Has anyone converted an unwanted inground swimming pool into a dedicated theater space? - AVS Forum

AVS Forum > Home Entertainment & Theater Builder > Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Has anyone converted an unwanted inground swimming pool into a dedicated theater space?

View Poll Results: Thoughts on turning unwanted inground pool into dedicated home theater space?
I would consider it! 2 9.09%
No Way! 20 90.91%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll
Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

Archaea's Avatar Archaea
04:49 PM Liked: 872
post #1 of 24
02-19-2014 | Posts: 6,585
Joined: Apr 2004
Is this idea completely outlandish?

My wife and I are buying a house that has an inground pool, my wife requires that we fill in the pool or rip it out as a condition to buy the house to ensure our young ones don't end up being a statistic. A friend and I both thought it could be unique and cool to make the outdoor pool into a dedicated home theater space. Building a roof above the pool, but using the cement pool as a basement foundation. It could possibly be very cool!?!?! The slope in the pool could make for riser seating, the built in stairs to the shallow end making the drop down to the seating area accessible from ground level. This is really just a concept question at this point. Is it feasible? Is it ludacy? Would it be structurally strong enough to not cave in without water pressure over time?

This particular pool is about 26x16 and oval shaped.

Picture of the pool

Rough concept sketch


This is all just brainstorming at this point. I don't even know the true dimmensions or pool layout since the house is a foreclosure and it's covered and I didn't care that much since I had fully expected we'd be ripping it out or filling it in.


Cons:

Heating and cooling could be tricky. (power should be easy - pool pumps usually require big power and the pump is already wired outside and right next to the pool)
Have to walk outside to walk into the theater (year round)
Probably wouldn't add any value to the home


Pros
Could make it completely dark with no windows
Could sound proof it from the rest of the home fairly easily
Could have a tall front AT screen with cool riser seating
Would be unique
Could play with infinite baffle under the floor if bowl shaped pool bottom (I'm not even sure at this point what the bottom of the pool looks like since the only picture we have is from google maps and it's too distant to tell.



Really I'm just wondering if the idea is just too far out there to even consider... (even acknowledging that the feedback here might be slightly biased from the theater enthusiasts perspective)
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC
07:33 PM Liked: 738
post #2 of 24
02-19-2014 | Posts: 21,496
Joined: Jan 2003
It would probably cost about the same to add a theater addition to the house as it would to make the cement pond an acceptable theater.
jautor's Avatar jautor
11:23 PM Liked: 379
post #3 of 24
02-19-2014 | Posts: 8,308
Joined: Jun 2001
I don't think , in general, In-ground pools are built to remain "empty", structurally... But yeah, overall, not a good idea. So much would need to be done the only thing you'd really be re-using is the hole.

Honestly, instead of removing it or filling it in - talk to a pool company about a good "security" cover or a deck built over it for a few years - when the little ones are old enough, you'll really want that pool back. The security cover would also allow you to use the pool when everyone is supervised.

And you're doing it correctly - buying a house with the pool already paid for (and the serious depreciation eaten) - you won't want to rebuild that.

Jeff
Isnoreatmovies's Avatar Isnoreatmovies
12:15 AM Liked: 24
post #4 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2013
Cool idea, but I'd go with teaching your kids to swim, they do that from infancy nowadays, do a security fence and cover, and put in an outdoor theater at the pool so you can sit on inner tubes and air mattresses and watch movies on hot summer nights. You'll be the hit of the neighborhood with your friends if you choose to invite people over for movies.
fierce_gt's Avatar fierce_gt
01:34 AM Liked: 967
post #5 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 4,598
Joined: Sep 2008
I'm with these guys above. it'd be cheaper to make the pool safe than to remove it. buy one of the covers that you can walk on, and if you like leave it there for a couple years. pool maintenance is pretty pricey, but won't it be nice in a few years when your kids are always at YOUR place with their friends where you can keep an eye on them.

and I just don't like the idea of a detached theatre with no heating or cooling, inside a concrete pit in the backyard. literally nothing about that seems like a good idea to me unless you're a poor college kid just trying to make something 'work'.
UK Dreamer's Avatar UK Dreamer
02:48 AM Liked: 11
post #6 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013
I'm a full-time lurker on this site, just biding my time until I'm ready to build a HT, but just have to chip in here....

