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Black & Gold Theatre Build

post #1 of 226
Thread Starter 
I am finally starting the build of my theater. After all the changes you guys helped me make on the initial floorplan, here is the one I am using:

I purchased green glue, whisper clips, acoustic sealant, putty pads, and the IB3 wall to ceiling connectors from www.soundproofingcompany.com. Great people to work with. You should visit their site to learn, then call them and send them a floor plan...preferably a clean one without all the extras such as lighting, wiring, etc. Just something to look at to get the gist of what you are saying. The stuff is not cheap, but some things should have good money spent on them, and sound control is one of those things.

The room is 21' x 12' (at the widest, 8' at the thinnest) by 7.9'.
post #2 of 226
Thread Starter 
First, here is what I currently have:

The Paradigm Millenium 20 Trio is actually my front center, left, and right. The two Paradigm 200 floor standers are my front wides.
post #3 of 226
Thread Starter 
Here is my contruction so far. I live in a townhome and the basement is cinderblock between the homes. For those who do not know, cinderblock is akin to a fluffy blanket in its ability to stop sound. I put up some poly for the walls first, as a vapor barrier andd for some slight sound proofing, they guy in the pictures is my friend Chris. He works industrial contruction. He has all the most sweet tools AND he knows what he is doing. I take care of his PCs and electronics - we have a great barter system going on:

He melted the tape into the extruded poly to ensure it had a great seal. I am amazed at just how much warmer the wall is already!

Then the beginning of wall contruction:

Notice how out of plum my original wall is, it touches the wall by the floor:

Here I am, holding up the wall. I am good at holding up walls.

More to come next week...we can only work on weekens.
post #4 of 226
Thread Starter 
My first two questions:

1. How high off the floor should the bottom of the screen be? Any recommendations? I am leaning towards either 18" or 24". Using the Riser Heigh Calculator with my distances, it appears each additional 6" to the top of the bottom of the screen redues 2 inches from height to the riser. Bascially 13" for 18" to floor and 11" for 24" to floor.

2. What screen ratio is recommended, 2.4 or 1.78? The room will be for both TV and Movie watching. I am leaning towards 1.78.
post #5 of 226
Thread Starter 
OK...I have been doing some reading over at projectorcentral.com. Here is a snippet from an article they did on this very subject:


The question is...what kinds of content do you care about most in your theater? If your interests are primarily in 2.4 movies and you prefer to see 1.78 and 1.85 in a smaller size, the 2.4 screen is an excellent choice. If you add HD sports broadcasts and music concerts to your viewing mix, you will usually get a more immersive experience with a 16:9 screen.


I will be watching far more HD TV than movies, so I am going with the 16:9 ratio.

EDIT: This gives me a 93" (7.75 ') x 52" (4.3') screen, with a 107" (8.9') diagonal size.
post #6 of 226
Thread Starter 
OK...basic wall and ceiling color questions. The theme of this theater is the Pittsburgh Steelers. My wife loves them, and making her happy allows for the easy funding of the theater room. And who does not want a great space to watch football in, right?

So...I have to start thinking about colors. Is going black on the walls a bad choice? The room is small...will this make it appear even smaller? Should I go with a light colored wall instead? Will that reflect the projector's light?

Ugh...so many things to think about!
post #7 of 226
Black is a great color choice. To keep my wife happy I just went with the screen wall in black, but left to my own designs I would have painted the entire room black with accents. You could even go with gold accents for a Steelers feel. Looks like you've got a great space for the theater. Can't wait to see more.
post #8 of 226
Hi cybrsage,

Don't know how much time you've spent cruising around the HT forums here, but it sounds like the 'Show Me' thread will be your good friend for research purposes. There is a 'Color Schemes' thread that will give you more options then you ever wanted to know about.

For one, I doubt anyone here would ever tell you that black is bad, no matter what part of the room you want that to be. Black is always good in the theater, especially when done on the ceiling and screen wall. Many many other colors can be used for your walls (including black), so I think you'll be able to reach an agreement with the wife easily enough. And things don't necessarily have to be black, using any dark color will fade to black when the lights are off.

As far as reflections are concerned, try to keep the ceiling and front walls dark, as well as flat. Any kind of gloss on these surfaces will increase the amount of reflections from the PJ. Side and rear walls can be eggshell for easier cleanup.

One of the well documented threads done in all black and gold is the 'Best Room in the House' thread, might give you some ideas.

