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post #1 of 64 Old 11-08-2018, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Can I still make it work?

Hi all!

My new home is currently under construction and is due to be finished in early Jan. My wife and I are super excited about the house and for the most part things have been going great... except for my theater room. I supplied drawings for what I wanted to do with my basement before the house construction even began, but apparently the builder never looked at any of that and when they set up and poured the basement they just put the utilities anywhere.

I purposely paid more to raise my basement to a 9' ceiling form 8', but the space I wanted to use for the theater now has a sump pump in the corner and two 1' tall cold air returns running across the ceiling. I could box out the sump pump behind my screen wall and frame my ceiling at 8' but I am worried with building the riser on top of dropping the ceiling that the room begins to feel too small.

Take a look at my attachments. The 'basement full issues' shows (not to scale) in red where the utilities sit in the room. I have also attached two photos of the space. The photos are bad, I'll have to take better ones later. Last, I attached a 'theater alt location' drawing which is my foundation drawing with my secondary theater location in blue. This space is open and has 9 foot ceiling, but moving the theater here I feel completely wrecks the layout of what I was going to do in the basement.

Looking to see if I should try to salvage the original location, or switch to location 2 and redesign my basement.

What do you think?

Thanks!

Josh
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post #2 of 64 Old 11-08-2018, 12:37 PM
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You have two sump pumps or is one an ejector pit?

with a little modification of the pipe leaving a sump pump the bend can be lowered much closer to the floor and the whole business can be hidden under a trap door in a seating riser or stage. Did this in my Lemonade project. Directly across from it is the well pressure holding tank and a you or a plumber can easily move it, did that at Rawlinsway, As for your duck work, your 9 ft ceiling is now 8 or so.


Just a lesson for others, if there are critical spaces in the basement where you need to be free of such intrusions it needs to be in writing on the initial contract not a verbal handshake.

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post #3 of 64 Old 11-08-2018, 02:39 PM
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What is the seating requirements?

Would there be budget to eliminate one support?
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post #4 of 64 Old 11-08-2018, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake3nNotStirr3d View Post
Hi all!

My new home is currently under construction and is due to be finished in early Jan. My wife and I are super excited about the house and for the most part things have been going great... except for my theater room. I supplied drawings for what I wanted to do with my basement before the house construction even began, but apparently the builder never looked at any of that and when they set up and poured the basement they just put the utilities anywhere.

I purposely paid more to raise my basement to a 9' ceiling form 8', but the space I wanted to use for the theater now has a sump pump in the corner and two 1' tall cold air returns running across the ceiling. I could box out the sump pump behind my screen wall and frame my ceiling at 8' but I am worried with building the riser on top of dropping the ceiling that the room begins to feel too small.

Take a look at my attachments. The 'basement full issues' shows (not to scale) in red where the utilities sit in the room. I have also attached two photos of the space. The photos are bad, I'll have to take better ones later. Last, I attached a 'theater alt location' drawing which is my foundation drawing with my secondary theater location in blue. This space is open and has 9 foot ceiling, but moving the theater here I feel completely wrecks the layout of what I was going to do in the basement.

Looking to see if I should try to salvage the original location, or switch to location 2 and redesign my basement.

What do you think?

Thanks!

Josh
I think you can always make use of the space for gaming and other stuff pretty easily. I don't think you'll want your theater sharing a wall with a bedroom anyway. What are the dimensions of the two areas?

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post #5 of 64 Old 11-09-2018, 08:22 AM
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@Shake3nNotStirr3d
So I would stick with a similar plan to your original, b/c if it was me, I'd always be like, 'dam, wish it was the other way like I planned'.

Like it is mentioned, having the HT next to bedroom really comes down to a couple of things.
If it's a guest bedroom, and won't be used on a daily/regular basis, I'd refine my sound containment strategy and move forward.
If it's a daily bedroom, then I'd again refine my sound containment strategy and provide the occupant with a lifetime supply of earplugs.

With that said, I'd change your currently planned door to a single solid core door.
Option 1
I'd consider putting the screen wall on the stair side wall. This way you could build a wall that has some subwoofer cubbies, 1 in-between the sump pump and the pressure tank, and another one under the stairish location.
But additionally, you could build a closet in the corner between the bedroom door and the HT single door.
Build a riser over the sump pump in the corner with trap door for access.
Have the contractor move the HVAC lines, one to the outside wall, and the other line to the ceiling/wall adjacent to the bedroom. You could then bury it into a soffit and make it like a design feature.

Option 2
I'd consider putting the screen wall on the outside wall on the right side, based on your photo, and build a stage over the top with a trap door. This would hide it, but also be accessible. It would be behind an AT screen so not to much of an issue. Since it's in the corner, I'd build a removable bass trap for easier access.
Again, single door, but this time, since you may want to have the second row of seats, if you need those, or a bar in the back, you could potentially use space under the stairs for a 19" rack location, and would be close to your server... if thats the way I read it, but keep the back row /bar away from the back wall for surround sound encompassment. Recommended is 4 feet, but I get good ambiance with 2' in my room. That may work in yours.
Still have the contractor move the HVAC lines though out towards the edges. Make it easier to encase in a soffit.

