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Cinema Fantastico Raab

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Now seems like a good time to begin a progress log. So here it is ... Cinema Fantastico Raab

The name is a working title, but I think I like it.

First of all we are trying to do something victorian looking and really like the look of http://www.revolutionhometheater.com...lly/index.html

The room is in the basement and has 9' ceilings (ok well 8'8") and is roughly 13' by 19' with a 3' wide and 2' deep "candy counter" on one side. The screen will be on a false wall 3' from the front wall. Entry to the room is (unfortunately) from the front behind the screen. The speakers with be behind the (AT) screen.

The ceiling will be coffered to hide a steel beam and the false wall will have curtains on either side of the screen, one for entry and the other to match.

The light in the center is

The 4 sconces are

The ceiling will have a tin look with acoutstic tile similar to

There will be 3 rows of seating of 4, 4 and 6 seats. There will be two risers at 10" and 20"

The seats will be irwin springfield

Finally the carpet will be

Edited by sbraab - 12/29/12 at 5:12pm
post #2 of 40
I am also going with a slightly Victorian style. Similar to a old world library feel. I have already bought paisley tapestry for above the chair rail.

I was going to go with the standard theater type chairs, but with the amount of time I will log in the theater I changed my mind to recline style theater seating. Now if I can find a leather or fabric that will match the decor......

post #3 of 40
I must be missing it, How big is the screen?
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Screen? you need a screen? actually it is a 92" diag 16:9 ( I wanted to go 2.35:1, but due to the door on the front I am width limited.) and will likely be a vutec sound screen.

For electronics I have:

Proceed AVP-S & AMP5 (yes I will only be doing 5.1)
The speakers are B&W Nautalis with 803s up front, HTM2 in the center and SCM for the side
The sub is a single B&W THX sub (the old trapazoid one) with 2 bridged marantz MA500s
I don't have the projector, but it will likely be a Panasonic AE900 mounted in the rear wall.
post #5 of 40
Originally Posted by sbraab View Post

Screen? you need a screen? actually it is a 92" diag 16:9 ( I wanted to go 2.35:1, but due to the door on the front I am width limited.) and will likely be a vutec sound screen.


If I understand your drawing correctly, you have a room 19' long in which you plan placing a 92" diagonal screen 3' from the front wall, and you would like to place three rows of seating in that 16' viewing space.

The usual rule of thumb to avoid seeing screen door effect (the pixel structure) is to sit 1.5 to 2 screen widths, or in this case 10' to 13' from the screen. That means that you will definitely see screen door in the first row and probably in the second row as well. Putting your third row so close to the rear wall will also hurt the sound quality because being so close to a room boundary will make your bass sound boomy.

If you mount your screen directly on the front wall and place the first row at about 10' and a second row at about 15' you could avoid these problems.

post #6 of 40
why not flip the room? put the screen on the wall away from the door, that way you have more room for the wider screen as well as not having viewers be blinded by outside light should someone open the door.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Larry, Raizyr,

Thanks. I was originally thinking an 80" screen but I went and looked at a 92" screen from the front row location and it didn't bother me. It definitely felt like the front of a movie theater, but it didn't seem unusable. I am also looking at moving the screen back a bit more, but I can't go too much because of the HVAC blukhead. It will probably be 28" from the front wall and recessed into the false wall about 4".

We were originally going to flip the room around, but if you look at the profile you can see that there is an HVAC duct that runs on the front wall and limited the height of the riser. The other problem was with the door on that wall I would have had to limit the width of the riser.

There are definitely some issues with the room, add in the fact that the WAF was higher with more seats and I ended up with this. The plan is to cover most if not all of the back wall with rigid fiberglass to help with some of the problems there. The wife's point of view was that I am the only one who cares about how perfect it is and I will always be in the middle row. Add to the fact that I like to be closer to the screen and that is where we are. If I could do it from scratch there are a lot of things I would change. (starting with 2.35:1)
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
So our contractor didn't finish until they day my my son was born (and about 2 to 2.5 months after we expected) but once he was out of there it was my turn to get busy. Luckily I had a lot of family around to help with the baby. We were expecting the carpet to come any day so I had to get the risers.

