade ago while
on the editorial staff of CE Pro sister publication
Electronic House. Donny, in addition to
other interests that included making music,
ran his own theater design business out of
the Nashville area and collaborated with local
integrator Visual Concepts and others on
home theaters that were on another level.
Probably once or twice a year we'd get
" I seriously
believe I
started designing
home theaters
just to feed my
need for gadgets.
It seemed like
the one room in
the home where
anything goes. "
-Donny Hackett
word of a cool theater build, or receive
preview photos or even a video clip showing
something out of the ordinary, usually involving
metal fabrication for d├ęcor or a motorized
trick (often hiding in plain sight).
These theaters are some 7 to 15 years old
at this point for the most part, but they still
stand out ... the Paris theater and bistro-like
area with illuminated ceiling arch and Notre
Dame Cathedral-inspired accents; the
" Titanic " theater and its huge ornate ceiling
dome structure; a dual-purpose room whose
seating area rotated to form a more formal
arrangement when the screen wasn't in use;
motorized artwork that concealed equipment
rack access in another theater. A few years
ago, Visual Concepts and Donny delivered
an incredible " Game of Thrones " theater that
incorporated theme-specific automation features
using the client's medieval memorabilia.
Steve Castle, a longtime former colleague
Arlen Schweiger is
executive editor of
CE Pro. He can be
reached at
arlen.schweiger@
emeraldx.com and
@ArlenSchweiger
at Electronic House, summed up Hackett's
craftsmanship and design process as part of
an article several years back: Donny Hackett
calls what he does adaptation-automation. He
likes motorizing things by using leftover motors
and other parts. The results are slick and
clever, and almost always have an underlying
steampunk mentality. Hackett's home theater
designs include wow factors like revolving
floors that use electric hoists and automatic
4 | CE Pro December 2021
doors powered by Shiatsu massage motors.
" The Shiatsu motors are from those handheld
units you find at every yard sale, " Hackett
explained. " You can pick one up for under five
bucks, and the reversible AC motors are thermally
fused, safe, quiet and strong. I use them
for small projector lifts, moving pocket doors,
masking panels, opening secret hideaway
doors, even pushing speakers on drawer slides
to silently pop out of cabinets. "
Donny's origins for two decades in the
home theater world stemmed from his father's
drapery business. " Motorized curtains
are where it all began for me. I seriously
believe I started designing home theaters just
to feed my need for gadgets. It seemed like
the one room in the home where anything
goes, " he had said.
He enjoyed it so much he worked on
developing a TV show called " Motorize This, "
which he excitedly told me about at a dinner
during CEDIA Expo 2010 in Atlanta.
In one of his projects, the homeowners
wanted to be able to shoot pool while watching
a football game on the big screen, so
Donny invented telescopic pocket doors that
appear to be part of the woodwork when
they are open for parties and game times. But
the doors close with the press of a button to
become a wall between the pool hall and the
private viewing home theater room.
Donny told CNN back in 2014 that he'd
had a dozen customers ask him to incorporate
his " Titanic " theme, while others simply
put their trust in his hands on a design. " I've
been lucky, " he said. " They give me a blank
slate and I provide the accents that surround
the technology. "
Sadly, I learned recently that Donny succumbed
to cancer back in June, he was only
58. As I searched for more information online
and revisited his unique projects, it reminded
me how lucky we've all been to have someone
like Donny for inspiration.
cepro.com
JOE HILLIARD
http://www.cepro.com

CE Pro December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro December 2021

CE Pro December 2021 - Presentation Page
CE Pro December 2021 - Cover1
CE Pro December 2021 - Cover2
CE Pro December 2021 - 1
CE Pro December 2021 - 2
CE Pro December 2021 - 3
CE Pro December 2021 - 4
CE Pro December 2021 - 5
CE Pro December 2021 - 6
CE Pro December 2021 - 7
CE Pro December 2021 - 8
CE Pro December 2021 - 9
CE Pro December 2021 - 10
CE Pro December 2021 - 11
CE Pro December 2021 - 12
CE Pro December 2021 - 13
CE Pro December 2021 - 14
CE Pro December 2021 - 15
CE Pro December 2021 - 16
CE Pro December 2021 - 17
CE Pro December 2021 - 18
CE Pro December 2021 - 19
CE Pro December 2021 - 20
CE Pro December 2021 - 21
CE Pro December 2021 - 22
CE Pro December 2021 - 23
CE Pro December 2021 - 24
CE Pro December 2021 - 25
CE Pro December 2021 - 26
CE Pro December 2021 - 27
CE Pro December 2021 - 28
CE Pro December 2021 - 29
CE Pro December 2021 - 30
CE Pro December 2021 - 31
CE Pro December 2021 - 32
CE Pro December 2021 - 33
CE Pro December 2021 - 34
CE Pro December 2021 - 35
CE Pro December 2021 - 36
CE Pro December 2021 - 37
CE Pro December 2021 - 38
CE Pro December 2021 - 39
CE Pro December 2021 - 40
CE Pro December 2021 - 41
CE Pro December 2021 - 42
CE Pro December 2021 - 43
CE Pro December 2021 - 44
CE Pro December 2021 - 45
CE Pro December 2021 - 46
CE Pro December 2021 - 47
CE Pro December 2021 - 48
CE Pro December 2021 - 49
CE Pro December 2021 - 50
CE Pro December 2021 - 51
CE Pro December 2021 - 52
CE Pro December 2021 - 53
CE Pro December 2021 - 54
CE Pro December 2021 - 55
CE Pro December 2021 - 56
CE Pro December 2021 - 57
CE Pro December 2021 - 58
CE Pro December 2021 - 59
CE Pro December 2021 - 60
CE Pro December 2021 - 61
CE Pro December 2021 - 62
CE Pro December 2021 - 63
CE Pro December 2021 - 64
CE Pro December 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro December 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/june_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/may_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/april_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/march_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/janfeb2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/december_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/november_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/oct_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/sept_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/august_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/july_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/june_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/may_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/april_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/march_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/february_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/january_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/december_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/november_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/october_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/september_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/august_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/july_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/june_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/may_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/april_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/march_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/february_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/january_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/december_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/november_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/october_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/september_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/august_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/july_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/june_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/may_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/cepro/cepro_april_2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com