Where is your gear going to be located?
post #9 of 226
Thread Starter 
I have read through much of this section...but there is SOOO much here! That is not a bad thing, though.

Thanks for the links, I will look them over.

The gear is going inside the center of the stage. I am going to steal one of the stage ideas I saw here. The rounded front will be black tinted glass with upward lifting hinges. The gear will be behind that. I have a HTPC with an IR receiver and it will work wonderfully right there. It also allows for easy access to the physical BR drive for ripping my BRs. I store them all on a server for easy access.

I am going to try doing the painted screen like they talk about at Projector Central. I will put my speakers on the front of the stage and to the sides of the stage (front wides). If I do not like it, an easy fix is to build a false wall out a foot and put the speakers behind it and use a cloth screen.
post #10 of 226
Thread Starter 
After reading about putting masking tape on the wall to pre-stage a screen, and then put a chair where you will sit, I have changed my mind about the screen format.

I am going to go 2.40 ratio instead of 1.78. We will eventually put up a curtain which we will pull over the side bars to hide most of them, and open the curtain fully for movies.

The new screen size is 115" x 48" = 124' diag. This makes the 1.78 screen size 85" x 48" = 98". It does not really get much smaller, mostly because I have more width than height (which I also just read about).

I mocked up the drywall location, then made sure I have room for my front wide speakers, plus a little bit. If I end up having to shrink the screen an inch or two width wise, no big deal as the height will not change that much due to the ratio. I am doing all my planning based on the future purchase of the Epson 8350.

Those links, provided above, are a GREAT resource!

This then begs the question...how do I make the Epson display in 2.40 format, with the black bars on the side for 1.78? It appears I will have to zoom in and out, which means the Epson is out, since it is a manual zoom. Am I correct? Does this mean I need to get the 8700 UB and an anamorphic lense, or even a projector with a motorized zoom?

EDIT EDIT: I am trying to find a projector with both motorized zoom AND a memory for it...sigh...
post #11 of 226
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

[b]EDIT EDIT: I am trying to find a projector with both motorized zoom AND a memory for it...sigh...

Panasonic PT-AE4000

This the only projector I know of with lens memory and motorized zoom (It's the same projector I have). It's a fantastic machine, and the zooming feature works great. You lose a little bit of light output when zooming, and sometimes subtitles are displayed off-screen if they weren't added 'correctly,' but the cost savings of zooming vs an anamorphic lens is worth those small quibbles IMHO. Plus, you can always add a lens later on if you want to upgrade.

Good decision on the 2.40 to 1 AR screen! The 'DIY Screens' section has lots of paint mixes if this is the route you want to go, and you should be able to find some good assistance over there if you need any help (MississippiMan is one name that comes to mind). I wouldn't completely discount a false wall with AT screen and speakers behind it either, there are lots of positives with that kind of setup.
post #12 of 226
Thread Starter 
Thanks! www.projectorcentral.com shows the PT-AE4000U not having a power zoom...so it does not appear in the list when filtered. Their review says it has it, though.

EDIT: When I mount a projector for CIH, do I mount it at the 1.78 distance (12' 9") and zoom in to make the 2.40 fill the screen, or do I mount it at the 2.40 distance (17' 3") and zoom out to make the 1.78 fit onto the screen?

EDIT EDIT: For others who may have the same question, you mount the projector, calibrate it, etc., for the 1.78 size. Then you setup the zoom, etc., for the 2.40 size.
post #13 of 226
post #14 of 226

I am happy with how my black and gold room is turning out, check the pictures in my build thread. I have been behind on construction, but I think it will all really come together when I add the gold crown molding. The mostly black room is great for watching the PJ as the room just disappears and you lose yourself in the movie. With the lights on it is plenty bright and not dreary at all, and I still have four more sconces and the rope light to add. Good look with your room looks like you have a good start!
post #15 of 226
Thread Starter 
Lights have been purchased and are on their way. Home Depot will let you use their In Store Only Moving coupon at the online store if you call them to place an order. Just say it is a 10% moving coupon and you cannot get it to work in the checkout window. They are happy to help.