The first thing I did was pull all the wires in place. Fortunately, I had measured and marked well (writing everything on the concrete floor and on paper) so I was able to find each piece of 1" conduit with a 1" hole in the drywall. Most of the wires pulled through with no problem, but one was tight and had to be pulled hard.

Up next was the construction of two risers. At 22" high for the back one I decided to put the joists up on a post and beam construction. I was a little concerned this would not be to solid so I added extra cross bracing in and used construction adhesive. It turned out to be VERY solid. I also put a thick layer of caulk on the bottom of every piece of wood which touched the floor to add isolation.

Next I started putting the plywood down. I ran out of construction adhesive and it was snowing so I sacrificed 2 tubes of green glue to put between the joists and 1st layer of plywood. The second layer is separated with 30# roofing felt. All of this was held down with lots of 3" screws. With the carpet date having been scheduled and rapidly approaching I was working really hard to get everything done. I really need to learn to stop when my brain starts to get foggy. Anyway, as you may have seen I was cutting the plywood on top of my tablesaw and didn't pay attention to where the saw table was...

It is really amazing how well a circular saw will cut cast iron. After that I decided that when I was groggy I would paint in hopes of finishing the painting before the carpet came in. As you will see I didn't quite finish painting. 1 coat of primer and 1 coat of paint just weren't enough.

For step lighting I used low voltage lights purchased from lowes, well actually I bought them at HD first for $19.95 each then found them at lowes for $14.95 each. Needless to say they went back to HD. I was worried they would get too hot, but after being on all day I could still touch the bulb and the housing was cold.

As this is my first theater and it went from dream to reality rather quickly I didn't have an extensive amount of time to prepare so some things were done with out proper planning or science. one of those was trying to make the riser a bass trap. Rather than calculating proper sizes, etc I just guessed. I figure hopefully it is better than nothing. I ended up with a 2" gap in the back on the top and a 4" gap in the front of the second riser.

I actually managed to get everything done (after postponing the carpet guys only week.) The carpet guys were not happy with how hard it was to install with all the steps, etc. I took them most of the day, but they did a good job and it really looks nice. I chose to skip the dri-core, but did use synthetic jute pad.

Next I started to bring some chairs in. Yes I know I should wait until I am done painting, but I am impatient.

Finally, I started putting film on the carpet so I can finish painting and I am bringing speakers down so I can get a baseline before I start working on the acoustic treatment.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Painting is done! 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of paint. Then it took the equivilant of a day to tape out the stripes and 10 min to paint them.

NOTE: if you are using tinted primer make sure you do two coats, it will save you money in the long run. I have half a can of primer left and had to buy another can of paint.

Here are some pictures of the striping. We used the same color, but satin and semigloss. I wanted flat and satin, but lowes doesn't have tinted bases in flat. Turns out that since it is so dark it really doesn't reflect much light anyway. First I used a laser level to shoot a straight horizontal line and then marked off every 8 inches. Then as you can see I used a laser level on a tripod to lay out the vertical lines. I then put the tape up against the laser line.

NOTE: if you want to get the tape on in one piece unroll about 2 feet and put it up, then unroll 2 more. Don't try to use long strips because the tape stretches.

In the first shot you can see some of the seats. I wanted to get one car in the garage and didn't have room. They are really nice. I will take more picts of them soon.

post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Well better late than never. I finally got the scanner hooked back up so here are the plans for my stage and riser. The important thing here is to formula to calculate a radius when you know the width of the stage and the depth of the curve.

given R is your radius, c is the chord or width of the stage, and h is the depth of the curve.