I'm with the guys above ref. security cover etc.

Honestly? Teaching your kids to swim can should start at a very early age.

We were unfortunate to have a severely disabled child as our second. It became imperative that our older boy became independent in the water as soon as possible, as we would always be pre-occupied looking after James.

Thomas, our elder lad, had a number of one-on-one lessons, and has never looked back. At the age of six he did his 1 mile badge, now, at the age of 12, he can show up most adults with his butterfly stroke. So at home in water he's become, he took up dinghy sailing, and is already competing at international level - capsizing/falling in/fooling around in water holds no fear for him, or for us either! Every cloud, and all that.......

Keep the pool, secure it, and reap the benefits. You never know where it might lead!




IMHO

Good luck.
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC
06:18 AM Liked: 738
post #7 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 21,496
Joined: Jan 2003
Just a data point, my sister had a couple of kids maybe 1-2 at the time. They bought a new house with a pool and they took the kids to learn to swim by a teacher skilled in teaching young children how to swim. Later they both were on the youth swim team. Over the years they really enjoyed having the pool.
jedimastergrant's Avatar jedimastergrant
07:53 AM Liked: 61
post #8 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 1,915
Joined: Nov 2006
Jonathon I voted no. I totally understand your wife's perspective. I share the same fears and we probably would have thought the same just a year or two ago. But I think it is likely that your kids will seek out friends pools and anyway and the. You are counting on other adults to be responsible for your kids. As your kids get older there is an advantage of your house being the hang out place for their friends so you can be more involved with them. I hear this over and over from parents of older kids. I would really try to sell your wife on this idea of the pool enabling you to have a closer relationship with your children. Covering the pool for awhile if need be. But with the possibility of opening it up down the road. And if she doesn't go for it you can always fill it in and I would let her know that this is always an option to make her feel better about it.

Regardless I think you are farther ahead building an addition to your home that is attached and you can control the dimensions and add hvac and electrical and plumbing much easier.
thebland's Avatar thebland
07:57 AM Liked: 166
post #9 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 24,021
Joined: Jan 2001
I think a pool theater is crazy!!biggrin.gif

Demolish the pool and do a full on conventional theater.
kromkamp's Avatar kromkamp
09:11 AM Liked: 26
post #10 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 4,411
Joined: Jun 1999
The idea of pool theater is so cool that I'm tempted to say go for it, but its also stone cold crazy biggrin.gif If you do it you need to go all in - dig an access tunnel from the basement!
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC
09:34 AM Liked: 738
post #11 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 21,496
Joined: Jan 2003
I can't see that having a half buried room sitting in the middle of the back yard offers anything other than bragging rights for the lunatic fringe. And as mentioned I doubt it would satisfy local building codes related to the required foundation for the structure.
PApilgrim's Avatar PApilgrim
10:20 AM Liked: 14
post #12 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2013
I agree with keeping the pool and adding the security - you will be much happier having the pool long-term.

However, if you decide to demolish the pool, ensure you satisfy any code requirements needed, AND dig in the basement access tunnel... Let me be the first to nominate you for HT of the month, FEB 2016!
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC
11:16 AM Liked: 738
post #13 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 21,496
Joined: Jan 2003
Just so you know you can forget about bragging rights for the first pool to theater conversion. This was an indoor conversion and IMHO leaves a LOT to be desired, including screen size.

http://www.true-aspect.com/press_pool.php
KNKKNK's Avatar KNKKNK
11:43 AM Liked: 76
post #14 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 873
Joined: Feb 2009
There have been several,one here, and another by a younger guy that seemed to have tons of expendable income.. his conversion was the best I've seen.. just can remember his name or thread.. he had several screens all over his house, some front projection and some rear projection...

and here
NickTheGreat's Avatar NickTheGreat
12:27 PM Liked: 103
post #15 of 24
02-20-2014 | Posts: 1,844
Joined: Jan 2012
My thoughts (aside from the other ones mentions) is how you get in and out of it? And then, how about the winter? Is the top of the pool gonna connect to the house through a hallway/breezeway thing?

