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My Movie Theater

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Blog entry by Ben posted 01-16-2016 02:06 PM 737 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well folks, this is my first post here – and I guess it’s more about my inspiration for woodworking rather than a true woodworking project.

This is my home theater, completed late in 2012. I purchased my house in 2010, and I started this project with a circular saw and not much else! I don’t know where the itch came from (I don’t think my dad even owns a screwdriver!) and I had absolutely no construction knowledge when I began, but I have always wanted to know how things work and how things fit together.

I have to thank the wonderful folks at www.avsforum.com – I made many friends there and they taught me a ton about framing techniques, soundproofing – and saved me from a million mishaps along the way! The only physical help I hired for this project was a plumber, an electrician, HVAC, and carpet installers. (I also hired the Erskine Group for architectural plans and acoustical treatment strategy, and The Soundproofing Company for soundproofing consultation.)

A few details about the room:
  • Soundproofing: isolation clips and resilient channel on all surfaces, 2 layers of 5/8” drywall with soundproofing compound in between (that is the LAST time I am carrying and hanging 110 sheets of drywall by myself!!!!)
  • A bunch of different products from Quest Acoustical Interiors throughout the room (designed by Erskine Group Architectural Acoustics).
  • Danley Sound Labs DTS-10 “Super Spud” subwoofers.
  • 4,000lb. stage (filled with sand) for accurate low frequency transfer.
  • 8 motorized recliners, stadium seating. Seating riser is constructed as a Helmholz resonator to reduce unwanted base modes.
  • 132” acoustically transparent screen, 2.37:1 with anamorphic lens and auto sled (for switching between HDTV and Cinemascope formats)
  • All functions including theater system, lighting, HVAC, and security are IP controllable and automated.
  • Separate climate controlled equipment room
  • Approximately 10,000W total sound power!

As I worked on this project (nights and weekends), I slowly started acquiring a tool collection – but mostly contractor grade tools rather than accurate woodworking tools. Fast forward to the finishing details – acoustical paneling, poster framing etc. and I was really frustrated and missing the accuracy I knew I could obtain with the right tools and some practice. And there you go…woodworking.

I will post the construction details of my backlit poster frames as another project. I have built five of them now and I think I finally have a pretty good procedure.

I would like to publicly thank Ted White at The Soundproofing Company and Dennis Erskine at The Erskine Group for their help with my room. This project would still be just an idea if I didn’t have their help.

Now on to the pictures!

Well…you have to start somewhere. This is looking from the back of the theater toward the screen.

A ton of insulation. Here you can see the iso clips and channel on the ceiling, with cut-outs for backer boxes to be installed on the back of the drywall. Backer boxes prevent sound leakage through holes cut in the ceiling for can lights etc. The HVAC supply in this pic was actually ripped out and then reinstalled inside a soundproof box to prevent sound from getting into the HVAC system and then into the rest of the house.

Drywall is done and the stage is in place. It is constructed from 2×10”s and filled with 4,000lbs of sand. 3 layers of 3/4” OSB on top. Ceiling is painted with Rosco Supersaturated Black Velour theatrical paint. This is the flattest, blackest paint on the market – it’s incredible how much light it soaks up! Acoustical treatments for behind the screen are starting to go up…

Acoustical treatments behind the screen are done and carpet is in! Now we are ready to start acoustics on the walls…

Acoustical panels going up all around the room (different panels in each box based on speaker reflections etc.). They are simple sande ply (Home Depot) frames painted black, with 2” deep magic Quest Acoustics panels inside, then covered with Guilford of Maine acoustically transparent fabric from their Anchorage line.

And the final product! Now it’s time for a Guinness and some pasta:

These are some of my poster frames and the theater entrance (still a work in progress). More on those details in another project soon!



8 comments so far

View S_Bove's profile

S_Bove

14 posts in 332 days


#1 posted 01-16-2016 02:09 PM

Nice.

View Scott's profile

Scott

150 posts in 2434 days


#2 posted 01-16-2016 02:29 PM

Very nice! What are the dimensions of the room? (apologies if I missed it somewhere in your post)

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

16955 posts in 2651 days


#3 posted 01-16-2016 03:55 PM

This is so cool can’t wait to make one of these. Great work and congratulations to you enjoy. You did a incredible job.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View LJRay's profile

LJRay

93 posts in 967 days


#4 posted 01-16-2016 04:30 PM

Wow!

-- Ray

View Ben's profile

Ben

70 posts in 699 days


#5 posted 01-16-2016 05:20 PM

Thank you to everyone for all of the nice comments! They are very much appreciated.


Very nice! What are the dimensions of the room? (apologies if I missed it somewhere in your post)

- Scott

Scott – That’s sort of a trick question. The main room’s dimensions are approximately 14’1” x 24’2”. But about 2’4” of length is hidden behind the screen wall for speakers and acoustical treatments. There is also an equipment room attached to the back of the theater that’s about 5’ x 10’ (that’s in addition to the main room’s dimensions).

I really wish that I had an additional 2’ of width for the room. It was important to me to have 4 seats per row (so 2 couples can sit in each row). This made the aisles on the sides of the room a little tighter than I would have liked. And the extra room width would have made calibration of the side surround speakers a little easier.

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5042 posts in 2609 days


#6 posted 01-17-2016 02:04 AM

That’s a fantastic media room you built there! It looks like the one’s we have here in the houses at the Street of Dreams!

-- Dean

View Scott's profile

Scott

150 posts in 2434 days


#7 posted 01-17-2016 03:13 AM

Thanks for the info! I figured you lost some floors pace with the install.

I’m dealing with a similar size but it’s an upstairs bonus room. I already have a closet to use for equipment and also have a full bath there. Haven’t decided the seating arrangement yet but we are getting close!

View Ben's profile

Ben

70 posts in 699 days


#8 posted 01-18-2016 02:33 PM



Thanks for the info! I figured you lost some floors pace with the install.

I m dealing with a similar size but it s an upstairs bonus room. I already have a closet to use for equipment and also have a full bath there. Haven t decided the seating arrangement yet but we are getting close!

- Scott

Scott – I would be happy to discuss with you if there is any assistance I can provide. If you are going with front projection and two rows of seats, there is a convenient riser height calculator that I can point you to (to be sure people in the back row can see the entire screen over the heads in the front row).

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