or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Home Theatre Riser questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Afternoon all. We are in the process of building a new home and will have a dedicated theater room in our basement. We are considering having the builder construct our riser for our back row of seats.

We need to provide them with exact measurements in order for them to give us a price for the riser. The chairs recline and are 40 inches deep when not reclined. We are not sure of the measurement when they are reclined. That will require another trip to the store for the exact measurement.

We want the riser to go across the entire back wall which is 20' - 3 1/2". The room is 15' - 10 1/4" deep. Where we are lost is how deep the riser should be. We want it to be 7 inches high and think 6 feet deep from the back wall will be enough but want some input from this group as you guys are experts compared to us. There will be a row in front of the row on the riser as well.

We know there needs to be some room left for the chair to recline so we will need to have the back row sit away from the wall but we are not sure of how much that should be either.

Any input is greatly appreciated.


post #2 of 12
So the screen will be on the 15' wall, not the 20' wall? If so, I don't think you'll have enough room depth to do 2 rows of reclining theater seats. Plan on your riser being at least 6'-6" deep, even more if you are planning on placing acoustic treatments and/or speakers on the back wall. After doing this in a 15' deep room, I think you'll find that your front row will be too close to the screen. Can you rotate everything so the screen sits on the 15' wide wall?

You'll need to take several things into consideration when calculating your riser height to make sure you have an unobstructed sightline from the back row. My gut tells me that 7" isn't going to be tall enough. Take a look at the Riser Height Calculator sticky thread and crunch some numbers. Most builds with a room size like yours end up with riser heights exceeding 12". How tall is your ceiling?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response. The screen will be on the opposite wall which is also 20' - 2 1/2". Here is a pic of the plans for the room. Ignore the 25' - 5 1/4" measurement as we had them put up a wall so that is no longer accurate.

The door was originally going to be centered but we have elected to move it to the front of the room to have more space for the riser and the two rows of chairs.

post #4 of 12
it seems most on here are going with a 12 in high riser to ensure the back can see the screen over the chair height as well as any tall people that may be there. also knowing the height of the chair back would help - if it is 42 in vs 44 in - that is a big difference - you want to be able to see over the first row if they are not reclined and the back row is - i had 12 in in my old ht and my new one is going to be 12 in - why not build it yourself? i have never done that before and am looking forward to the process - more for the satisfaction knowing i built it - the cost to have my builder build was higher then i expected and they only did it in certain heights that did not meet my needs -

also for what it is worth my room is 17 ft deep and my riser will be 7 ft deep - my front row will be about 8.5 feet from a 106" screen - and with that i am a bit concerned with the proximity but feel that it is a fine line and think it will work great but if my screen was bigger i dont think it would be comfortable for viewing.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response iamjason. I appreciate the feedback. Our chairs are 42 inches high. We were all set to plan to build the riser once we close and move in. We went to Home Depot and priced out the wood and they will even cut it for us as we have no tools. It will probably cost us less than $200 for materials if we do it on our own. The only advantage to having the builder do it while the house is under constructions is that the carpet will match and be installed seamlessly. We are at the point where they are going to give us a price once we give them the correct measurements.

We are still working out the best configuration for the room. We ordered 12 chairs thinking we could have two rows of 6 but that may have been too many. We were also considering placing the screen on the 15' wall which would give us more room for the rows but we would not be able to have 12 seats.

We are also concerned about the proximity of the front row and the screen.

post #6 of 12
now that is a lot of chairs - i have room for 2 rows of 3 - when choosing carpet i had the movie room have a different carpet then the rest of the house and was able to get the model and manufacture of it - so when i am done with the stage and riser will have it installed so it is done correctly - as much as i am looking forward to building the stage and riser i want to make sure the carpet is done nice and tight so it looks like it is part of the room -
post #7 of 12
Janice, the traditional arrangement that most of the forum here would settle on is probably with the doors opening behind the second row, screen all the way to the left. My room is 12x21 (more or less) and has that general arrangement. The challenge in this scenario is getting the doors and riser to play well together.

