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c-not-k's Bar-inspired Home Theater build

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I’ve read about many great theater builds on this site. While not nearly as ambitious as some I have seen I thought I’d add mine, after it was finished. Problem is, I’d never post if I waited for that! So here it is; my story up to now. (My DSLR broke, so I won’t be adding any photos for a while. Good time to write.)

A few years after moving in my wife Susan and I refinanced and decided to do some home improvement projects with some equity. We were going to have an entertainment center built in the Family Room, add a deck, and since there was a rough-in in the basement, add a bathroom. There was a 17' x 22' finished room in the basement with one small window. Why not make a theater there? It's already mostly light controlled. I can do some handyman work, but I just didn’t have the time to tackle projects of this scope, so we hired Dimitiri’s Home Improvement of Baltimore, Maryland to do most of the work. He had already worked on half of the houses on our cul-de-sac and came highly recommended. We broke the projects into three phases; Deck, Basement Bathroom, and Home Theater/Family Room Entertainment Center. Since the Home Theater was directly below the Family Room I figured it would be easy to run all the cables at once.

Months earlier Susan found an Art Deco bar on eBay.

I was planning on putting a Pub table in the theater, but the bar was much cooler. I borrowed a friend and his truck and we drove up to Manhattan to get it. After a very long day we got the bar home and set it up in the room that was to be the home theater.

Trouble was the bar took up so much room that a traditional two rows of seats and a riser design wouldn’t fit. The good news is the bar gave us a design inspiration.

As far as the interior design on the room was concerned, I sought professional help. Since we already had the bar I wanted the rest of the room to be designed around it. One of my coworkers used a professional interior designer, Lynn Forconi, for some work at her house and recommended her to me. I scheduled her to come over one afternoon. Susan happened to be home, so I asked her if she wanted to sit in. (My wife was slightly offended that I asked someone else for an opinion. That is, until, Lynn got to work.) In short, Lynn was amazing; full of personality and ideas. Since the walls were still in builders white, she drew right on them! I’m so glad my kids, then 7 & 8 didn’t see this. How many times have we told them not to write on the walls, and here’s a grown-up doing it! She took my ideas, embellished them and tied everything together. There were only minor changes from her original sketches; I changed the ceiling color to black from tan after seeing the reflections (on the unpainted drywall) from watching a movie.

Based on Dimitri's suggestion, we moved the sink. Based on my inability to find exactly what I was looking for, I changed the design of the sink as well. Once I had the projector located it was obvious that it wouldn't fit behind the planned bar valance, so we deleted it. Time and money were tight, anyway. The room is painted in three colors; tan, black, and red/brown, to match the bar as closely as possible. We used Behr Premium Plus pastel base from Home Depot. The finishes were eggshell for everything but the ceiling, which is flat.

Tan: Brown Teepee # 700D-4
Red: Toasted Chestnut # 240-F6
Black: Black Suede # S-H-790
post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 
As you all know, the Internet was a great source of information about building a home theater. Too much information, sometimes. Initially I wanted a plasma screen downstairs. At the time (2002 or so), 50" was as big as they came. They were also expensive; 16 grand, IIRC. Gramophone was the local store I was visiting regularly, and as a HT shop they have many viewing rooms set up. One in particular was styled like what I wanted. I asked my wife to come by, as I wanted her comfortable with what I wanted to do. She insisted I only wanted to show her hardware, which honestly wasn't the case. Anyway, she liked the design of the room, but asked what kind of display device I had in mind. I showed her a couple of plasmas. She went back to the room I liked, which had a projector, and asked why I wasn't getting one of those. Good question.

It was about this time that the contractor started. As he was doing the deck first I had some time, but not much. I needed some plans for him. Since I'm an old-school CADD tech (I started using AutoCAD in 1987, version 2.16, for those interested.) and had scanned floor plans of my house, I started designing the rooms in the computer. I imported the raster scans of my house into Map 2006 and rubber-sheeted them to roughly match the dimensions listed.