Stage plan

Riser plan

Coming soon... pictures of the acoustic treatment going up and the speakers move in.
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have been busy and sick so progress has been slow, but here is a quick photo update.

The acoustic treatment is up:

I brought the LCR & Sub in for some listening tests:

We had a sample low gloss ceiling tile done for us by Urban Revivals This is definitely a winner:

Finally, I got some of the fabric up and put a few pieces of trim up. I still need to put the top ledge on and the baseboard, but I had do tune the mitre saw up before I did that.

Now, I need stain some more trim and get the rest of the fabric up.
post #12 of 40
Nice HT. THere are so many folks from South riding in these forum.
We should have a SR meet soon whom ever finish their HT first.

I see you use linacoustic for room treatment. Is that the same thing as duct liner? and where did you buy it?

post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 
Yes, linacoustic is a brand of duct liner. See the following thread where Clarence lists local sources for everything you need.

post #14 of 40
Your theater is coming along very well. I love the fabric you used to cover the linacoustics. Is it GoM? Would you mind telling us where you got that from?

post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 
SJac- Thanks! No the fabric is not GOM. While we want good acoustics most of the time design decisions will win out. The fabric came fromDiscount Fabrics, USA in Thurmont, MD. If you are in the area and can get there it is worth going. They have VERY high quality end lots and extras. It won't be cheap, but you will get a great deal.
post #16 of 40
Thanks..It looks really nice. I am in NJ and that may be a long trip

The ceiling tile looks cool too.. Are they going on the complete ceiling?
post #17 of 40
anything recent on this build???

Looks great and a good use of a small space too.

post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 
Progress has been slow. First it was finding time when both my wife and I could hang fabric, now it is a matter of getting all the trim stained, cut and installed. Hopefully that will be done in a few weeks and I will have more pictures to take.
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
OK so I was at CES and the Meridian demo room really got me fired up to finish my theater. Today I put my head down and finished all (ok not all, I need to make and stain one more cap.) of the lower trim work. Here are some pictures of the progress. Note that I still need to dust, putty and touch up stain.

One side wall fully trimmed out.

Trim around the stairs. This was quite a pain in the neck, but using a compass to scribe the stair shape helped a lot.

Detail of the top cap. I had to custom mill the very top piece of trim because I could not find anything I liked. Unfortunately, I didn't mill enough. Oh well.

Detail of the nightmare stair corner. I finally made up my own rule for trim work just to get by.
With trim, you can do whatever you want as long as it looks like you meant to do it. Rather than trying to make it look like a single plinth block which would have required a lot of work and still looked bad, I added the ledge.

More soon. I am going to bed now.
post #20 of 40
What kind of stain did you use?
post #21 of 40
Thread Starter 
J dog,

Actually, that is something good to mention. Here is the breakdown on everything I used.

We wanted the really ornate trim to match the rest of the room, but I was too cheap to pay for the unfinished wood versions so here is what I used:

Base board: 6" Primed pine from HD
Plinth blocks: 8" Aspen. These were pretty expensive, but I had no luck making them myself.
Fluted molding: 4x natural pine from HD. This needs another coat of stain.
Top molding: PVC from HD
Top cap: Milled from pine on my table saw with a molding blade.

To answer the original question, I used Minwax Mahogany (605) colored Gel Stain which works well on the plastic and primed woods, but not as well on the unfinished pine.
post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 
Well after the flood I really lost motivation to work on the theater, but now a year later I am over it and back to work. Most of my focus has been on the ceiling. Unfortunately, the company that made the ceiling tiles I liked is no longer in business so I have to do it my self.

I am using armstrong ceiling tiles which I first paint with a flat black and then dry brush with a Behr gold metalic. We were going for a soot covered gilded look and I have to say it is really quite amazing how the brain plays tricks on you. When dry brushing the gold on I often think I am cleaning the black off rather than applying color. Ok, maybe I a going crazy, but let me tell you dry brushing 300+ tiles is enough to make you crazy.