In my case, the door is built up to riser height, with the step up to my 14" riser outside the theater. That leaves the riser to be 8" deep and the first row of seats ends up about 9.5 feet from the screen, which is 2.5 to 3 feet off the far wall - with the speakers positioned behind a acoustically transparent screen. This puts the first row viewers' eyes about one screen width back from the screen, but note that this is a 2.35 'scope screen (extra wide). In other cases, especially with the door relocated away from the center of the wall like you have indicated, the riser can be basically the same size maybe 8 or 9 feet deep, with a small landing cut out to give the door space to open into. If you were to do this, two rows of probably 4 seats would be nice in a room 15' wide. Again, I think this would be near the forum consensus for your space

If you were to decide to go the other way, as you've indicated. The acoustics become a little weirder. The rear row gets pushed closer to the rear wall - and that becomes a "problem" for a couple reasons. Bass response is generally very uneven near the walls. Also, if you want to use the latest speaker arrangement technologies and take full advantage of the 7.1 soundtracks on some of the new Blu-rays, you'll want to allow some space between rear surround loudspeakers - normally placed on the rear wall - so that the loudness doesn't overwhelm those seated nearest. In short, the best sound is generally confined to a small area - maybe the center 50% of the room, give-or-take. Further, if you allow 7 feet for the riser, so that you can walk past each other while the chairs are reclined, the front row ends up about 8 feet from the screen. That's going to feel too close for the screen size that the room will "want." So, building the room along the short dimension makes the front row too close and the rear row sound poor. You can fit in more seats that way, so that's the trade-off. If you really need seating for ten or more, that might be the only way to do it (in 15x20 - 20x25 would be different), but there are other reasons you may not really want 10 people in the room at the same time - we can save that conversation for later.

One other thing - if you want to contain the loud sounds of movies within that media room, you do not want double doors.

Okay - one more thing ( wink.gif ) - there are other things that you may want to consider changing - like the routing of that HVAC chase, and probably more. How far along are you in this process?
post #8 of 12
Don't forget to think about what wiring you want in the riser: power, step lighting, networking, audio for transducers etc. as its much easier to add this stuff before your riser is built and carpeted.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
After consulting a Local home theatre company we have changed the plan and will leave the door centered and have 4 rows of two seats with a center aisle. We will need one riser on either side of the doors for the two back rows. The screen will be in the 15 ft wall. This will give us a better proximity to the screen. They advised that a 7.5 inch high riser is perfect and we have decided to make it 7 ft deep.

We are going to consult with the builder regarding adding power to the risers for possible rope lighting.

I like this set up mug better. It's not 12 seats but that is too many for the room.

Thanks so much for all your great input. We are now doing our research for the screen and projector.

post #10 of 12
To me it seems that now no seat will have ideal sound. Half of them are pushed against the wall and the ones down the center are a little too far to one side than optimal. If this is the route you are going I would push all four seats to one side or the other with your entrance coming in one the opsite corner like Fred said this way only two of the seats are not ideal for sound. I believe Big has made a few theaters like this.

found it
Edited by cw5billwade - 9/16/13 at 10:39am
post #11 of 12
Bill, I agree with you completely. Your suggestion to move to one aisle on the side is a great compromise. Note that Janice hasn't been back to the forums to post aside from the four posts in this thread. Also, she's working with a designer - so no matter how right we are, we're in an argument with someone who's not even here, not to mention that the designer has other competing priorities outside of making the theater as good as it can be.

It's kind of a shame that it happens this way, but the truth is that for most people there's too much to learn to just come in here and ask a question or two. No matter - I'm sure Janice will be very happy with her new house regardless.
post #12 of 12
I hate the so called local HT companies give such bad information. My wife keeps asking why we do not go to the local ones here. I say because I probably know more than they do or can find someone on AVS to ask
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home