The Big Picture


The Challenge:
  • Select unexpected, breakout flooring visuals to match the theater's unique aspects.
  • Choose a floor with the best combination of aesthetics and performance at a reasonable cost.
  • Install floors that maintain easily, and that can be replaced/repaired easily.

The Armstrong Solution:
  • PERSPECTIVES flooring has abstract designs and cutting edge colors with the cost and performance advantages of resilient flooring.
  • Protective urethane finish improves maintenance characteristics and resists scuff marks.
  • Tile format is easy to install.

Product Specs:
  • PERSPECTIVES heterogeneous sheet and tile offers totally different and inspiring designs.
  • The versatile visual is color-integrated for design flexibility and coordination.
  • Dimensionally stable construction in sheet and tile formats.

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The Big Picture

The moment you walk into The Big Picture in eastern Wisconsin, you know it's not a typical multiplex theater chain. Here, every aspect is designed to create an unforgettable entertainment experience. The giant screen measures a whopping six stories tall by 80 feet wide. The 8/70-film format is four times larger and captures more detail than standard 35 mm movie film. The 7,000-watt xenon lamp projects super-bright light through the film image for increased realism. Dolby Digital© Surround Sound delivers captivating acoustics. The theater's lobby is unusual, too. On the floor, Armstrong PERSPECTIVES flooring provides, in the theater owner's words, "a unique appearance and three-dimensional effect that impressed me when I first saw it, and still impresses me."

The large format film industry was unveiled at EXPO -67 in Montreal, Canada. The larger-than-life cinema experience was so popular that today there are approximately 350 "giant screen" theaters entertaining guests in more than 24 countries. Wisconsin has two large format theaters: an IMAX® in Milwaukee and now, The Big Picture, in Appleton. Both venues offer advanced technology that projects images onto a large screen while maintaining a superior level of detail, color and clarity that is unsurpassed. But, The Big Picture has an added attraction: the Armstrong PERSPECTIVES™ floor in the lobby and employee lounge. As you enter the building, there is a large area featuring PERSPECTIVES Painted Bronze and Antiqued Metal flowing in a curved pattern like a loop of film. Square insets representing film notches, in PERSPECTIVES Oxidized Red, complement the field colors. The color-integrated visuals encouraged designers to use multiple colors together to create the film-inspired floor design.

The story behind PERSPECTIVES at The Big Picture unfolds like a good screenplay. The stars include the enthusiastic theater owner, the talented design team, the knowledgeable floor covering representative and the experienced installer. They collaborated on the floor selection, including the interesting twist that led them to the discovery of PERSPECTIVES flooring. Steve Behrendt, project designer at Hoffman LLC, the planning, architecture and construction management firm, says, "The owner originally wanted a stained concrete appearance, but was not happy with all the aspects of that type of look. Concrete is rock hard underfoot and has horrible acoustics. Then we looked at vinyl composition tile because of the great durability, value and color choices. VCT's modular format also allows easy replacement of tiles, if needed." The owner, Chuck Barnum, concurs, "We had decided on VCT. But, during the theater's construction, I saw a small section of our temporary office in downtown Appleton covered in an unusual flooring. I wanted that look! I didn't know what the floor was, so I asked Steve to find out who manufactured it, how we can get samples, and what it cost." Barnum says he, his partner and designers looked at other flooring options while tracking down the identity of the desired flooring, "but we did not discover anything we liked as much." After investigating floor samples from many manufacturers, Behrendt identified the mystery floor as PERSPECTIVES.

Here's where the distributor representative, Gina Coel, entered the picture. Coel saw the artist's rendering of the building and agreed that PERSPECTIVES would be a perfect choice for the theater. Barnum confirms, "Gina explained that not only would PERSPECTIVES beautifully complement the lobby design, but the floor's superior durability and easy maintenance would be ideal to stand up to the traffic of our projected 200,000 annual guests."

All the players were now convinced about moving forward with PERSPECTIVES. Barnum says, "Considering the many attributes of this floor, the additional cost, compared to VCT, was quite acceptable. Compared to stained concrete, the PERSPECTIVES visuals gave us the rich look we wanted plus easy maintenance." Coel and flooring subcontractor, H.J. Martin & Son, recommended using PERSPECTIVES tile, although the product is available in sheet form too, to reduce installation costs and for easy replacement. The modular format, much like etched concrete, creates the impression of finely crafted, fitted stone floors. The custom designed floor pattern was installed thanks to the product's dimensional stability and flexibility.

The Big Picture has been open for a few months, and by all reviews, PERSPECTIVES is providing a command performance. "We get a lot of compliments about the floor. It definitely meets our expectations," concludes Barnum.