I call it the Utilitarian Theater because it's very basic decor, but designed to function well as a place to watch movies for friends and family and hold up to the challenge of kids.
I've tinkered with A/V and electronics for as long as I can remember and have dreamed of having a dedicated home theater for a long time. When we decided to build a new house 3 years ago, having a place for a dedicated home theater was a real driving force behind a lot of our decisions.
In addition to the theater, I've had several other Automated House' projects going on at the same time, not to mention a job and a small business, so the original time line was stretched quite a bit. I also undid' some of the original construction choices as I gained more knowledge.
Some of my general design goals for the theater were:
Having now completed everything (with the exception of a small amount of paint on the front wall), I have a couple of what would I have done differently'.
a) Large theater - able to seat 12-15
b) To have it isolated such that I can watch something at preferred levels and not have to worry about disturbing the rest of the house
c) Large 2.35 setup with Acoustically Transparent screen
d) Very quiet electronics and room (I'm anal about noise)
e) Moderate budget for equipment
f) 7.1 setup
g) Single point control system with guest and wife friendly functionality
h) Very dark
i) Have front/rear access to equipment
j) Calibrated sound and video
Some other remaining items:
a) I would have inverted the room so that the entrance was in the rear and not on the side and not worried about the front/rear access to the equipment rack
b) Probably spent a little more and gotten motorized seats (although the seats are comfortable)
c) Figured out a way to do 4-way masking (rob bank)
d) Would have done a better job with the lighting and the decor
a) Replace Mirage sub with another MFW-15.
b) I'm going to get a Sony Mega Blu Ray changer. I have 3 of the DVP-CX777ES with a couple of Escient controllers for the whole house setup and now miss this functionality for the theater
c) HTPC - working on a Win7 Windows Media Center PC running My Movies to serve up various items
d) Cleanup and replace rack with a more attractive Middle Atlantic rack
e) I have a little painting to do on the front wall where the original place for the color didn't work