Recommended size of theatre? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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We're totally remodeling the house and want to put in a room suitable for use as a home theater in the basement. There's a beam running the length of the basement (bottom of which is 79" from floor). The joists are 86.5" from the cement floor. We'd like to consider using a projector, so placing the room so it runs alongside the beam seems like the better plan. This leaves a 12' wide width. The length can be up to 25'.

To run the other direction would have the beam descending 8' from the joists (and presumably another inch to accommodate wrapping it). The beam would present problems for a projector by requiring it to be mounted lower (or through a hole in the wall from the other side).

The room doesn't have to support anything else, but I've been thinking it might be nice to make it serve more like a 'lounge' than as a dedicated 'row of recliners pointed at the screen' kind of space. We're not aiming for audiophile level sound quality here, and will insulate it to keep the sound contained.

This is a drawing of the space:

None of the interior walls shown are present or fixed in those locations. They're just show to illustrate potential layout.

So my question is given a 12' width and 89" joist height, what's the recommended length or the room, and size of projection screen?
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:03 AM
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The side wall doesn't have to fall directly under the beam. You can incorporate the beam in a perimeter soffit and the support poles in columns. A better width is 14-15+ ft.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:24 AM
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When I did my room I would have killed for a 12' width. I only had 10'-6" and made it work with seating for 6. I like the way you have the space like that. Please the PJ on te wall at the back of the space, build out a screen wall at the exterior wall at right, install riser at left, enter from the red area which I would shift to the right so you enter mid-wall of the theater. You could use theater style seating and have room for 5 on the back row and 4 on the front.

Even with a narrow width like 12' you have room for speaker columns and a nice scope scope screen. Here is a pic of my old room which was sold along with the house it was in last year. It was not quite finished at this point ad all the trim was painted black as well as the ceiling. My entry was at the rear with seating for 6 with access on both sides



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Old 03-30-2012, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

but I've been thinking it might be nice to make it serve more like a 'lounge' than as a dedicated 'row of recliners pointed at the screen' kind of space.

A bunch of people sitting around taking is inconsistent with watching a movie. You should evaluate how you intend to use the space. A lot of lounge style seating lacks the head support of a theater chair and will be uncomfortable for a 2 hour flick.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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We rarely have adults over to watch movies, we just don't entertain that way. Most of the entertaining is likely to be upstairs in the kitchen/family/sunroom space, or in the downstairs 28'x25' rec room (adjacent to the theater space). The movie watching in the space will likely be just the family or a bunch of kids during a party. Thus having large couches or a sectional is more likely to suit our seating preferences. But your point about 2 hour viewing and seat comfort is well taken, certainly something to consider. We may be furnishing it now with what we already have, as they're good for how we like to watch movies. But having the design suitable for recliners is worth considering, thanks for the point.

Elsewhere in the house there will be a sports game watching space (the family/sunroom) and a video game playing space (the rec room). Our existing 50" plasma moves to the bedroom. As a result, our viewing patterns may change making it less likely we'll use the theater for regular viewing. Coupling it with the adjacent wine cellar (more like big wine closet) helps give the space multiple uses. Bearing in the mind the 'jack of all trades, master of none' risk.

The 12' width is bugging me too. When wrapped in drywall, the beam will still be above my walking height. So we could, conceivably, extend the room wider under that beam. Trouble is, there's a post in there now at about 8' from the wall. I'm guessing it's in that particular location to support the load of a kitchen above it. The opposite end of the house doesn't have the same column as close, as there's only bedrooms above that span. When we remodel, that whole kitchen goes away and a dining room moves into that area. So it's likely the post will be able to move as the load will be very different. By how much is something an engineer will have to determine.

But it's unlikely the post will be able to move the entire 25' length of the space. It might be possible to move it far enough back to align with the likely side entrance door for the space. A bit of clever design might be able to hide it, perhaps with two small knee walls flanking the doorway and a pair of columns; one hiding the post inside of it. I'll have to discuss it with the architect this week.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

. A bit of clever design might be able to hide it, perhaps with two small knee walls flanking the doorway and a pair of columns; one hiding the post inside of it. I'll have to discuss it with the architect this week.

