Ryan's First Theater -- Phase 1 Buildout - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

Just purchased a house and looking into the feasibility of installing a theater in the basement. I have an ideal location that has no Windows or other natural light, but my fear is it may be too small to get any decent sized screen. I'd love to do 2:35:1 with a 135" screen, but based on some drawings I've thrown together I'm not certain that will be possible.

Here's a few rough Google sketchup drawings:

Original:



Proposed New:



I'm planning on mounting the projector on the curved wall opposite the 12' 10" wall. the curve steals me a couple more feet over doing the straight wall from the opposing side.

What does everyone think? Is this even do-able?

Thanks,
Ryan
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post #2 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 08:57 AM
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Can you post a few pictures of the actual space?
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post #3 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Can you post a few pictures of the actual space?

Sure, I'll get a few pictures this evening and post them.

Also didn't mention, I have 7' ceilings throughout the basement. Walls have a mixture of paneling and drywall. if i end up doing this I'll be gutting the area (ceiling and walls) and starting over. There's other obstacles I need to address (getting HVAC over to this area -- it's currently on the other side of the basement without an easy way of getting it here, etc) but wanted to make sure this would even work before going too far down that path.

Thanks,
Ryan
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post #4 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 09:30 AM
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Expanding your plan or including photos showing the rest of your basement layout would also be useful, so we can understand what kind of uses are adjacent to the theater room.

A few questions:
1. How did you arrive at a 135" screen size?
2. Since you are looking at 2.35:1, I'm assuming most of the viewing will be movies. Any gaming? TV?
3. How many seats are you wanting to fit in the space? Couches vs. theater seats? Reclining?
4. Is soundproofing important to you?
5. Any other goals?
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Spaceman,

Thanks for the reply. As far as the drawing goes, I'll flesh that out a bit more in the next couple of days when I get a chance to take some more measurements. The basement is split into two areas; 1 half is "finished" which is where I'm looking to do this theater and the other half is unfinished / storage / laundry room. The unfinished area has an even lower ceiling as, for some reason, they poured additional concrete on the floor leading to a "step up" when you walk into that section. All of the bedrooms on the first floor are directly above the unfinished storage area.

Above the "finished" portion of the basement is the kitchen, a "formal" living room that will not be used that much, and the dining room. Next to the proposed theater room will be my office, so I'm not concerned about the noise there either.

Answers below.

  1. It was the largest size screen available at some of the sites I looked. smile.gif It's not a requirement, but I would definitely like to be over 100". Based on this calculator (http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-AE8000-projection-calculator.htm), I should be able to get at least 118" if I can place the projector at around 15'. So that might be worthwhile.
  2. A large portion will be movies; probably around 40-50%. 30-40% TV/DTV (Sports, etc), and the remaining time spent with PS3 or Wii.
  3. Due to the size of the room, I'm anticipating a single row of seating. Given the width, I should be able to put more seats in a single row than what I've seen others do; perhaps 4-6? I haven't decided on any seating in particular so I could do couches, though my preference would be the reclining theater seats.
  4. As mentioned above, there are not many living spaces around the area, so I'm not going to go overboard on soundproofing. Likely just do insulation on the ceiling, though I can be persuaded.
  5. I'd like to put a mini kitchenette and bar in as well. I'm thinking the space created by the curved wall might be a good area for that. No other major goals at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Expanding your plan or including photos showing the rest of your basement layout would also be useful, so we can understand what kind of uses are adjacent to the theater room.
A few questions:
1. How did you arrive at a 135" screen size?
2. Since you are looking at 2.35:1, I'm assuming most of the viewing will be movies. Any gaming? TV?
3. How many seats are you wanting to fit in the space? Couches vs. theater seats? Reclining?
4. Is soundproofing important to you?
5. Any other goals?
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a more complete drawing of the surrounding rooms.

Current:



Proposed:



And here are some pictures of the current space. Forgive the mess. smile.gif We're renovating the whole upstairs at the moment.

Stairway leading down:



From base of stairs looking right towards the office:



From base of stairs looking left towards the theater:



From back left of the theater room looking to the right:



From back left corner of theater room looking towards stairs:



From front of theater where the screen would go looking towards stairs:



From office area looking towards stairs / back of theater:

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post #7 of 40 Old 11-08-2012, 10:18 PM
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First of all, congrats on the house! Is this your first home purchase?

Your basement looks a lot like mine. 7' ceilings, a mix of drywall and panelling, it's exactly what I'm dealing with (build thread yet to come...hopefully soon). I will be very curious to see how you retrofit it for a modern home theater. My basement is also full of crap right now due to upstairs remodeling, so I feel your pain.