Once I decided on a projector, I had many more questions; what type? (CRT, LCOS, DLP, LCD) What size screen? What brand? Most importantly, what price? By the time I had the two rooms done in CADD Dimitri had completed the deck. My wife's design had run over budget (but was so beautiful I didn't want to change a thing), so compromises needed to be made. More importantly, I had no idea how much a "good" projector should cost. The guys at Gramophone had given me lots of model numbers, but no help in telling me what the differences between them were. The contractor had started phase two, and I needed to tell him where everything had to go. To make a long story short, before I learned enough to be an educated consumer Gramophone had a fall clearance. A Runco CL-700 (first-gen 720p DLP) demo unit was on sale for $4000, down from the MSRP of $9,995. I bought it, un-demoed as it was in the Timonium store, and I was in Columbia. Now I had screen questions to answer.

I got the projector home, set it up on the bar and aimed it at the far wall. It looked pretty cool just on the wall (builder's paint, and a few Crayola designs, courtesy of my two kids.) Being a guy, I made the picture as big a possible; in this case about 120" diagonal. My wife thought it was too big. I did some more research online and found out she was right (as usual). Based on my room size and the fact that the bar was already against the rear wall my seating location was about 10' from the screen. The general rule is you want the seating no closer than 1.5 x screen width. Working backwards I ended up with a 90" diagonal screen. I rounded up to 92" because the math works out better; that's 80" wide by 45" tall, in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
I tried to figure out the throw distance mathematically, but wound up just placing my projector on a ladder (and a bunch of books) and moving it until I got the 92" screen to be in the middle of my zoom range. I also bought a Chief ceiling mount from Gramophone. It used a piece of common pipe for the downrod. I painted it with Rustoleum texture paint to match the projector.

As far as the screen, Gramophone quoted me on a $2,000 Stewart Screen-Tek. (90", coincidentally). As money was tight anyway I did some more research and found Screen Goo. For $200 I got a complete kit; primer, paint, roller, black border paint, and a foam brush. It works great, looks great, and saved me $1,800. I went with CRT white, as opposed to gray as recommended by Goo Systems, based on the fact that my projector is a first-generation HD DLP, and not as bright as the newer models.

The rest of the equipment was easy; I already had the A/V Receiver; a Denon AVR-5700. This is an older model, but it has built-in Dolby Digital RF decoding for Laserdiscs. I also had a Pioneer CLD-703 Laserdisc player with the Precision Laserdisc AC-3 output mod. For speakers I always wanted Polks, and the local Circuit City had a special on in-wall units which I was considering for upstairs as well. I got four RC-65i's and two RC-55i's for the rear surrounds upstairs. The deal was a free subwoofer with a $400 purchase, which I qualified for. Since the surrounds I was buying were the same price I got them for free. Tweeter was having a similar deal I demoed some RTi-6's, and liked them. I got a PWS-10 sub gratis with my towers. I wasn't planning on using a subwoofer upstairs, but for free... I liked the reviews of the CSi series center channels so I got a CSi-3 for upstairs, a CSi-5 for downstairs, and a PWS-505 for the basement as well. I ordered these from J&R. I got one more PWS-10. I tried to work out a deal with them as I already had two subs, but they wouldn't budge. I sold it for $50.

I decided to go with a 5.1 setup initially. Since the rear wall adjoins the unfinished area I could cut speaker holes and run speaker wire at any time. Also, my A/V receiver is only 5.1. Finally, At the time I didn't own any 7.1 (or even 6.1) movies.

From this forum I found out I didn't have to spend a lot on speaker wire, and I learned how to run a subwoofer cable using the RG6 I already had. All I had to do was buy some additional tools, which I didn't mind. Phone and network I knew how to do from my day job. I planned on using the Spacer System from Lutron for lighting control.

The equipment rack was wall cabinet made to house computer equipment. I had Dimitri build a shelf in the unfinished basement for it to rest on.
Since the basement was already finished I decided to do a minimum amount of reconstruction (as I had a minimum amount of money!) The major work was the "Big Dig". In order to feed cables and such for the theater, family room above, and deck outside a trench was cut in the ceiling.

