I appreciate the input. I have posted a few more photos to help people see what I have done over the years to improve the room.
The sound panels on the wall were placed there about a year ago to help with dialog. The original dream of the system was to have a fabric wall but I went to this idea. The wife was so opposed to an all fabric wall. So I tempered that idea.
Like I had said before I was having a hard time hearing properly. The room is not active enough to really hear any slap echo. I just thought I would try to tame the last of whatever audio bouncing might be occurring. The panels were made by attaching a plywood back with a 1x3 or 1x4 I layered in some quilt batting and then stapled the blue fabric over doing the ruffles to just make things look nice. My wife thought I had lost my mind, but in the end felt it did help with the sound. Even she could hear the dialog better. Still, it wasn't perfect which led to this project.
I had experimented with the Minimus speakers during watching a film and discovered the improvement in understanding dialog. Wow, I had discovered a set of speakers that I enjoyed more than my Paradigms. With this I now had a small set of speakers that would fit onto a wall, and a screen could be placed in front of them. I got to work and built the screen.
The pillows in the front under the screen were part of past effort to dial down any last bouncing the audio might be up to. They look ok too. The basket is my version of a bass trap. The basket is stuffed with quilts and pillows. I did need these items in the room and the basket is used as a trap and storage for whatever people might want to grab to be comfortable during a movie.
The box under the center of the screen held my Paradigm CC-350 center channel. Even though it is now out of the system I still have left the box there. It also is stuffed with pillows.
The side surrounds are Paradigm in walls. You can see the old Paradigm 9SEmkII. My son is expressing interest in those. He is still using Paradigm 3SE I had given to him. He has a new son that is using them to climb up to a standing position. Being on stands the speakers have fallen onto my grandson. You can imagine the problem that causes. We will put the towers in his system to help with the stability and not have speakers toppling onto the child.
The photo of the seating also shows the Mitsubishi 3800 projector. I got a really nice deal on it two years ago. Shown also is the two rear back speakers. I know they could be spread apart a bit more but as you see the wall is pretty limited between the stair well and bathroom door. I did what I could.
For all surround speakers I created a enclosure in the wall just as Paradigm had suggested for their in wall speakers. The back surrounds took some imagination to get the size of enclosure they needed because the wall also included plumbing for water and a return air duct to the far left of the wall.
I managed to get the enclosure in and on many of the 7.1 films it really allowed the audio mix to show off a bit. Real Steel comes to mind. Hugo is another that really made the back surrounds show off. I was glad I had put these speakers in now that there are more 7.1 films being released on Blue-ray.
My AVR is pretty old. It is a HK 525. I use it as a pre-amp feeding into a HK 2.1 power amp for the front and side surround channel work. I have a Hafler DH-200 I had assembled decades ago on my kitchen table pushed into back surround service. For the sub channel work I am presently using a Kenwood KM 106. It all seems to work to my satisfaction. I may get a higher power sub amp eventually.
The HK 525 also has 6 and 8 channel inputs. To feed those I am using a Panasonic BD80 with a built in Dolby HD and DTS MA decoders. I am so looking forward to the release of films onto Blueray with 7.1 audio. We have taken to not going out to the theaters this last several years. I don't allow any texting in my theater. The bouncing/distracting lights from phones really make me angry. The bouncing lights is one of the reasons I don't go out to films. Plus I have this great room!
I had looked into getting new audio gear, but frankly the reviews I was reading here and other places led me to keeping what I have. I just could not justify the expense of new audio gear when what I have is working with just as good or better sound quality than I would get from gear produced today. Plus I don't have the problems I read about in some of the newer gear. I may not have HDMI switching, but I also don't have all the problems that go with it. The HDMI goes from the Blueray player directly to the projector. No hiccups.
So I hope this write up can help others. I enjoy the hobby and I hope others can benefit from my project. If you are thinking of using older equipment I hope to have demonstrated it can be done. Pawn shops and buying second hand has gotten me a lot of good gear for a lot less. When I update my HK 525 it will very likely be from a pawn shop. If you want to buy new, go for it. I just don't have a big budget for this stuff, but I have found a way to do it with gear I have collected during my past. I personally feel that there isn't light years improvements in sound with newer gear. In some respects the gear I have can be argued to have same or better quality. I do keep up with what is there now in case I need to suddenly go shopping. We all know electronics just one day can just let the magic smoke out.
The various screens I have made for my projectors has been fun to do. This last one I hope can serve me well. I can say it was worth doing and has shown me that the claim of raising the enjoyment of watching movies with an acoustically transparent screen is true. I know this kind of thing isn't for everyone but if you want do it, I say get off the fence, go for it.