Mrs Sidhlall has a secret. So does Mr Sidhlall. It starts with a projector screen and hot damn Durban Curry. It’s a dierent kind of secret. It’s stylish and it’s world-class – and it’s tucked away deep inside Mrs Sidhlall’s wardrobe; behind the silk scarves and Jimmy Choo’s. It’s a secret place, down below, that calls to them on a Friday night (any night!) with crystal sharp sound, freshly popped corn, and a starlit ceiling that whispers pure indulgence. This is not just any secret – this, is their secret- a world of uninterrupted luxury living, where a door shuts, a button taps and a magical journey powers up in plush perfection.
Follow the private lift to the secret cove that awaits…
“Can you build us a secret cinema?”
“Yes. Can you handle the magic?”
The Sidhlall couple had travelled from Durban to meet us. They were seeking out a partner that they could trust, to add a little something extra to their home renovation project. We said “yes.” Yes to Durban, yes to a cutting edge space for two and yes to bringing their cinema dream to life.
This intricately functional cinema design was a BNC first. Our first 3×4 home cinema – built for two, and our smallest project yet. It required detail, innovation and a few prayers to the A.V gods.
“How the hell do we get a screen in here?”
The Sidhlalls challenged us on strategy and decisions. Mrs Sidhlall was sceptical. She wasn’t convinced that this crew from east side Joburg would pull it o. But we did. We invested more time, more eort and so much more A-class excellence into this coastal couple that were after more than just a cinema room – they were after a story to tell.
Out came the 117” 16:9 acoustically transparent screen into the compact space. Sorted. Then came the added infrastructural challenge of being five metres underground and directly next to a swimming pool. Not so sorted. Some might call these ‘limitations.’ We called them creative opportunities.
“How the hell did you fit a screen in here?”
Well, it wasn’t really magic. We had to find some deeply intense solutions to custom package this project with a platinum-standard projector to accommodate such short throw space between the projector and screen. We tucked away all the components required to run this baby in the front wall structure, which is outside of the traditional construction. We did sweat a little, and it had nothing to do with Durban heat. Added to this was our 7.1.2 Klipsch surround sound which resulted in an epic Dhoom that reverberated flawlessly. Umhlanga would never know.
But…Mrs Sidhlall still wasn’t convinced.
“Just wait, Mrs. Sidhlall, you haven’t seen the dazzle yet…”
To create the feel of a vast, open space we painted the ceiling black. Onto this canvas, we intricately crafted our signature starlight effect. Three hundred (yes, 300) individual handmade (yes handmade) pin pricks were needled into the ceiling one by one. It took two patient craftsmen to feed through these fibre optic twinkle lights, so that this little secret could SPARKLE. Topped o with a strip ceiling light and a foot light, this cinema was looking lit for A-list.
The secret Sidhlall cinema was a treasure chest project unto its own. The mood had to be just right. First, the look: captivating royal blue fabric and dark veneers to plank the basement walls, creating a serene opulence. Now, the tech stu. Enter: Control 4. The cinema is hooked up with a full Control 4 operating system that can be run from mobile devices and a dedicated multi-purpose remote. We installed a keypad programmed with the Sidhlalls’ favourite room settings, including a “binge” mode button that syncs every detail just right for hours of uninterrupted relaxation.
“I don’t think I will ever go to the cinema again.”
What’s a masterpiece without a little drama, right? Well, the floods came. And so did Covid-19. Before waterproofing began, water seeped in from the ground surrounding the room. Twice. Nothing we couldn’t solve, though. And then, Covid-19 hit before final inspection. With our passion for perfection driving us, we still made it down to Durban from Johannesburg (by car) during the pandemic and carried out the final inspection and handover in person.
For BNC Technology – this was hands down our best handover experience. Mr and Mrs Sidhlall’s hospitable warmth and generosity turned our secret room into a secret favourite (shhh don’t tell our other clients). And we won’t soon forget that hearty gourmet dinner to celebrate our project success – potted in true Sidhlall love and prepared in the spirit of a genuine, life changing partnership. With a little help from some Jameson Cask Mate, the conversation that night flowed into 1am.
“There are very few times in your life when you can say that the experience far outweighs the expectation – both in service and product installed.” We toasted that night – to special places, special spaces and the secrets that keep us inspired. We’re grateful to have been part of creating Durban’s best kept secret- Cinema Sidhlall. Tickets not for sale, invite only.