Runs included were;

5.1 speaker wires with bi-amped fronts
Cable, phone and Network for the kids room
Power for a nine-zone lighting setup

Family Room:
5.1 speaker wires
Cable, phone and Network for the Entertainment Center and Living Room
Electric for the Entertainment Center

220v electric for heater
120v electric for lights
(Contractor forgot the) Cable, phone and Network

Gas line for grill
Electric for deck outlets

As you can see, a lot of stuff is in that trench. I wanted to add a floor outlet box in the family room above, but my wife and I couldn't decide on a location. It was kind of a Catch-22; until the Family Room was finished we didn't know how we wanted the furniture laid out. Without the furniture in place we didn't know where to put the outlet.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
January 2006

Equipment rack shelf as seen from the unfinished room.

Trench cut in ceiling. A ton of stuff ran through here; a gas line, 8 speaker lines,, two subwoofer runs, CAT5 & CAT3, power lines. This is looking towards the screen wall. The speaker closets are being framed and the one tank-slit window in the room has been drywalled over.

Looking at the left wall. You can see the surround speaker hole, wall light and switch box holes. (I'll repost this photo. Got really downrezzed during resizing.)

Another view of the screen wall from the other side of the room. You can see the speaker closet framing, sealed window and center-channel speaker location being framed out. Also the holes for the can lights are visible, as well as the original gold fixture in the ceiling.

Corner bead around equipment rack shelf cutout. (Again, sorry about the quality of the picture.)

Relocated HVAC duct. The contractor didn't want dust blowing on the screen. (Nice catch. I didn't think of that.)

Another good catch by the contractor. Right surround hole with woofer clearanced. The speaker was deeper than the wall. It would have required a frame or something. Dino, the contractor's son, figured a few whacks with a hammer would fix the problem. (The Ryland plans called for the studs to be laid flat against the foundation.) Dimitri was originally going to extend a wall to make up the depth, but when his son Dino cut the drywall he test fit the speaker. He had a brilliant idea; chipping away the foundation with a hammer to clear the woofer was all that was needed to make the speaker fit flush. That saved a lot of time and money.

View from right front corner. Door to unfinished room seen, as well as the hole and shelf for the equipment rack.

Temporary setup for screen sizing. Boom box for audio, VHS deck for video. Definitely NOT 7.1. Construction is moving along nicely. You can see the molding I had them put on the wall. I wanted three stainless steel stripes, but couldn't find (or probably afford) them. Besides, I thought the scale would have been off. If they were big enough to be seen they would have been out of proportion; if they were in proportion with the rest of the room they would have been so small as to look silly. The pendant lights over the bar are up.

Dino and Dimitri at work. They never stood still.

Right wall; sconces and molding up. Those sconces seem to be pretty popular here.

Another shot of the sconces and right surround speaker location. Blue conduit in trench is for projector.

Front view of sink. Found it at Lowe's. Drawer not yet installed.

Target pub table under new wall light. At this time I had only built one chair. You can see the right surround speaker hole, dimmer switch bank, and wood molding.

Speaker closet and soffit drywalled. (I guess they had some left over from the bathroom.) You can see the speaker wires (I ran two for bi-amping) for the right front and center, and the subwoofer cable.

Trench filled in. It was now that we realized we forgot to run data lines to the garage.

Believe it or not, I have heard of Structured Cabling.

I just wanted to make sure I could walk under the PJ.

I couldn't wait, so I watched the Superbowl. It was at this time that I decided to paint the ceiling black.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Again, some of the images were over compressed. I will repost them with higher image quality. My apologies.

Time to prime! I did not use a tinted primer. I didn't have to do more than two coats, IIRC.

Sconces hanging by coat hanger wire while I paint. Color is Behr Brown Teepee. (700D-4)

Left wall. Molding was primed but will get an accent color.

Rear wall getting accent paint Color is Behr Toasted Chestnut. (240-F6)

Accent molding painted.

Now painting the ceiling. I better not drip black paint on my light tan carpet! The color is Behr Black Suede (S-H-790)

Masking off the "awning". This was a design from Lynn, the decorator we hired. This is over the last three stairs to the basement.

