Marina Vernicos Tag

Theo’s Corner: If We Build It, They Will Come

In a typical home theater—at least the way most people understand the term—a TV is surrounded by speakers placed in strategic locations around it. In such a setup, people usually don’t care all that much how the speaker boxes look or how thin the bezel of the TV is—they care about the performance.


High-end home theaters—especially those in dedicated rooms—are a different animal. Performance and design play—or should play—an equally important role. Of course, the balance isn’t always even. Depending on the person, sometimes design is the primary concern and sometimes it’s the performance.


The irony is that it’s not too hard to have your cake and eat it too. It just requires a tighter collaboration between a designer and an AV integrator. But the mutual distrust between the two trades has resulted in an unfortunate erosion of the popularity of dedicated home theaters. This isn’t just a loss for the trades but also for people who may never know what they miss when they watch TV in the family room instead of—when they have money and the space to get the best—inside a dedicated space.


My friend Vin Bruno of AllTecPro told me a couple of years ago something that still rings true: It’s a matter of education—people must witness firsthand what a true home theater is. Once they sit on a reclining seat with their peripheral vision occupied by the images on the large screen and their ears surrounded by good sound, they will know right away how exciting the experience can be. To borrow the line from Field of Dreams and apply it to what all of us home theater professionals do: “If we build it, they will come.”


While George Walter, the president of Rayva, and his team of technical advisors—Steve Haas, John Bishop, Joel Silver, and Peter Aylet—work on technical performance standards and specifications for Rayva theaters, I’ve been focusing on curating designs from sculptors, painters, photographers, and mixed-media artists from around the world for the next generation of Rayva design themes. The experience has been richly rewarding. The perspectives on the world and art of the talented artists I’m working with has expanded my understanding of art. It has also brought a breath of fresh air to home theater design, which, for the most part, is still dominated by the repetition of design clichés.

While we are working to finalize at least six new designs for Rayva, I would like to share with you two design themes by Marina Vernicos, based on her award-winning photographs. Marina introduces us to her exciting world of marine life and leisurely summer activities around drone-photographed swimming pools. You can “smell” vacation in these images, and you can relax by just looking at them. Marina’s photos become the bridge between the concerns of life outside the theater and the excitement that is about to spill out of the screen once the lights go down.

Theo Kalomirakis

Theo Kalomirakis is widely considered the father of home theater, with scores of luxury theater
designs to his credit. He is an avid movie fan, with a collection of over 15,000 discs. Theo is the
Executive Director of Rayva.

My Trip to Greece, Pt. 1: Marina Vernicos

Marina Vernicos

I came back from Greece last week, where we printed the latest brochure for Ravya and I supervised the shipping of Antonia Papatzanaki’s light sculptures to the U.S. The trip was eventful for another reason as well: I met Marina Vernicos, an accomplished artist whose creative photography is about to become a great addition to Rayva’s growing library of designs.


Marina’s accomplishments as an artist spread across many continents. She was born in Athens, Greece and studied Communications and Photography at Emerson College in Boston and Business Administration at the Harvard Extension School.

Since 2001, her work has been featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions, including the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, the Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Hangaram Art Museum in Korea, and galleries in London, Monaco, and NY. She has been awarded the Sandro Botticelli Prize at the Palazzo Guicciardini Bongianni in Florence and the La Grande Exposition Universelle at the Eiffel Tower, and has published four books of her work. She is the Founder and President of CREAID, a non-profit organization that commissions creative projects that are then auctioned to support humanitarian causes. She has also created a line of clothes and accessories under her name.


I spent the morning of a beautiful sunlit day at Marina’s spectacular residence at the foot of the Lykavitos Hill in Athens, familiarizing myself with her work. I knew right away that her stylized seascapes could be the basis a new design theme for Rayva.

Many of her images are captured using a camera mounted on a drone. Others are closeups of sea shells“daughters of the sea,” as she calls them. Her work evokes a reality where the mind isn’t bogged down by the minutiae of everyday life and can soar free to liberating heights.

—Theo Kalomirakis

Theo Kalomirakis is widely considered the father of home theater, with scores of luxury theater
designs to his credit. He is an avid movie fan, with a collection of over 15,000 discs. Theo is the
Executive Director of Rayva.