Then I am using construction adhesive to glue the tiles to the ceiling. The camera and work light make the inconstancies from tile to tile look worse than it is, but I do have to go back in some spots an dry brush to break we the edges don't match.

Finally, I have been working on wrapping the support beam with plywood so it looks like a wood beam.

post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 
It has been a while since I updated this thread, I was happy to find that it hadn't been archived yet.

My epic ceiling project is now complete. I am also done with crown moulding and nearly done with my fake wood beams.

Next up, I need to get the carpet put back down. (I pulled it up when we had a water leak.) After that, I need to build the false screen wall, put in seats, build the candy counter and get the curtains in. I'm getting close enough that I'm motivate to make more time so hopefully it will be done by the fall.

Anyway, with out further ado...

A shot of the ceiling, false wood beam, crown and lights.

Here is one with a longer exposure so you can see the detail.

Please ignore the sensor dust.
post #24 of 40
Beautiful! I love the lower trim and the tile ceiling is very cool. Keep up the great work!

post #25 of 40
post #26 of 40
Now, this is one long build!
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
I've been making a lot of progress lately, too much to post right now. I did get my first row of seats installed and I wanted to update the thread with info because I didn't find much when I was searching.

I have Irwin theater seats and the front row is mounted where there is carpet (and synthetic jute pad) over concrete. Here is what I did to install.

First I marked and drilled the concrete using a 1/4" hammer drill. I made a plywood template to keep the drilling precise. I drilled the first hole, then used a 1/4 peg to hold the template in place, I drilled the remaining holes through the template. I was able to line up the template by shining a flashlight into the holes to see my markings on the floor. Next, I marked the location of the holes on the riser (the blue tape) so I could find them after the carpet was down.

After the carpet was down, I used a finish nail find the holes in the concrete by pounding it through the carpet until it didn't hit concrete. Then you can wiggle it to figure out where the center of the hole is.

Once I had located the hole, I used a 3/8" hole punch (next to the hammer in the picture) to punch holes in the carpet and pad. You have to hit and turn a fair bit to get a clean hole, but it is possible. Make sure to cut, not pull any loose carpet threads. If you don't get a good hole in the pad, you are probably ok. I had a hard time finding the punch. HD & lowes didn't have it, neither did the craft stores, but I was able to find it at a local Ace. Also, pounding into concrete can dull the punch pretty quick. I sharpened it by putting the punch in the chuck of my drill press and using a file while it was turning at slow speed. Then I used a round file to clean out the inside.

Anchors were a big source of confusion for me. Irwin and others told me I should use sleeve anchors, but I couldn't figure out how to make them work. I ended up going to the Hilti store in town and they very kindly took the time to explain what I needed and then sent me to Home Depot to buy the small quantity I needed. Thanks again to the Hilti guys.

So what I ended up with was 1/4" by 2 1/4" wedge anchors (left in the picture) before I put them in, I used a #14 (1/4") wood screw to make sure the holes were clear and deep enough. Finally, pound them in and go remembering that you can always pound them in deeper, but you can't pull them out.

Using the template I had no issues lining up the chair standards with the screws.

And finally, a happy customer:

Oh and for those that think putting in a projector will slow progress, it actually has me highly motivated. YMMV
post #28 of 40
Thread Starter 
More progress, not many pictures. I now have the first two rows of seats in and am now working on the screen.

I am using 1" square aluminum tubing painted black and using binder clips to attach the screen. Since my speakers will be right at the corner, I could not use standard brackets. What I ended up doing is cutting and folding the top and bottom tubes.

The for the vertical tubes I cut some scrap hardwood blocks and put them in to tubing.

post #29 of 40
That looks phenomenal!

post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by CJO View Post

That looks phenomenal!


CJ, Thanks! Also, thanks for your build thread, I keeping going back to it for reference. Your theater and bar are amazing.
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