View from the floor, looking up.

Finished product.

Well, I've got to get back to work. More photos later.
post #5 of 35
I've seen your room in a few different threads here and there. In my opinion, it already looks absolutely fantastic. Are you saying that it was not finished in those shots or that you are changing it?
post #6 of 35
I like the pumpkin spice color reminds me of pie and I like pie
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kjlewie View Post

Are you saying that it was not finished in those shots or that you are changing it?

These shots were from 2006, so it was not finished at that time. I'm not changing it.

Originally Posted by kjlewie View Post

In my opinion, it already looks absolutely fantastic.

Thank you very much.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

Left wall color coat.

Custom cabinets completed. Our decorator suggested using over-the-range hood cabinets for under the screen, as I wanted some storage space. However, the ones at Lowe's or Home Depot weren't the right size, and definitely the wrong color. However, I found some guys who made these custom ones for $35 more (each) than the store-bought ones.

Sized to fit my Laserdiscs.

Cabinets and subwoofer in place. I made them made too narrow.

Screen wall painted with Screen Goo primer.

Screen border taped, wall painted.

I painted the border by hand.

Tape around screen removed, speaker walls black now. Speakers and subwoofer in place. Cabinets in place, too. I had the guys who made the cabinets make four 4 spacers.

Dimitri installing the countertop. It's just plain Formica purchased from Home Depot.

The bar being repaired. (It was originally made in the 1930's, and had a custom refrigeration unit installed. It probably leaked condensation over time.)

Computer cabinet on shelf. It's by X-Mark.

Outlet for rope light under stairs.

Rope light heading out.

Another suggestion from Lynn our decorator; paint the railings black. A coworker suggested using steel wool to knock the gloss off.

One finished railing after the first of about 6 coats of black lacquer.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
My coworker Doug was kind enough to loan me his 17-34mm f4L Canon lens. I don't have any L lenses. Now I wish I did. Anyway

View down the stairs from the main floor.

View down the stairs from the landing. I like the awning effect, courtesy of Lynn.

In theater, looking back up the stairs.

Looking at pub table on left side

Another shot of the bar and bathroom door

In front of screen looking back at the bar

View of left side near screen

On right side looking at love seat

View towards bar and equipment rack

View of door to unfinished area and equipment rack

Door to bathroom

Just outside the bathroom looking into the theater

Next up: some finishing details.
post #10 of 35
I have seen pictures of your finished bar & room some time back that you had posted but did not realize it from the first pictures in this thread.

Beautiful space
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by W00lly View Post

Beautiful space

Thank you.
post #12 of 35
Wow. Excellent room. I love the color scheme. The carpet color seems to be a fair bit lighter than the walls, and a lot lighter then the ceiling. Does it give you any issues? Gorgeous room!
post #13 of 35
The room really came together nicely. I've always wanted to do an art deco themed room and this room has that feel.
post #14 of 35
Loved the action shots of you and the roller!

Looks beautiful to say the least and the colors are outstanding.

Good job, and kudos to your decorator, they are worth their weight in gold.
post #15 of 35
Another design that I'd never have thought to do but love then end product. Great job man.
post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by niknod View Post

The carpet color seems to be a fair bit lighter than the walls, and a lot lighter then the ceiling. Does it give you any issues? Gorgeous room!

Not so much. As the room was already finished and the carpet already installed I didn't have much choice. Ideally, I would have gone with something darker. If I ever redo the flooring I will. (Hardwood under the bar has been suggested to me. I have to do something. I'm planning on a custom chair mat for now.)


Gorgeous room!


More to come.
post #17 of 35
Originally Posted by c-not-k View Post

My coworker Doug was kind enough to loan me his 17-34mm f4L Canon lens. I don't have any L lenses. Now I wish I did. Anyway

Be careful, it's a disease. Great build!
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Some time after the theater was completed I built the closet doors. My design originally was pretty complex, but I bounced the idea off my father-in-law. As usual, he came up with a great modification.

Simple door design; 1x2 and 1x3 poplar

Doweled together Found out later glue is NOT for wood!

