AEG Home Theaters Design Studio
The Finest Demonstration Cinema in Chicago
Artisan Electronics Group Unveils the First-Ever High-End Theater Showroom in the Merchandise Mart, Chicago
With a nod to Old Blue Eyes, “if we could build it there, we can build it anywhere.” Our beloved Merchandise Mart was completed in 1931, and while many things have been updated over the ensuing 90+ years, when one looks just a bit beyond the surface, there remain many elements that are still very much 1931. The “before and after” of our buildout is as stunning as any could be, and it was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. We literally gutted the space, created a 2017 level of infrastructure, and put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Our intent was to create a one-of-a-kind showroom in a one-of-a-kind building.
The in-house GC said that they could build it in five weeks, and I said it would take eight if everything went exactly as planned. We all know what that means, and we had it operational in 10 weeks, opening our doors for the first time right in the middle of NeoCon. That was a special sort of crazy. We closed down again after NeoCon to properly complete the room and had our official grand opening in August of 2017. To say that it was a momentous occasion for our brand is an enormous understatement. It was also an important step forward for our industry, and even more specifically, the high-end theater category.
We opened with a bang, and two months later were rewarded with First Place in the ASID Illinois Design Awards Competition, in the category of Innovation in Technology and Design. The cinematic demonstration we made at our Grand Opening has evolved significantly since that day. Our demonstration of the Luxury Residential Cinema opened as promised, as the finest demonstration cinema in Chicago. It is very much still that today, and even more so. During the pandemic, when the entire world was closed for what seemed like an endless period of time, we chose to double our bet and invested even more money into our demo system, making major performance upgrades to our projector and screen, and also to the crucial LCR speakers in our surround array. If you’re going to make a big construction mess, it makes sense to do it when the business is closed!
We believe that our cinema easily demonstrates the very finest and most current presentation of a proper 4K/Dolby Atmos system, and we know how to pressurize the room. Please be seated.