Your seating distance may clarify the screen size decision. For projection screens, THX recommends that your screen occupy 36 degrees of your field of view. Based on my quick and dirty calculations, a 135" 2.35:1 screen would hit the 36 degree mark at 15.9' from the viewing position. It's worth remembering that with a constant image height setup, material with a narrower aspect ratio will occupy a smaller portion of your field of view. For HDTVs, THX recommends a 40 degree viewing angle. I'm not sure why their standards would differ depending on the display, though they are not that far apart. I'd consider determining your planned seating distance and the median aspect ratio of the material you'd watch most and then use those numbers to inform your decision on screen size.

I've been using a 92" 16:9 screen from about 10' and have found that to be a bit small for material with wider aspect ratios.

Getting back to the space and your deconstruction/construction challenges, have you taken a look at how the floor joists run? Depending on where you locate your source equipment relative to your projector and speakers, this may or may not become something of an issue. If you intend to take down the existing ceiling (looks like it's drywalled, already, right?), you can deal with this simply enough regardless of which way the joists run.

If I were you, I would consider doing a reasonable level of soundproofing. For example, some Green Glue and an extra layer of drywall on your interior walls and ceiling wouldn't add much in terms of cost and difficulty but might pay dividends in sound mitigation. Even if you aren't concerned about noise leaking out, you might appreciate keeping outside noise out.
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post #8 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 02:31 AM
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How about going staight instead of curved and get a small space for the equipment accessible from outside the room and perhaps a volume for a helmholz trap if needed?

Under construction: the Larch theater
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah View Post

First of all, congrats on the house! Is this your first home purchase?
Your basement looks a lot like mine. 7' ceilings, a mix of drywall and panelling, it's exactly what I'm dealing with (build thread yet to come...hopefully soon). I will be very curious to see how you retrofit it for a modern home theater. My basement is also full of crap right now due to upstairs remodeling, so I feel your pain.
Your seating distance may clarify the screen size decision. For projection screens, THX recommends that your screen occupy 36 degrees of your field of view. Based on my quick and dirty calculations, a 135" 2.35:1 screen would hit the 36 degree mark at 15.9' from the viewing position. It's worth remembering that with a constant image height setup, material with a narrower aspect ratio will occupy a smaller portion of your field of view. For HDTVs, THX recommends a 40 degree viewing angle. I'm not sure why their standards would differ depending on the display, though they are not that far apart. I'd consider determining your planned seating distance and the median aspect ratio of the material you'd watch most and then use those numbers to inform your decision on screen size.
I've been using a 92" 16:9 screen from about 10' and have found that to be a bit small for material with wider aspect ratios.
Getting back to the space and your deconstruction/construction challenges, have you taken a look at how the floor joists run? Depending on where you locate your source equipment relative to your projector and speakers, this may or may not become something of an issue. If you intend to take down the existing ceiling (looks like it's drywalled, already, right?), you can deal with this simply enough regardless of which way the joists run.
If I were you, I would consider doing a reasonable level of soundproofing. For example, some Green Glue and an extra layer of drywall on your interior walls and ceiling wouldn't add much in terms of cost and difficulty but might pay dividends in sound mitigation. Even if you aren't concerned about noise leaking out, you might appreciate keeping outside noise out.

Hi Noah,

Yup -- first home purchase. Wife is pretty excited! I've actually got paneling throughout the ceilings in the basement and on a couple of walls. I'm going to gut the whole place as we're considering turning the walkout area into a guest bedroom. Plus if I'm going to have the drywall professionally installed it's likely to not cost much more to have the entire place done versus a smaller area; and I hate hanging/finishing drywall.

I believe the throw distance that I'd be able to get based on my rough numbers above would only be around 118". So based on the calculator you linked above, my optimum seating distance should be roughly 13' from the front of the screen. That leaves me with roughly 1 1/2 feet behind the seating area at the narrowest section (before the curve). I don't think I'd be putting another seat up front as it'd be around 10-11' from the screen, which would likely be too close.

Floor joists run parallel to the screen wall. I'm considering putting the media cabinet in the wall b/w the office and theater room. I'd have to figure out how to finish it off in the other room. Another option would be to place all that equipment outside of the theater room underneath of the stairs. But I don't like it being -that- far away.
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How about going staight instead of curved and get a small space for the equipment accessible from outside the room and perhaps a volume for a helmholz trap if needed?