Cutting hinge hole with Forstner bit

Shoe molding for "frame" mounted.

Closeup of hinge

Door mounted...

... but it required lots of trimming

Both door frames painted black. (Less white, really.)

Closetmaid shelves painted black. I used spray enamel and it reacted with the vinyl on the shelves. It took about 3 months to dry.

Left door test fit.

Shelves installed.

Frame laid over GOM.


Marking other side.

Trimming done, stapling other side.

One done!

Detail around hinge.

Door hung.

Handle mounted. I thought about Art Deco doorknobs, but decided against calling attention to the doors. Instead, I used white plastic U-shaped handles spray-painted flat black. The color difference between the fabric and wall paint really show up in this shot. Needless to say, it is not noticeable during normal theater lighting conditions.

Finished right door.

Finished left.
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
Reading online, I found out that acoustic treatment is very important to a having a good theater. I sent a plan of my room to Ready Acoustics. They suggested 12 traps for my room; two thick ones in the closet behind the speakers, five on the ceiling, and five in the corners. The 6" thick ones went behind the speakers fairly easily. I decided, for aesthetic reasons to not buy the traps for the corners, but instead to make them myself. (Future project.) That leaves the ceiling ones. Fortunately, I had the help of a Master Craftsman; my father-in-law.

I rented a drywall lift. This allowed me to hold them on the ceiling while we attached them. The traps (24" x 48" x 4") didn't come with instructions on how to mount them flat to a ceiling; only on a wall or hanging at a 45° angle from the ceiling. Since my floor joists were 24" o.c. I figured I'd use 90° corner brackets with the ones near the screen attached to the end of the traps. The ones near the seating area were mounted on the sides. That way they would be hidden, as well as allow both sets of screws to hit wood.

6" bass trap...

...wedged into place

It just cleared the shelf

Speaker back in

Traps laid out on floor

Measure twice...

First one up

Second one on the lift

And so it goes

Screen-side view of attachment hardware

Sofa-side view
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
AVS had a powerbuy on b-stock Panamorph U85 lenses. I got one and a Chief mount. I will have to move my projector back to get the screen width where I want it with a Vertical Compression lens, such as the U85. A Horizontal Expansion lens would get me there now, but they are 4 times as expensive, even with a powerbuy. I also plan on replacing the projector, so the new one may work in the current mounting location.

The installation couldn't have gone easier; Chief makes a good mount. The picture now has much more vivid colors. I'm quite happy with my minimal investment. I just want my screen to stay 45" high. At 16x9 it's 80 wide. At 2.40 it'll be 108" wide. I have it marked up on the wall. I'm just waiting for a new projector.

Mount (left) and VC lens

Lens mounted

Front view

Lens out of the way for 16x9 viewing

Screen shot of Cars. I'm using the full panel of the projector, but the image is only 80"x34" or ~87 diagonal. Nice, but smaller than I wanted.
post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
After living with the VC lens for about a year and liking the increase in picture quality I wanted the full monty; a 117" scope screen, instead of the pseudo-scope 87" screen the Panamorph lens gave me. I had done some research on lenses. It's the same everywhere; you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, I was on a budget. I almost pulled the trigger on a reconditioned UH-380. However, I found out about the HTB lens and sold my U85. The result was a lower net cost to me. HTB also came out with a manual slide.

The first step was to widen the screen. Since it was paint I just made it wider. I wanted to sand the old black border off, but my dad suggested Kilz, as sanding might gouge the surface. (It was also easier.) I didn't have enough topcoat to repaint the entire screen, so I primed the "ears" with Kilz after some minor patching. I then primed the ears with the Screen Goo base coat. Twice. After a final light sanding I painted the ears with two coats of Screen Goo CRT White topcoat. At this point it was apparent that the ears were a different color. It seemed the paint had yellowed a little since I first painted the screen almost three years ago. (This would imply that the paint is of low quality, but that is not the case. The manufacturer states that the paint takes quite a while to reach its final stage.) I then painted the entire area with the last of the topcoat. Once it dried I repainted the border.

