Old World theater, aka the five year build - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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post #2 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 04:13 PM
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next post in five years
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post #3 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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We recently had a new home built, which includes a nice gameroom upstairs. Naturally, that means a new theater. Our old theater was a small 11x16.5 room, but this new space is a larger 14x26.5 room that will serve as both dedicated theater space and billiards room. Here's a quick layout:


NewHT by randomuser27, on Flickr

I'm calling this the Old World theater because the style we're going for is lots of custom woodwork with stone accents and rich tapestry-like fabrics. It should look like a castle when we're done. It's also the five year build because I have a feeling this is going to take forever. I'll be doing all the work myself, including DIY screen, speakers, and acoustical treatments. I also have a 1 yr old daughter that consumes most of my free time, and we're planning for number two. Since this is a new construction house, I also have several other projects in the works at the same time -- whole house audio system, small library construction, back patio, etc. Oh, and I might get my master's degree somewhere in there too. Hmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. Oh well

A few basic guidelines for the build:
  • Old world style
  • 1 primary row of seats, possibly with a small bar behind it
  • 2.35:1 Screen
  • Acoustically transparent screen
  • 7.2 audio

Out of scope is sound isolation, for a number of reasons, including cost, construction time, and loss of interior room width (need every inch for the pool table). Most of our viewing isn't done at high volumes, so we're not super concerned about it. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise though.
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post #4 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Snickel, where are you in KS? I grew up in Wichita, and most of my family is still there.
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post #5 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 04:30 PM
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Wichita also... ok
Haysville a small town 2 miles south of Wichita.
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post #6 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few shots that I'm taking inspiration from. I plan for ours to be a little more distressed, and with some stone thrown in as well.


Inspiration5_Erskine by randomuser27, on Flickr


Inspiration4_Erskine by randomuser27, on Flickr


Inspiration1 by randomuser27, on Flickr

For entry doors, I'm thinking something like this:
From Old World Door company.
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post #7 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Snickel,

I went to elementary school and jr. high in Haysville. Small world!
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post #8 of 47 Old 09-03-2010, 03:35 AM
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I assume you are planning to simulate the stonework? Any details on what you've got in mind? Stone floor, stone columns, or just stone accents of some kind? If you're planning to use any sort of real stone accents like you get from a tile store, that can get expensive quickly.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

The Plains Theater Has Begun
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post #9 of 47 Old 09-03-2010, 05:13 AM
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Looks like a great project. Keep in mind that the more hard surfaces you add the the more acoustical challenges to tame the reflections.
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post #10 of 47 Old 09-03-2010, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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J_P_A, I'm planning to use stone veneer, probably something in the ledge stone style. It should coordinate well with the knotty Alder I'm hoping to use for the woodwork.

BIGmouthinDC, Yes, acoustical issues are a top priority for me. I'll be doing a full room measurement with Soundeasy, and then analysis with Cara Pro and good ol' Excel. I've found that I get just as good of results doing rough estimations in Excel as I do letting Cara run its predictive models. Probably a good indicator that the Cara algorithms are a little too simplistic. Or my drawings in Cara suck
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post #11 of 47 Old 09-03-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan DA View Post

Snickel,

I went to elementary school and jr. high in Haysville. Small world!

Born and raised in Haysville, I have been here since 1961.
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post #12 of 47 Old 09-04-2010, 12:15 PM
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I used some of the same theaters for inspiration. I think this is a great look and one you don't see too many people doing.

As for the stone, I was planning to do a real metal ceiling, but was convinced to use acoustic tile. While the painting was a very time consuming task, I'm really glad I did. Don't be afraid to make some trades between real materials and faux.

Good luck on the five year plan, I'm coming up on my 5th anniversary and I don't think I will be done.
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post #13 of 47 Old 04-10-2014, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Guess what? It's 2014. I'd better get moving on this theater if I'm going to hit my 5 year plan! I only have till September of 2015 to get this thing done. So let's resurrect this thread and start building some stuff.

Back in 2010 when I first posted this, I said there would be some delays. Let's see how that worked out:

1. Kiddo #2. Check. He's 16 months old now.
2. Whole house audio system. Check. Have most of the house hooked up to a JRiver multi-zone server. Still have a few rooms left to hook up, though, and the wiring in the equipment closet is a mess.
3. Back yard patio. Check. This turned into a massive patio and pool project that's still not quite finished. Contractors are a pain.
4. Small library construction. Not complete. We have the door installed and railing up (it's a loft) but the bookcases aren't built yet. I'm making the HT a higher priority now.
5. Master's degree. Check!

Most of the theater plan remains the same, but the layout has changed. Revisions below. A couple of Christmases ago, we built a play castle in the back of the room for the kids. So I'm going to rotate everything 180 degrees and project over the pool table. We've projected onto the wall and watched a couple of movies this way already. It works out pretty well; once the movie starts and the room is dark, you don't even notice the pool table. The image is a little higher than ideal, but it's still awesome.

I'm still going to do a 2.35:1 AT screen. The speakers will be in the attic space behind the screen wall. Since the main seating is now 18 ft from the screen, I'm going huge with the image. The screen will be 151" diagonal. I've ordered material to do a white on silver Milliskin Spandex DIY screen. I also picked up a used Panasonic AE4000u that I plan to use for the constant image height system. I went cheap on the projector for now, because I expect 4k projectors to drop in price drastically over the next couple of years. I'll do a major upgrade of both projector and screen then.

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post #14 of 47 Old 04-10-2014, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few before shots of the room when the house was still under construction.




