Originally Posted by J_P_A
I think I follow you on your reasoning. My first thought is the door will likely be closed most of the time, particularly while you are playing pool. So I don't know that the door would be a nuisance if it swings in that direction (bahaha). Like you, I would not want the door swinging in front of my movie poster. I think you mentioned in a later post that the ceiling height will be limited at the riser which is a good reason for not having the door enter at riser height. I'm dealing with that now, and it certainly limits your options with regard to soffit designs if the door interferes. However, I'm not sure that having the door enter in front of the riser would be a bad idea. There are lots of theaters with hidden doors around here. That's not say that it wouldn't be tough to do, particularly with the raised acoustic panels being a design feature in your room. I don't know that I'd want to take it on, but it's something to think about. Without seeing the layout for the rest of you basement, I don't know that I can offer anything constructive.
With all that said, I like the idea of the handrail. That would really give it a "theater" feel. Every theater I've ever been in you enter from the back and walk down a sort of tunnel to the front, and then turn around and walk back up the steps.
You are right, I do owe you and everyone else the basement layout. One caveat to the blueprint below - this was the one and only draft from someone who took my basement plan and quickly laid everything out in CAD in order to estimate professionally finishing the space. I didn't ask for it - he just did it. The only thing is he took an extreme creative license to shuffle some walls, add walls, move electrical panels and add mechanical equipment I didn't have. So you will see just outside the theater entrance that he added walls and double doors leading into a single door to "add drama" as he put it. The wacky tobacky must have been working its island magic, that's all I have to say. But you will see in the real life picture of outside the theater what my final (and original) design was.
Here is a wider shot of what it looks like outside my theater with the two walls flanking the theater door. I originally had the recessed movie poster light box going in to the right of the theater door because I initially didn't want to mess with the structure around the steps. But when I closed the deal on a 9' Brunswick pool table, it came with an unbelievably nice solid mahogany (discontinued wood species) cue rack. Here's the same rack
in a different species for those who are interested. So now I needed wall space for this rack, but by having a very open concept design wall space is at a premium. So I bit the bullet and decided to restructure the back wall of the stairs which runs continuous to the second floor and is a MAJOR structural point load in the house. I built my temporary walls to hold up my house and then cut the studs at the correct finished height for the movie poster light box. I decided to run the header the full width of the stairwell to give me the greatest left to right placement flexibility so I could perfectly center this light box ans satisfy my perfectionist OCD tendencies. Once the structure was in place I filled in the framing for the opening and closed off the other opening so it can be fully drywalled for the surface-mounted pool cue rack.
My previous post may have been unclear regarding the door swinging out into the basement instead of into the theater. Swinging toward the light box would block the light box. Swinging to the right would hit the pool cue rack and not feel "normal" in the way that door would swing if it were full open and almost hitting the cue rack. So that leaves my options to left swing into the theater and hit the column immediately to the left inside the door which would block traffic. My only option left is the right swing inward and just dealing with the less-than-optimal room at the rear at the theater. Hopefully this plan and picture makes my post a bit more clear. Plus when the door is shut, the 2" of acoustic panels on the surface of the door (inside the theater) will be made to line up in the same surface plane as the acoustic panels on the walls.
As for the handrail....it has the potential of being fairly economical as there seem to be plenty of stairway balustrades available in a style that would fit. Finally!!! An off-the-shelf product that's cheap and available. EDIT
- If you look to the left of the movie poster light box you will see another door to underneath the steps. I had considered putting the entrance to the theater through this doorway but it didn't feel like it was the entrance to something special, I would lose the storage area underneath the steps completely and this door location would have interfered with one of my columns that would be housing one of my side speakers. One other tidbit - I originally had the theater room "flipped" so the entrance was at the bottom of the steps. I had plans to build up the landing the same height as the riser so it would be a smooth entry into the top row but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted the entrance to where it is now to keep all the fun and activities (theater entrance, snack bar, pool table, lounge, etc.) all in one centrally located area. Interested to hear your thoughts.