Alright - not too exciting update but here's what I did to manage the speaker wire and cables coming into the equipment closet:
I went out and bought a 2' section of PVC pipe (2" interior diameter) for a few dollars at Home Depot. I used my miter box and hand saw and cut it into 4 equal sections (that's 6" each for you math whizzes out there).
I also bought 4 collars that looked like they could be used as "stops" on the ends of the pipes so they wouldn't fall through the opening in the ceiling.
This was my plan:
So the first thing I did was get out my 2-3/8" hole saw to drill the holes in the ceiling of the equipment closet. The hole saw has to be bigger than 2" because that is the interior diameter of the PVC pipe.
Next, I drilled the holes. This took a bit of planning due to the studs and framing of the closet on the outside. To the far right I also had an HVAC duct going over the closet so I couldn't get anything to work on that side. Once I knew where it was safe to drill I just tried spacing them out evenly.
Then I installed the pipes (after taking a rubber mallet to the collars to get them on nice and tight - they are not ever coming apart):
Finally, I threaded all of the pipes with the speaker wire and HDMI cables. There is plenty of room for more cables if I need them (I have a ton of CAT6 behind the closet that has been run to various locations in the theater but I am currently not using).
I still need to use some zip ties to make it all look nice but I'm quite pleased with how this worked out.
I think I may also need to install a light in the closet.... hmmm...