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Alabama Childrens Hospital Debuts Room of Magic

April 12, 2005 — BIRMINGHAM, AL – After more than a year of planning, the installation of a state-of-the-art movie theater inside the Children’s Hospital of Alabama is now complete.

Kids will view movies and live events in surround sound on an 8-foot wide Stewart film screen and a Runco high-definition projection system that recreates the experience of a movie theater. The room is equipped with a PlayStation and a library of video games and DVDs. By day, the kids will enjoy XM Satellite Radio with programming specially created for children — XM for Kids.

One of 35 ‘Room of Magic’ theaters of its kind in the U.S., the theater wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of Front Row Media Systems. What began as an inspiration for Matt Scalici and Gary O’Donovan, owners of Front Row Media Systems, became a gift to Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

Front Row Media Systems donated the design, project management, installation and ongoing maintenance of the theater while receiving assistance from manufacturers across the country to assist in construction of the theater. Major contributors to the theater include Business Interiors, Runco International, Stewart Filmscreen, Elan (system automation), Legacy Audio (speakers), Lexicon (system control) and XM Satellite Radio.

Matt Scalici, President of Front Row Media Systems explained, “Gary and I approached the Elf Foundation about building a theater at Children’s and together we talked to the hospital. We wanted to build not just any theater, but the best of the best our industry has to offer. One of the hardest parts of the project was finding space for the theater, as there’s never any unused space. As we all began to explore the possibilities for the room, it was almost ‘magical’ how we determined to share space with physical therapy, which only uses their room during the day. In an instant, the theater grew from accommodating 30 patients to a magical space which can now seat 70.”

O’Donovan added, “Once we designed the theater for the room, we went to our manufacturers and told them what we were doing. Without a second thought, most of them generously donated their equipment. We’re proud to say that the theater has the best of what Front Row Media Systems offers – the best of electronics, the best screen, and the best of everything.”

“For many the Room of Magic will be a place to gather and briefly escape the tedium of an extended stay in the hospital,” said Emily Hornak of Children’s Hospital. “Many of the children being cared for here at Children’s Hospital will now be able to enjoy a movie theater experience unlike few others in the country.”

“We couldn’t be prouder to have Front Row Media Systems partner with our foundation,” said Doug Weinstein, Elf’s President and Founder. “Matt and Gary represent the highest standards and ethics that our industry has to offer and have touched a lot of little lives with their generosity and dedication.”

About Front Row Media Systems LLC
Front Row Media Systems is a custom electronic design firm serving both residential and commercial clients throughout the southeast. The company offers products ranging from custom home theaters and whole house audio, as well as home automation and communication systems. Front Row Media Systems is a proud member of the trade association Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA). For more information, call 205-803-2200 or visit them at

About The Elf Foundation
The Elf Foundation was founded in July of 2001, with the express mission of creating private entertainment theaters — ‘Rooms of Magic’ – for children’s hospitals across the country. Operating as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charity, the foundation acts as a catalyst within the consumer electronics industry and in local communities to advance their mission of bringing the magic of music and film to special kids in a time of need. To date, The Elf Foundation has opened over 35 ‘Room of Magic’ theaters in the U.S. and is beginning work on their first Canadian projects. For more information visit

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