Architect? you need a theater designer. This is your first mistake.

Post a measured sketch of the floor plan showing the support pole location, there are plenty of clever people around here.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Mistake? Um, no. The ENTIRE house is being remodeled. The architect is handling that. Think big picture, I did mention we're doing the whole house (and I do mean ALL of it). I don't intend to have the architect design the theater! But I do need to deal with fitting a lot of other things around it.

Yes, using a theater designer is going to be part of the process. But before we go down that road getting some feedback from people regarding sizes is helpful.

The total space is here: http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/u...dedareas-1.jpg

The post isn't shown in that picture, it's 100" from the wall, supporting the beam. There's a lot of flexibility with how the space gets used. I have it shown lengthwise parallel to the support beam. It could just as easily run under the beam but I figured that wouldn't look as good.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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It might be wise to select your theater designer sooner than later. He/she can then collaborate with the architect with respect to space requirements, traffic flow (entry), electrical/HVAC needs, plumbing, sound isolation, structural issues and other low hanging fruit before the architect gets so far down the road it becomes a challenge to make alterations.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:34 PM
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Another vote here for Big and Dennis' recommendations. Particularly if you are already planning to hire a theater designer anyway. In my limited experience, architects don't really understand the requirements of a home theater, and they will design the space so that it looks nice, but not necessary function as it should. If you let the architect choose your compromises, you may not be very pleased with the results.

As far as width of the screen goes, it's generally accepted that it should be no more than 80% of the room's width, but I think that would require an AT screen to keep your speakers out of the corners. You've certainly got the room length to go with an AT screen. You might be able to push the screen width if you are careful about choosing colors and the like for the walls near the screen. There's probably more than just reflections to consider, but I'm not sure what goes into that 80% rule of thumb.

Seating position is a bit of a personal choice. Here's the standard seating distance chart that gets posted regularly.



1.5 times the screen width is a bit far for my tastes, but I've only recently started paying attention when I go to the theater.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:37 PM
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I received my layout from Dennis, and I would highly recommend him as your theater designer. It has taken me a while to put his design into practice, but that's my issue
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

The post isn't shown in that picture, it's 100" from the wall, supporting the beam.

The beam is supported by two walls. If you are talking about the one on the left how long is that short wall under the beam?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

The beam is supported by two walls. If you are talking about the one on the left how long is that short wall under the beam?

The foundation is 1950's cinder block. The beam runs along the entire center. It's not supported by any interior walls at all. Those shown in the picture are being proposed as part of the remodel. There are no support walls under it now, just some non-load bearing interior drywall and paneling covered walls. This has been confirmed. The beam is supported at the ends by brick columns in the foundation at each end. The one by the theatre space is flush in the foundation. There are two posts along the length. One at 100" from the wall (the right side in the picture) and then another at 137" from the opposite wall. The one at 100" is under the current kitchen and directly at the head of the stairs down into the lower level. So it's clear why the post is in that location. Both the kitchen and the stairs are totally going away, being replaced by open space. The beam is not going to be involved in carrying the second floor load, at all. So there's definitely an opportunity to move it "some". I'm sure eliminating it is unrealistic as there are floor joists that rest upon it (and those are going to stay). Nor does it seem likely it'll need replacing.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

It might be wise to select your theater designer sooner than later. He/she can then collaborate with the architect with respect to space requirements, traffic flow (entry), electrical/HVAC needs, plumbing, sound isolation, structural issues and other low hanging fruit before the architect gets so far down the road it becomes a challenge to make alterations.

Thanks Dennis. I understand you provide these kinds of services? What's the process?

The good news is we're totally remodeling the entire house. Literally everything changes. We won't have to work around existing plumbing, wiring or HVAC as those will be totally changed. It's almost a whole new house, just the old foundation and first floor walls and floor joists remain in place.

The space being considered here is the farthest from any other spaces (kitchen, bedrooms, etc), so dealing with noise should be less hassle. We're not obsessed with keeping the noise 'in', nor is there going to be anything adjacent to it that would intrude on it. So it shouldn't be overly complex. I say "shouldn't be" but realize there's always more to it.
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