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post #15 of 47 Old 04-10-2014, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Theater Door

One of the first things I'm tackling is a door to close off the room. Since it already has a nice eyebrow arch entry, I'm going to take advantage of that and build double doors inspired by ancient castles. A few inspiration shots:





I'm planning to construct the door from knotty Alder to match the rest of the cabinetry in the house. Construction starts this weekend.
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post #16 of 47 Old 11-12-2014, 12:57 PM
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Any updates? Less than a year to go...

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post #17 of 47 Old 11-19-2014, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Wait..what's this?! Actual progress!!!! Holy crap. I might just faint.

So I started building the doors back in July, but then had to put them on hold because of, well, life. But I got a few days to work on them this past week, and hope to have them finished and hung this Saturday. Here's progress so far...

The doors are made of 4/4 S4S Knotty Alder. The raised panels were biscuit joined together. Because I'm going for an old, aged look, nothing was planed, joined, or sanded to perfection. It's all meant to look a little weathered.


Cut panels all laid out and ready to route:



Assembled door with stain, but no clear coat:


Close up:


Burl detail:


By Saturday, I plan to get the hinges mortised and the door hung in the frame.
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post #18 of 47 Old 11-20-2014, 08:48 AM
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SUPER SWEET DOOR!

You built that ? NICE!

I crumbled and purchased mine from Nicks building Supply. I wanted an old world, worn look too. Of course the door came brand new, so I distressed the heck out of it. Added some hardware and bingo.

Have you already purchased the HW for your door? Also, what sort of stone are you looking at? I spent months going over brochures, web searches and sample boards..... but found the perfect stone for my vision!

Can't wait to see more......

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post #19 of 47 Old 11-21-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep, I built that The only hardward I've purchased so far are the hinges, from AntiqueHardware.com. They seem to have discontinued the exact ones I bought, but these are very close:


I'm itching for tomorrow to get here, so I have time to get these things up!

I keep waffling on stone. I can't decide what style, or where exactly I want to put the stone accents. I may just do it around the doorway, or on the screen wall. Not sure. I'm leaning toward something like a ledgestone or a recycled granite split stone:
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post #20 of 47 Old 11-21-2014, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I do have one other piece of the hardware. Here is the medallion that goes in the center of each door. Bonus points for anyone who can figure out what this was originally

You can also see the final finish of the doors. This is two coats of polyurethane, dry sanded with 400 grit between the coats. I would normally do a third coat, but decided not to given the desire for an aged look. And it saved time

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post #21 of 47 Old 11-22-2014, 03:19 AM
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Very nice detail.

My guess is a 'hot pan trivet'.
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post #22 of 47 Old 11-22-2014, 05:51 AM
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post #23 of 47 Old 11-24-2014, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Houston, we have doors!

View from inside the theater:


View from hallway:


Hinge detail:


Next steps:
Need to build the door jam and seal between the doors. Then comes the iron hardware. If anyone has any good sources for iron hardware, I'd love some links. Also considering having my father-in-law custom make some stuff. He built the iron gate to our pool and it's amazing.

Also need to land on a casing plan. Right now the doors look a little odd with no casing. My wife like the idea of a basic door casing with granite split stones surrounding, so that may be the winner.

UK Dreamer - nailed it! It is a repurposed trivet!

Last edited by Jonathan DA; 11-24-2014 at 08:02 AM.
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post #24 of 47 Old 11-25-2014, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Talked with my father-in-law about hardware; he's going to custom make some pulls for the doors. I'm thinking something along these lines:


Since that will take a few weeks for him to complete, I'm moving on to the screen wall. Planning to do a ~141" 2.35:1 acoustically transparent screen. I have a bunch of milliskin matte silver and white Spandex. Just need to decide on an aluminum frame vs. baltic birch plywood.
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post #25 of 47 Old 11-25-2014, 11:40 AM
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That door is very impressive. Nicely done.

Just my .02 on the screen, 141" is no small screen. If you have the ability to do it out of aluminum, I'd just go that route. It will hold up longer and you don't have to worry about warping and twisting. Are you thinking 80/20?

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post #26 of 47 Old 11-25-2014, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm leaning toward 80/20 10 series. I want something that's low profile, lightweight, and strong. I doubt I can span the entire 129 inch width without at least one center support, though. Need to check that in the Tech Toolkit later. with 80/20 I can add a center support any time with ease. I'd also like the screen to hinge upward on pneumatic struts so I can show off the speakers behind the screen.

Last edited by Jonathan DA; 11-25-2014 at 01:24 PM.
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post #27 of 47 Old 11-25-2014, 01:52 PM
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Sounds like a good plan.

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post #28 of 47 Old 11-25-2014, 03:35 PM
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129 inches wide is a large screen. A typical consumer grade home theater projector (Sony, JVC, Epson) will need every ounce of gain to produce a vibrant image...and pretty much forget about 3D. I like my spandex screen at 112" but for anything over about 120" I would be looking to upgrade to something closer to 1.0 gain. Just my 2cents.


Probably obvious, but you will want to add two center supports, as one will interfere with a center channel speaker. I remember a thread a long time ago where someone built a beautiful AT screen out of wood, then realized that the single center support really wasn't a good idea.

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post #29 of 47 Old 11-26-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The screen is 141" diagonal, ~129" wide. It's a 2.35:1 screen, so the 16:9 image will be brighter than the 2:35:1 image since I'm using the zoom method. I know I'm pushing the lower limit of recommended brightness with my AE4000, but I came from a CRT projector back in the day, and always ran lower than recommended lumens and it never seemed too dim. And I actively dislike 3D, so no worries there I figure I'll try it out with the Spandex and if it doesn't work, I'll just switch to Seymour XD fabric. The Spandex only cost $75, so I thought 'why not?!'
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post #30 of 47 Old 11-26-2014, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan DA View Post
The Spandex only cost $75, so I thought 'why not?!'
That's always my favorite reasoning too !!!!

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