Cypress Cinema Build Thread - AVS Forum
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Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Cypress Cinema Build Thread
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 05:12 AM 04-23-2010
Well, after about a year of research, and about 5 months of construction, I am finally ready for a build thread. A few years ago I got into home theater PCs and audio/video distribution. The problem was that I had a pretty cool system in place, but a house that is "acoustically challenged." It has a very open floorplan, vaulted ceilings, hardwood and tile, etc. Hence the need for a dedicated space. Considering my location (Florida), the "lets remodel the basement" was not really an option. So we started from scratch. Since this was an addition, all permits were required, as was a general contractor. After a few interviews I found one that was pretty flexible, that would allow me to do my portions of the work.

The addition is about 850 sq ft, and will contain a new office, a "game room," and dedicated theater.

Completed Theater Photos:

Theater Specs:

Sponsored Links
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 05:20 AM 04-23-2010

Proposed Theater Design:

Original Exterior:


Unexpected surprise on workbench - 3 ft Black Racer:

Ready For Stucco:

Stucco Complete:

Some unexpected helpers:

To-be screen wall. Window is for external appearance, and will be drywalled over:

Rear of theater and doorway:

premiertrussman's Avatar premiertrussman 06:19 AM 04-23-2010
Congrats on the new addition. Its got to be fun being able to start from scratch like that. Keep the pics coming.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 03:32 AM 09-06-2010
So after 4 months, we've made some progress:
  • All 3 rooms have been insulated
  • Framed out wall for equipment rack, refrigerator and candy rack
  • Prepared electrical outlets
  • Ran 1.5" conduit from equipment rack to screen wall and projector location
  • Created an isloated projector mount
  • Ran conduit for rear and side surround speakers

Front of theater room
We mounted some blinds, cleaned the window really well, made sure nothing was rattling, and drywalled over it.

Rear of theater room
Here you can see the 2 large HVAC returns, as well as 2 smaller supplies (in the corners).
These will be hidden in soffits. We also have 2 supply runs in the front (4 total).
You can also see the blue smurf pipe for the rear surrounds. These will dump into columns.

Proposed Equipment Wall
This wall is outside of the theater entrance.
The other side of the wall is a closet to a spare bedroom.

Framed Equipment Wall
In the equipment cutout I will be mounting Middle Atlantic rack rails
Note I also created a box above the refrigerator opening for a 3 shelf candy rack.

Conduits Above Equipment Rack
Conduit runs through an open attic space - about a 50' run between endpoints
Since there are several 90' sweeps, I didn't glue it in case I need to
break it apart to help get thicker cables through

The other end of conduit (behind screen wall)
This picture was taken before I cut the visible 1.5" pipe, which was then inserted into hole.
I sealed up the connection points with a putty pad.

I have 3 outlets at front of theater (behind screen wall)
I used extendable boxes, extended to 1.25" to accomodate for double 5/8 drywall - and putty pads

Isolated projector mount - I hope this works out, and is in the right place
On each side, I mounted a 2x4 to 2 DC04 clips.
Then the clips were screwed to the trusses.
Then a piece of 1/2" plywood was screwed to the 2x4s.
The bottom of the plywood sits flush with the bottom of the hat channel.

WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 06:37 AM 09-06-2010
  • Silentseal base plates
  • Drywall hung in entire addition
  • Silentseal after first layer in Theater Room - entire perimeter, some seams, electrical boxes, electricel whips, conduits
  • Second layer with green glue hung in Theater Room

Drywall was delivered on Friday. Hangers came on Saturday. From 8am-3pm, three guys did 3 1/2 rooms, working with all 12' sheets. They had to leave to complete another job, telling me they would be back on Monday (I think that's what they said, they didn't speak english ).

At 6pm there was a knock on my front door, and I think they asked if they could finish up. So from 6pm to 9pm, 4 guys knocked out the second layer in the theater room. I could barely keep up with the green glue application.

Across the day, they hung 98 sheets. I was amazed at their skill - watching about 150lb guy carry a full 12 ft sheets of 5/8 from one room to another, cut whatever holes needed to be cut (electrical whips, conduits, etc), and have the holes actually line up... Amazing.

As a side note, the drywall guys were sporting their pants hanging below their buts and their boxers hiked up high. I was able to break the language barrier by offering up some humor.... I brought them four 4 belts , and a band-aid for one of the guys that had a big hickey on his neck . I also learned they understood "Pizza With Jalepenos and Pepperoni, and Budweiser," which they enjoyed.

Token Green Glue Photo

Front Wall

Back Wall

Equipment wall
The fridge cutout actually goes through, there is a piece of drywall leaning up agains the back of the hole.