I am putting in four of them, they will provide plenty of light. I am also going to do rope lighting for the steps...maybe more places for accents, but that will wait for later. I am going to put Steelers logo stickers on the lights, to help with the theme of the room.
post #16 of 226
Thread Starter 
EDIT: After my commercial construction friend looked over the new design and physically layed it out on the floor, he called it a no go. He said moving the step, per Tedd's suggestion several posts below, would make the new step too small and too much of a trip/slip hazard. He said raising the doorway and keeping the floor the same height (raised 6 inches) would cause a trip hazard leaving the room.

I am sticking with the door on the side wall, per the original post.
post #17 of 226
I prefer it Of course it also could let you slide the bathroom over and expand the closet storage.
post #18 of 226
Thread Starter 
My question then becomes how to do the door? How large of a step outside the door do I need? I was thinking an inch or two...not enough to use but enough that you know you need to step down.

We would use the newly created space for a popcorn machine and a mini-fridge.

Also, here are more build pictures:

My friend Tim came over to help me out today. Since it was a nice day out, my friend Chris needed to work on his truck.

This is a tape mock up of the screen size.

post #19 of 226
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

OK folks, potential design change. What do you all think about moving the door to the back?

Like the black and gold idea. Went black and tan myself.

I think moving the door to the back will work all right because it provides you with the entire L/R walls to work with for speaker placement. I assume you will have the door swing outwards and not into the HT. Also, if the riser ends along the same line as the wall below the last row of seating you would not need to make a step in the doorway. My concern would be that people will always be tripping when entering and exiting the HT if you have a step right at the door.

Another option is to move the door to the far right end of the wall the door was on originally so when you walk into the HT the riser is right in front of you, and you can walk straight in and step right up. That should also leave you plenty of space to navigate to the front row and allow for a small step up to the top of the riser.

One quick question: looking at the last screen wall pics, I keep seeing a plumbing stub in the middle of the floor. Am I just seeing the room from the wrong angle or something because it looks like it is in the middle of the HT.
post #20 of 226
Thread Starter 
The idiots who designed the house decided that a toilet would look just spiffy about 6 feet from the wall, in the center of the width of that area. It is going to be cut down and sealed at floor level, as well as the toilet rough in close to it.

Is swinging the door outward better than inward? I modeled it off the front door to my house...which swings inward and has an immediate step downward (of about 8 inches). I have never tripped out my front door due to the drop immediately after it.
post #21 of 226
Reverse the door swing, and enter at floor level. Then build the riser with a step.
post #22 of 226
Not a big Steelers fan but HUGE fan of black and gold !!
Looking good, can't wait to see the finish...
post #23 of 226
Thread Starter 
Slow and steady...and if the rain ever actually stops for a few days I can get more supplies.
post #24 of 226
Looking good. Just wondering if you are planning on any soundproofing.
post #25 of 226
Thread Starter 
Definately. I called and worked closely with a guy (sorry, forget his name) from http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/. They are great to work with.

I am doing double drywall with greenglue between them. Due to cost limitations, I am only using 1 tube per sheet instead of the recommended 2 tubes. I am using whisper clips and hat channel for the ceiling. The walls are using the IB3 clips to isolate them from the ceiling. I have acoustic caulking to fill in the joints.

I am also using extruded poly on the concrete walls prior to building the wood walls, which will not be touching the concrete walls (room within a room). The extruded poly is more for insulation and vapor control than it is for sound isolution...but every little bit can help.

I have puddy pads for the outlets and will be doing an insulated ducting for the returns and supplies.

I will be carpeting the room as well and adding bass traps in the corners and first reflection absorbtion later on.
post #26 of 226
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Reverse the door swing, and enter at floor level. Then build the riser with a step.

+1 That was what I was trying to say, but ended up getting too wordy.
post #27 of 226
And now that I read what Dan said, the door likely needs to swing inwards, to meet building code.
post #28 of 226
Thread Starter 
More work was done:

We removed the wall and put in some extruded poly...MUCH warmer.

Room is starting to look like a room.

My outer wall is so out of plum that I have to put in blocks to make a connection! The bottom of the wall is just an itty bitty amount away from the wall...

Moving onward!
post #29 of 226
Nice progress!

Quick question after looking at your framing again...are the bottom 2X4s in your framing standard wood, and not PT? I assume you're not getting permits then?
post #30 of 226
Thread Starter 
I cannot...if I do then I MUST install a sprinker system throughout my house, due to the 2009 IECC/IRC being adopted in my state. STUPID STUPID STUPID addition. How many home owners will properly care for a sprinker system? Then, think about the leaks which will develop. Just stupid...and VERY expensive.
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