The result: All I can say is "wow!" I don't notice the ears being a different color while watching movies (even in sky/sea shots.) It is just the experience I wanted.

As for the lens, I couldn't get rid of the pincushion, and the CA is noticeable, mostly on the right side. I suppose it makes the image a little softer, too. However, these shortcomings are most noticeable while watching test patterns, not movies. Eventually I'll get the ISCO III lens, but that's six grand! For now, I'm just enjoying scope movies.

One last note, the manual slide is of very high quality, as is the lens. Its optics aren't perfect, but that's all you can do with at two-prism lens. HTB provides a good value.

The "ears" with Kilz

Topcoat on ears

Topcoat all over. Still wet.

Runco projector taken down. Holes for lens mount visible

HTB manual slide base attached to ceiling

Bracket attached to base

Projector back up. Lens attached.

Lens in scope position

Bomd. Scope Bond. (I still had the masking tape on the screen border. You know how it is. I couldn't wait.)
post #22 of 35
Nice work, great job on the pics too!
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
I found an open-box special on a Sharp XVZ-20000 (70% off original list. 15 hours on the bulb.)

Now I'm in the home stretch. I now have a full-resolution projector with digital inputs. Before, my Blu-ray movies went from 1920x1080 pixel, 24 frame per second, digital images to 1080i, 60 field per second analog images out of the player to the scaler. There it was converted back to digital, deinterlaced, scaled to 720p, then converted again back to analog. It then went to the projector, where it was converted back to digital and sent to the DMD chip and then on to the screen. Whew!

Also, I got the Harmony 890 to do almost everything I want. With some help from my coworker Mike I cut a block of wood and got a couple of model airplane pushrods and made a stand for my RF extender. It now fits in the equipment rack door perfectly and can control all the devices. I ran one of the IR extenders to the projector, making the run with a 1/8"extention audio cable I got from Radio Shack. I figured out I had to add a 10-second delay to the Crystalio in the Harmony software to give it enough time to boot up. Lastly, I figured out how to use the macros to get it to switch inputs.

The only two things remaining are light control (I may have to switch the Lutron dimmers for Z-Wave capable Levitons.) and aspect ratio control. I'll have to look into using output profiles in the Crystalio.

Down comes the Runco

The victor and the vanquished.

Goodbye component cable

hello HDMI

I think it's pretty

As initially mounted it's a little high and a little crooked, but I'll fix that.

On goes the Chief LSB (Lateral Shift Bracket) The Runco's lens was not centered on the projector body, but offset to the right, when ceiling mounted. So I had my contractor mount the downrod 3 to the left of center. That was fine, until I upgraded the projector. I did not remember how much blocking he put up there, so I decided not to move the bracket, just shift the projector.

LSB from below

Sharp 20K with LSB, ready for final alignment. The LSB lowered the projector enough to clear the soffit, as well as moving it laterally to center it on the screen. All that's left is some fine tuning with the Roll/Pitch/Yaw adjustments built into the Chief RPA mount and I'm good to go.

Block of wood with a couple of R/C airplane pushrod tubes to hold the Harmony RF Extender.

RF Extender as it sits in the door of my equipment rack.
post #24 of 35
Your basement looks great and love the color choices. And you're local too
I'm in Hanover.

As I was looking at the pics, I was thinking to myself, this guy has lots of room for a 2.35 screen, and was getting ready to suggest it, but then scrolled down even further and realized you did

But anyhow, after seeing your black ceiling, I am now tempted to paint the ceiling in my theater area black, I think yours looks great. I'll have to have my wife look at it to see if she'll give me the nod. Thanks for posting.

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Old View Post

I'll have to have my wife look at it to see if she'll give me the nod. Thanks for posting.

You're welcome. Thanks for the kind words. My decorator originally called for tan ceilings, but after watching the 2006 superbowl in the unpainted room I decided to change. My main worry was that the black ceiling would make the room look too small. It didn't, although I don't know how much the very light carpet has to do with that.


I'm in Hanover.