One of the reasons for running the curve is that I can push the projector back another 1 foot from the screen wall. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in order to get X number of screen size, you need to be Y feet back? Also, I'd like to make the theater entrance come from that area and considering putting a kitchenette or dry bar with stools back there.

Thanks everyone for your posts!
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post #10 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I've been giving some thought to the amount of seats and where I'd place them and I'm starting to scratch my head a bit. I went and found the size requirements for a 4x Berkline 13175 setup. I'm not anywhere near choosing exactly which chairs to go with, but figured i'd use these as a model to get some idea as to what I would need. I also added a 2' padding between the wall and where the screen goes to allow for behind the screen speakers with an AT screen.

The first problem I noticed is where the screen would sit. I believe I should no longer center the screen to the room, but rather center it on where the chairs would be. This then shifts the location of the projector from further down on the curve and given the 2' padding for behind the screen, also reduces the total throw size to be 12' 10 1/8" -- the throw size situation is going to be interesting regardless of the screen size I choose due to the behind the screen setup of the speakers.

Based on the numbers above, I would be looking for a 118" diagonal 16:9 screen, so I went with a 130" 2:35:1 screen. This leaves a 120" width. However with the reduced throw distance I'm probably looking at a smaller diagonal and therefore a smaller sized screen.

I'm thinking I may need smaller seating.

Here's a rough drawing below.

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post #11 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 12:09 PM
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Can't say I'm a big fan of the curve. It makes a rather awkward corner in your theater. Have you considered straightening it out and using that corner for an equipment closet?
87855.jpg

You could either orient your equipment to face the hallway or face it into your theater through a cut out in the wall and place a door in the hallway that would give you access to the back of the equipment. Depending on how many seats you go with, access to equipment in the back of the room may get difficult.

You might also look at moving the back wall of the theater closer to the stairs to give you a deeper room. I don't think it needs to be aligned with the office wall.

If you didn't have that support pole between the office and theater, you could swing the theater 90 degrees and make it much larger.
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post #12 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Can't say I'm a big fan of the curve. It makes a rather awkward corner in your theater. Have you considered straightening it out and using that corner for an equipment closet?
87855.jpg
You could either orient your equipment to face the hallway or face it into your theater through a cut out in the wall and place a door in the hallway that would give you access to the back of the equipment. Depending on how many seats you go with, access to equipment in the back of the room may get difficult.
You might also look at moving the back wall of the theater closer to the stairs to give you a deeper room. I don't think it needs to be aligned with the office wall.
If you didn't have that support pole between the office and theater, you could swing the theater 90 degrees and make it much larger.

What about that hallway though going from the stairs around the corner? Based on that layout I'd end up with ~2' of hallway clearance without the curved wall.

Toying with stealing a few feet from the office room, but that pole does present an interesting problem. If i put the seating there I'd end up with a pole in between a few of the chairs, though I wouldn't expect the pole to get in the way of the view.

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post #13 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 12:31 PM
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I was thinking more like a 36" wide hallway or whatever you need to meet code. Just trying to give you a little extra breathing room, but I can understand not wanting to make the hallway claustrophobic.

In your modified layout, you could place the back of your 1st row at the pole and do bar seating behind the pole. You could hide the pole in a decorative column that is part of the bar design. Maybe a scaled down version of one of these.
bar.jpg

Circular-Home-Bar-and-Theatre-e1291004393242.jpg
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post #14 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

I was thinking more like a 36" wide hallway or whatever you need to meet code. Just trying to give you a little extra breathing room, but I can understand not wanting to make the hallway claustrophobic.
In your modified layout, you could place the back of your 1st row at the pole and do bar seating behind the pole. You could hide the pole in a decorative column that is part of the bar design. Maybe a scaled down version of one of these.

That might work, the chairs would then be 11' or so from the screen. Assuming a 118"+ sized screen, would that be too close?
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post #15 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
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That might work, the chairs would then be 11' or so from the screen. Assuming a 118"+ sized screen, would that be too close?

I don't think so. I'll be sitting 9-1/2' away from a 115" wide screen.
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post #16 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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How about this?

Need to figure out how to better use the walkout area as we want to turn that into a bedroom. Having a hard time fitting a queen sized bed's dimensions in there though.



This would leave me 4' or so behind the chairs to put a bar.
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post #17 of 40 Old 11-09-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I like this for the walkout area. I would put the doorway to the office through the theater in the back. Lets me use the remaining space at the back entirely for the walkout / new bedroom.

Any thoughts?

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post #18 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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So been playing around with this a bit more and measuring my office desk, etc. I think the 6'5" office should work fine. And so long as I can fit a bed in the narrowest portion of the 6'5" section of the bedroom than that side should work well as well.

