This cinema sicko built something insane in his basement

Show Us Yours: We visit with David, who's built the ultimate retro video collection under his house.


David Carnoy

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1 of 29 Eisenhauer/CNET

Meet David Eisenhauer. That's his name, but he says viewers on his YouTube channel usually just call him "Cinema Sickness."

He converted his once-unfinished cinderblock basement into something, yes, truly sick. Check it out.

2 of 29 Eisenhauer/CNET

David says he's been a collector of cinematic media since 2001 with "the purchase of my first DVD." Over the past 18 years, he's amassed what he says is "one of the largest personal collections of cinematic media in the world, spanning 41 different cinematic formats."

In 2016, after opening an online retro store, he says he left the comfort of a steady job to take on Cinema Sickness full time. Call him crazy -- or call him sick -- but he hasn't looked back.

3 of 29 Eisenhauer/CNET

View from the couch of his theater setup showing his two main TVs: A 65-inch 4K TV and 32-inch Sony WEGA tube TV. There's also a smaller 26-inch display and pull-down projector screen above the 65-inch TV that he rarely uses because it's a bit of a chore to get his old projectors up and running. 

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He had the entire room waterproofed, and then built all the shelves by hand. 

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In 2011 he created CinemaSickness.com and his accompanying YouTube channel to "document his passion for cinema and the growth of my collection."

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He says he rarely buys new and waits for titles to show up in pawn shops, thrift stores, flea markets, or "to just go on sale." His usual cost per title is between $1 and $5.

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His gear ranges from the old (VHS, LaserDisc, Beta, CED) to brand new (4K Blu-ray player). He says he has over 25 different cinematic media players.

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Be kind, rewind. 

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He's had three different libraries over the years, starting with the spare bedroom of a condo, before moving into his current house. Initially, everything was once again built into a spare bedroom. That was until he finally realized he was running out of space and decided to spend some money on converting the basement into the ultimate library/theater he'd always wanted.

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He says he doesn't collect everything, only titles he has an interest in watching. 

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There is a couch for viewing sessions.

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Super 8 and Duo 8 film projectors.

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8mm and 16mm film projectors.

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35mm film reels.

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He organizes movies and other content by the type of box they're housed in.

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"Decor is also a very important part of the library," David says.

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Remotes and game controllers.

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Another view of the theater area.

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He's mounted displays throughout the library to give the whole place a true video-store feel. All the displays can play the same video simultaneously, thanks to an HDMI splitter.

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While the library is his home theater, he's still working on setting up a proper surround system in the basement. He had a 5.1 system built into the rafters when he first built the library, but a year ago he rearranged the entire setup of the library and took them down. He has a small child who he doesn't want to wake up with thumping bass, so the surround sound is on hold for now.  

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He has a total of six displays.

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The shelves go all the way up to the ceiling.

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That's the edge of the couch.

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Each section is carefully labelled. 

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Nintendo Gameboy display.

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Remember the good, old PC CD-ROM?

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Don't you miss VHS?

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Time to turn off the lights on this edition of Show Us Yours.

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If you want a video tour of David's basement home theater and collection, you can check it out here.

We also have plenty of more Show Us Yours showcases to peruse here, and if you want to submit photos of your own home theater, just follow the instructions here.

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