Hey, Muvico was just sold. Think they'll be getting rid of any stuff we can use in our Home Theaters? (J/K. Sold, not liquidated.)
post #26 of 35
I also have light carpet, light colored walls, etc.
The theater area is light controlled, and I get pretty decent picture, but I imagine I would get a more dynamic picture if I painted the ceilings black.
I have the Panny AE 3000, which I'm told is not one of the brighter projectors out.

My wife is still against this though, mainly b/c it's an open theater design and to only have the theater area ceiling painted black, and the rest white, it may make the rest of the basement look goofy?? I'll keep mulling it over...

Btw, I didn't realize Muvico was sold. I haven't been to a "real" theater in so long...
And when I do go, even though I live right next to Arundel Mills Mall (walking distance), I would still drive to Columbia, to the United Artist theater and watch a movie there. I find it less hectic/crowded and easier to park, etc...

post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 

(Gratuitous rackshot. Note the RF Extender in the door. This is prior to me building the mount for it.)

Display System:

Projector: Sharp XVZ-20000
Screen: 108" x 45" Goo Systems CRT White (They said gain of about 1.8)

Source devices:

Blu-ray: Sony BDP-S550 (S-300 in the photo; since moved upstairs.)
HD DVD: Toshiba HD-A3
SD DVD: Denon 1600 w/SDI mod
Laserdisc: Pioneer Elite CLD-99
Broadcast: Panasonic PV-V464S VHS deck (Only used as a tuner, and even then rarely)


Denon AVR-5700


Crystalio II VPS-3300

Voltage Regulation:

APC HT-1000


L/R: Polk RTi8
Center: Polk CSi-5
Surround: Polk RC65i
Sub: Polk PWS-505


Logitech Harmony 890


Lutron Spacer System (9 zones)
post #28 of 35
Thread Starter 
My wife will contend that the theater will never be "done", and perhaps she's right. However, early on I had a punchlist, and there are still a few things on it.
  • Replace subwoofer with something better (Epik or ED, I think.)
  • Build corner traps
  • Replace IR dimmer switches with Z-Wave ones
  • Buy a chair mat for under the bar
  • Calibrate the projector
  • EQ the room
  • Hang masking drapes

With regards to the last issue, I have already purchased an electric drapery rod.

I can hide the electrics in the left speaker closet. The rod is IR controlled, but uses a plain telephone cable from the IR receiver to the control unit. I can run a long line down a chase that's in the adjacent room and place the IR receiver in the equipment rack and control it with the Harmony 890.

Of course, I'll paint the rod flat black. I've already done some test fitting, and, when open, the rod won't block the screen. ( I have about ¼" of clearance.)
post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 
Since I mentioned at the start of this thread that the HT build was one of several projects, I thought I'd post some picures of them.

Family Room

This room is right above the theater. There is a 37" LCD with a 5.1 setup; Denon AVR, Polk in-walls, HD cable, Wii, BDP-S300 & HD-D3. "Bookcases" on L & R of the fireplace hold the kids movies. Yeah, I know the TV's a little high, but I had no place else to put it. And, to be honest, nobody that has been over complains, even after I ask. If I ever upgrade I will probably move the new one down 8" or so.


This is the bathroom adjacent to the theater. The original plan was for a standard shower stall. My wife upgraded it to a steam shower. This required bumping the wall out a bit, which had the effect of making the bathroom a nicer space.


It was my wife's idea to go with the tempered glass railing. I love the look.


In the back of the garage I had Dimitri put in a couple of windows, a worklight in the ceiling, and some 20-amp circuits for power tools. My neighbor upgraded their kitchen and was going to throw out the old countertops. He asked if I could use them and I said "yes". Eventually I'll buy some cabinets and turn the rear of the garage into a little workshop. The thing high on the left wall is a heater. Dimitri suggested it to keep me warm in the winter (and to keep the drywall mud from cracking if I ever get around to finshing the walls). It's 220v, and does put out some heat.
post #30 of 35
Very cool thread. What a great job you did. I really love the Art Deco bar and your color scheme. I am sure you get a ton of enjoyment in that space

BTW, as someone who went from a Polk sub to an eD sub, you cannot go wrong with the eD. I cannot believe what a difference it has made.
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