I took away the curved wall -- I liked the idea of putting movie posters, etc on that wall, but functionally I think I'm better off if I can stick a door going into the storage closet.

Any thoughts?

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post #19 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 AM
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You might be able to simplify your common hallway and door layout if you flip the theater. Small circles inside the square columns would be your support poles.
IMG_1149.jpg

You'll probably want to add a closet in the bedroom.
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post #20 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually really like that idea... Only problem would be the support poles are 10' from that side of the house and 12' from the other; So I would lose 2' of seating area.

I wonder how hard it would be to move those poles to the right a few feet...
Quote:
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You might be able to simplify your common hallway and door layout if you flip the theater. Small circles inside the square columns would be your support poles.

You'll probably want to add a closet in the bedroom.
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post #21 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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So something like this... Would need to relocate my cabinet but that's the least of my worries at this point. This would also entail removing two Windows that are currently in the office area.



Thanks,
Ryan
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post #22 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's another option -- move the door to the front of the theater but still make the entrance to the office through the theater:

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post #23 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenike View Post

So something like this... Would need to relocate my cabinet but that's the least of my worries at this point. This would also entail removing two Windows that are currently in the office area.

Thanks,
Ryan

You could probably shorten up the theater if you need more office space. 6'-5" is pretty narrow, but could make a cozy office if planned right.

I'd suggest adding the theater seats, bar and stools to the plan so you can get an idea of how everything is going to fit. Probably want to do the same for the office and bedroom. It will start to flush out potential circulation problems within each room. It will also tell us where the dividing wall between office and theater really needs to be in order for both spaces to function properly. You don't want to give more room to the theater than you really need to.

I'd try to keep the area you previously had set aside for storage and make the office door a mirror image of the theater door.

Can you take a few close up pics of your support pole, specifically where it meets the floor and ceiling? You need to determine whether that is something that can be shifted a few feet or whether it's fixed in place.

EDIT: I don't think you would need to remove any windows if you flipped the theater and office locations. It's fairly common for people to build removable plugs for windows that get covered up by theater improvements. Can you post a pic of the windows in that space?
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-15-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenike View Post

Here's another option -- move the door to the front of the theater but still make the entrance to the office through the theater:

Entering/exiting through the back is less of a distraction during movies.
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post #25 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few more pictures:

Here's the current office. This room would be cut down requiring the window on the long wall to be removed / replaced.





Here are pictures of the support poles. As the pole in the designed area is currently inside the wall, I also took reference pictures of another pole. They're the same.





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post #26 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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And took some more measurements of the rest of the basement. An issue I'm going to run into is getting HVAC over to the theater side of the house. The unit is in the unfinished section of the basement. I'm considering excavating the area next to the hallway leading between the unfinished / finished sections of the basement as that sits right below the front entryway to the house. We're planning on replacing the entry way anyway and I could likely run both a return and a supply if I dug deep enough. The server room hasn't been built yet but I anticipate studding that out in the next 2-3 weeks. Will likely just use OSB and not bother with drywall.

EDIT: I know this question will likely come up -- the reason I'm not putting the theater in the unfinished area is that the concrete flooring is actually raised around a foot compared to the other side of the house giving me a total ceiling height of 6'-6.5'. Plus the laundry room and HVAC systems are down there.

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post #27 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 07:01 AM
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Your basement is similar to mine as well in terms of ceiling height. The size we have to work with is a bit similar as well. Subscribed.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1437578/blobulas-coming-soon-theater-build-thread#post_22580395
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post #28 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Blobula! Following your thread as well.
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Your basement is similar to mine as well in terms of ceiling height. The size we have to work with is a bit similar as well. Subscribed.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1437578/blobulas-coming-soon-theater-build-thread#post_22580395
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post #29 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Starting to look at a few chair options. I like the Fusion escape line of chairs. With my setup. I think I can do 4 chairs in a semi circular:



That would make the dimensions look something like:



I've added in the support pole as well. There's 6" of space between one side of the seats and the wall and 1' 11" of space on the other... Not great but I think it's sufficient for people to walk by. I could also look at reducing the amount of space in the hallway; I just want to make sure I don't lose space in the bedroom as well.

Should I put the seats on a riser? Also need to look into whether sticking a bar at the back is do-able with the 4' of space.

Thanks,
Ryan
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post #30 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 10:39 AM
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Are you going to have your screen on a false wall and then the speakers set up behind so they aren't visible?
blobula is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

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