Conduits running through foundation
You probably can't see these from the theater room photos, but I have 2 conduits running through the foundation - 1 goes to the equipment closet, the other goes to my office closet. They come out under the riser - I may use these to run some USB, ethernet, HDMI, etc, using custom connector plate.

Sunday was spent cleaning up drywall dust.
and over....
and over....
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 06:48 AM 09-06-2010
While this isn't theater related, I thought it was cool.
We architected the attic space above the addition to have "cut out" in the center for storage:

The space runs the entire length of the addition (this picture shows half of it)

Werner Telescoping Ladder
So far this is awesome... doesn't "fold out", it telescopes down. Entrance is on office closet.

Brad Horstkotte's Avatar Brad Horstkotte 11:55 AM 09-06-2010
Looking good! Are the side columns actually going to be offset like in the SketchUp model, or is that just a bug in the plan?
cave76's Avatar cave76 01:04 PM 09-06-2010
I'm looking forward to seeing how your isolated projector mount works out. I'm in perpetual early pre-planning mode for my basement HT (actual progress/initiation hampered more by budgetary constraints at the moment then anything else) which will put my projector mount directly under the center of the family room. I had similar plans to isolate the projector mount with DC04 clips to prevent image shaking with people walking up there.

My room will be similar size to yours as well, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one. Nice work so far! You planning on hanging surround speakers on wall or in the columns?
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:32 PM 09-06-2010

Are the side columns actually going to be offset like in the SketchUp model, or is that just a bug in the plan?

Oops. The initial design had a small bar in the back, which had the columns further forward. We removed the bar idea, and moved the seats/columns back. Looks like I only did one side on this in the drawing.


You planning on hanging surround speakers on wall or in the columns?

Surrounds will be in the columns. Been having a hard time finding speakers that would fit. I just ordered a pair of these from j and r music for a decent price (JBL L820-BK) after getting some recommendations for AVSforum. I perpetually plan as well, but this time I just ordered... I hope they sound good:

I hadn't planned on isolating the projector (no foot traffic upstairs, just attic), but I had exactly four DC-04 clips left over.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 05:00 AM 09-11-2010
Drywall is now taped (1st layer), and DOH....

I forgot to run cable and cat5 to my equipment rack

Looks like I need to revert to my old ways.... fish tape and attic crawling.
DJWikiera's Avatar DJWikiera 12:47 PM 09-11-2010
I'd run cat6 cable and not cat5. You may have a problem running a 1GB network with cat5.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 04:11 PM 09-11-2010
I've been thinking about it, but haven't yet seen the need. I've run all cat5e, and have been running 1G for awhile with no issue (at least that I know of )
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 10:36 AM 09-12-2010
Apparently one of the drywall guys had an incident with his router...

Another 2 inches, and I would have been OK.
fotto's Avatar fotto 11:47 AM 09-12-2010
Originally Posted by WannaTheater View Post

Apparently one of the drywall guys had an incident with his router...

Another 2 inches, and I would have been OK.

Hate it when that happens. If it makes you feel any better, my drywall guy zipped through both RCA sub cables at my screen end wall (missed the speaker cables). I had just enough left to solder on a new connection.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 12:10 PM 09-12-2010
My solution:

I just popped the barrel out of a standard wire connector, crimped, and shrink wrapped. I'll do this for each wire....
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 12:31 PM 09-12-2010
It is time to retire the 480p 4:3 rear projection tv...

Panasonic TC-P65S2 plasma, purchased from Amazon. Ordered online Saturday, delivered on Friday. The delivery guys brought it in the house, unboxed it, we all put it together, and fired it up to make sure there were no issues. It is now sitting in another room, running through 100 hours of "burn in." It sure does generate alot of heat...

Also got this from Newegg to replace my 14 year old Onkyo Pro Logic receiver:

WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 12:40 PM 09-12-2010
Current staging area for the theater build:

...some boxes of can lights, some 2x4s, carpet samples, a few boxes of hardwood flooring, etc. At least the buckets of green glue are gone!

Along with my office being in the dining room for the last 10 months, my old office/guest room furniture (including mattresses, etc) being parsed through other rooms in the house, I do hear alot of "I am so over this"

I don't think its that bad...
lockeed's Avatar lockeed 12:39 PM 09-15-2010
Great work so far! At this point, have you decided on colors, sofa, molding etc ?
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:35 PM 09-15-2010

The plan is to do 2 rows of black Berklines (3 per row). I am leaning toward the black with gold stars carpet (the last pic shows a small roll). It has gold and some maroon in it... other than that, haven't yet given it much thought.

Eventually I will put in a star ceiling, but for now the ceiling is most likely going to be sprayed flat black.

Walls will have panels, so not thinking about moldings. We are planning on having a 2-step soffit, which will have 2 trays (1 each) for rope lights.