We saw a house when we were looking that was great except the whole back yard was a pool. Beautifully done, with all the fences, diving boards, etc. We eventually passed on it frown.gif
bluedevilbrent's Avatar bluedevilbrent
10:10 AM Liked: 11
post #16 of 24
02-21-2014 | Posts: 79
Joined: Mar 2011
I personally like the idea jautor had to cover it with a deck for now. Would be very simple and reasonably cheap and should fully satisfy your wife.

It would also allow you to use the area vs just covering it up and having to work around it at all times. You would also keep the value on your house for having a pool

a simple Google search found this...
http://eichlervision.com/2008/12/building-the-temporary-pool-cover/

or this...
http://vimeo.com/62843183
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
02:44 PM Liked: 327
post #17 of 24
02-22-2014 | Posts: 4,157
Joined: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Just so you know you can forget about bragging rights for the first pool to theater conversion. This was an indoor conversion and IMHO leaves a LOT to be desired, including screen size.

http://www.true-aspect.com/press_pool.php

That is awful and looks to be more dangerous than the pool would have been lol.
iamjason's Avatar iamjason
05:44 PM Liked: 14
post #18 of 24
02-22-2014 | Posts: 299
Joined: Sep 2010
You will enjoy.the.pool more and so.will your kids. We are about to build a pool at our new house. This.is.our third house and we have had pools at the other 2. Our kids are in it at least once a.day for about 8 months if the.year. Put up a.cage, add a.saftey fence and you will have.your concerns taken care of. You can intergrate an.outdoor screen as well to watch movies while relaxing in and by.the.pool
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
05:53 PM Liked: 327
post #19 of 24
02-22-2014 | Posts: 4,157
Joined: Dec 2003
I'd love a pool, but we'd be using it more for an ice rink than anything else around here. cool.gif
bluer101's Avatar bluer101
07:11 AM Liked: 94
post #20 of 24
02-23-2014 | Posts: 1,191
Joined: Mar 2005
I voted no. I would say put up security and childproof fencing. You will get many years of parties and enjoyment from a pool.

On a side note you can turn it into this.

http://news.yahoo.com/florida-police-marijuana-plants-growing-empty-swimming-pool-001955028--finance.html

JK, lol.
UGAd13's Avatar UGAd13
07:47 AM Liked: 63
post #21 of 24
02-23-2014 | Posts: 562
Joined: Apr 2010
C) None of the above - buy another house
PGTweed's Avatar PGTweed
12:13 PM Liked: 23
post #22 of 24
02-23-2014 | Posts: 185
Joined: Oct 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluer101 View Post

I voted no. I would say put up security and childproof fencing. You will get many years of parties and enjoyment from a pool.

On a side note you can turn it into this.

http://news.yahoo.com/florida-police-marijuana-plants-growing-empty-swimming-pool-001955028--finance.html

JK, lol.
An idea from the movie 'Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams'.
HFGuy's Avatar HFGuy
12:34 PM Liked: 21
post #23 of 24
02-23-2014 | Posts: 586
Joined: Jan 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I don't think , in general, In-ground pools are built to remain "empty", structurally... f

Pools remain empty during winter months.
sebberry's Avatar sebberry
01:23 PM Liked: 27
post #24 of 24
02-23-2014 | Posts: 1,268
Joined: Sep 2007
I vote to fence off the pool. Your young ones will have tonnes of fun later on swimming and splashing around. Swimming is a good skill to have.
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