By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TV Authority Santa Monica Audio/Video, an independent specialty A/V dealer and custom installer, marked the official opening of its 8,500-square-foot showroom here last month.
The space has been both a work-in-progress and a labor of love for the six-year-old business, which was born as an Internet-only dealer for premium home theater products.
Under construction since January, the showroom does triple-duty as an A/V storefront, an art gallery and, within an adjoining “Loft” area, a forum for community events including independent film festivals and charity benefits.
“Our notion was to stand out among consumer electronics retailers by the blending of elements to create an ambiance of comfort”, said Jason Palmer, co-founder of TV Authority. “The showroom has also become a gathering place for artists, welcoming filmmakers, directors, animators and video artists to share their dreams,” he said.
Indeed, the showroom is home to the Film Gallery, a year-round venue where independent filmmakers can screen their projects through a series of festivals and invitation-only and open house events. The historic Santa Monica building also houses the ArtHouse Gallery, TV Authority's own in-store gallery featuring original, contemporary art that's open to the public six days a week.
In addition, TV Authority is a sponsoring partner of Teen Impact, a program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles that supports teens with cancer and blood diseases. To help raise money for the program, the dealer developed a popular “Meet the Composer” fundraiser Q&A series in which award-winning composers field audience questions.
“As a retailer we aspire to exceed our clients' expectations with the magic of music, movies and art and that includes being an active part of our neighbors' cultural lives,” Palmer said.
Of course, the focus of the enterprise remains high-end home theater, which is represented by an assortment that includes such premium brands as BenQ, Control4, Denon, Jones, KEF, Pioneer, Pinnacle and Revel. “Our discriminating customers demand both quality performance and exquisite craftsmanship from our product selections,” said Aaron Gutin, sales and marketing national director. “We select products as much for their performance quality as for their design.”
The showroom is also set up as a permanent resource for affiliated interior designers, architects and homebuilders who can rendezvous with clients anytime by appointment under TV Authority's referral partners program. The company also continues its original online operation at www.tvasantamonica.com.
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