We've also been looking at local fabric stores for panel material, but no decisions yet. We also need to start ordering some GOM samples.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:44 PM 09-15-2010
Drywall is complete. Contractor installed window sills today in the non-theater rooms. I need to do a final layer of silenseal along the bottom of the theater walls, as well as around my speaker wire and electrical conduits.

Entire addition will be textured tomorrow - knock down on ceilings, slight orange peel on the walls. This way it will match the rest of the house. They are also re-texturing my patio ceiling... the humidity in Florida kills drywall tape and mud. Two years ago I retaped all of the cracking joints, and a year later the seams were again cracking and mud falling. So earlier this year I cut 1/2" inch gaps between each panel and installed "flex joints" which I hope will cure this problem.

I can't wait until the messy parts are over... nothing like some random smoke detectors going off due to drywall dust clouds. Even with plastic up, the stuff still gets through...
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:50 PM 09-15-2010
Lockeed.... Beautiful theater! I love the wood! Now you have me thinking again. I need to put a few of your pictures in my "Rip-Off Guide." This is the word document where I insert pictures of everyone's theaters and plagiarize what I like from each

By the way, if I am not mistaken, I think I saw your carpet while I was carpet shoping last weekend.
lockeed's Avatar lockeed 02:56 PM 09-15-2010
THX for the comments!

Great progress so far! Wow! But we need pictures!!

My carptet is made by Kraus if you have any interest. I just love it by the way, so confortable...
bpape's Avatar bpape 04:07 PM 09-15-2010
Nice job. You'll be watching movies in no time.

WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 12:53 PM 09-17-2010
So the entire addition was textured yesterday. It is a pretty messy process, but the guy did exceptional work. There were alot of holes in the walls of an existing bedroom, as well as where we extended a hallway into the addition, and his work (combined with good tapers) makes the transition non-existent.


Spot for fridge, candy rack, and equipment rack, all nicely textured.

WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:00 PM 09-17-2010
Got this set up last night, making use of an old TV stand. It was pointed out to me that I have some cable management issues that need to be addressed. Not to mention the TV looks a bit goofy on that dinky stand. While I like the manly glass and steel look of yesteryear, the WAF has clearly voiced otherwise. She wants a built in wall unit. I, unfortunately can only handle about 5 projects at once (spanning over a few years).

Off to the right of the picture are these (dual Epik Empires)... which will be going into the theater.

WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 01:14 PM 09-17-2010
Contractor will be painting in a few days, so he is pushing me for decision on colors... (I hate decisions). Green Glue/No Green Glue, Hat Channel/No hat Channel, RCA or XLR, Preamp/Receiver, the list goes on and on....

We haven't decided on a theater color scheme. I will someday do a star ceiling, but that may be many months off... so I am guessing flat black on the ceiling for now.

But there are about 20 different shades of blacks... any recommendations? Is there a standard that works best for theaters?

Also, all walls will be covered by columns and fabric panels. So we were thinking about having him paint the walls flat black as well. It will all be primed gray first.

Anyone see any fault with the logic?

lockeed's Avatar lockeed 01:54 PM 09-17-2010
I tried a regular flat black for my theater ceiling, I didn't liked it. I would never put any wall black either... but, it's just from my personal experience... and taste of course. I ended up using dark/autumn brown in a mat finish for my ceiling and I also used a lighter beige/tan color for my walls, but used teflon based "almost" flat paint to prevent any reflections on the walls. In the end, I'm very pleased with the results. Not too dark, not to light and certainly not distracting when whatching a movie.

I think the important thing here is your screen wall, of course you want to prevent using any light color behind the screen, I black satin curtain work extremely well of course but flat dark color will do the job just fine. I think you wanted to do a lot of fabric on your build, so in the end, the colors won't matter as much...

HDvids4all's Avatar HDvids4all 01:58 PM 09-17-2010
Originally Posted by WannaTheater View Post

But there are about 20 different shades of blacks... any recommendations? Is there a standard that works best for theaters?

Couple of different favorites around here, I think the current winner for "blackness" is the Rosco Supersaturated Velour Black. There's some good discussion in that thread about a couple of different brands that various forum members prefer. Marklabelle2870 posted pics of his sprayed ceiling with the Rosco, and it looks pretty fantastic...

As far as your walls go, you might want to be careful about using a flat paint on them since even touching it with a finger will leave a smudge.
WannaTheater's Avatar WannaTheater 02:05 PM 09-17-2010
Thanks! Good point about the flat paint.

The wall color will be temporary. All walls will be eventually covered with fabric panels (100% coverage). I am more concerned about the ceiling.... which will also be covered eventually.
fotto's Avatar fotto 02:30 PM 09-17-2010
I did a knockdown texture on my HT ceiling and rolled Rosco on it...I love the way it looks. I think having the texture is much more forgiving for the finish/application of the paint.
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