Use treated lumber on the bottom of a double sill plate.
Consider building an isolated plywood floor to allow for moisture separations from carpet to concrete. Since you have sump pumps, this would help with keeping it dry... Do not build the walls on top of this.
also, install several leak detectors.. don't want to see all your good work get soggy. Insteon makes a good one. saved my buddy allot of money..


Anyway, I definitely think you can salvage your plan.. just takes time and $$$.


Good luck and I'll be watching your build.
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post #6 of 64 Old 11-09-2018, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
I think you can always make use of the space for gaming and other stuff pretty easily. I don't think you'll want your theater sharing a wall with a bedroom anyway. What are the dimensions of the two areas?
The basement is completely open right now other then the plumbing the the ground for the bathroom. Leaving the bathroom and bedroom in place, I would be looking at about a 21' x 15.5' space in the primary location. Dropping down from a 9' ceiling to 8' to have a flat ceiling. Adding a riser lets just say 1' for fun, I am now down to 7 feet on the riser.. not sure if that too tight for tall people.

The secondary spot, subtracting the wall thickness would be 17'3" to about 20'10" long depending on how small I wanted to make the space leading to the opening above it and would be about 15'11" wide. Slightly smaller once Drywall is up.
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post #7 of 64 Old 11-09-2018, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
@Shake3nNotStirr3d
So I would stick with a similar plan to your original, b/c if it was me, I'd always be like, 'dam, wish it was the other way like I planned'.

Like it is mentioned, having the HT next to bedroom really comes down to a couple of things.
If it's a guest bedroom, and won't be used on a daily/regular basis, I'd refine my sound containment strategy and move forward.
If it's a daily bedroom, then I'd again refine my sound containment strategy and provide the occupant with a lifetime supply of earplugs.

With that said, I'd change your currently planned door to a single solid core door.
Option 1
I'd consider putting the screen wall on the stair side wall. This way you could build a wall that has some subwoofer cubbies, 1 in-between the sump pump and the pressure tank, and another one under the stairish location.
But additionally, you could build a closet in the corner between the bedroom door and the HT single door.
Build a riser over the sump pump in the corner with trap door for access.
Have the contractor move the HVAC lines, one to the outside wall, and the other line to the ceiling/wall adjacent to the bedroom. You could then bury it into a soffit and make it like a design feature.

Option 2
I'd consider putting the screen wall on the outside wall on the right side, based on your photo, and build a stage over the top with a trap door. This would hide it, but also be accessible. It would be behind an AT screen so not to much of an issue. Since it's in the corner, I'd build a removable bass trap for easier access.
Again, single door, but this time, since you may want to have the second row of seats, if you need those, or a bar in the back, you could potentially use space under the stairs for a 19" rack location, and would be close to your server... if thats the way I read it, but keep the back row /bar away from the back wall for surround sound encompassment. Recommended is 4 feet, but I get good ambiance with 2' in my room. That may work in yours.
Still have the contractor move the HVAC lines though out towards the edges. Make it easier to encase in a soffit.

Use treated lumber on the bottom of a double sill plate.
Consider building an isolated plywood floor to allow for moisture separations from carpet to concrete. Since you have sump pumps, this would help with keeping it dry... Do not build the walls on top of this.
also, install several leak detectors.. don't want to see all your good work get soggy. Insteon makes a good one. saved my buddy allot of money..


Anyway, I definitely think you can salvage your plan.. just takes time and $$$.


Good luck and I'll be watching your build.
Attached is an image of what I was originally thinking. Black is the room, blue is the HT structures and the red is speakers (none to scale, quick and sloppy).

The bedroom will be a guess room unless we have 3 kids, we only have 1 right now...

In my other drawing the server rack is my home server. All my Tech junk and automation fun will be based here. I could also put the HT equipment there but I would be worried about the length of the runs for HDMI etc... I will probably also have an av rack somewhere in the HT, unless I move the screen to the left wall and just put the AV equipment on the other side of the wall in the unfinished space.
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post #8 of 64 Old 11-09-2018, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
You have two sump pumps or is one an ejector pit?

with a little modification of the pipe leaving a sump pump the bend can be lowered much closer to the floor and the whole business can be hidden under a trap door in a seating riser or stage. Did this in my Lemonade project. Directly across from it is the well pressure holding tank and a you or a plumber can easily move it, did that at Rawlinsway, As for your duck work, your 9 ft ceiling is now 8 or so.


Just a lesson for others, if there are critical spaces in the basement where you need to be free of such intrusions it needs to be in writing on the initial contract not a verbal handshake.
@BIGmouthinDC , I only have 1 sump in the corner. The second photo is just to see the HVAC on the ceiling. The other two tanks are the water pressure thank and a gravity pump for the septic as the septic pumps out at the top of the basement. These two will not be in the HT, they are in the unfinished space between the front of the house and the stairs.
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post #9 of 64 Old 11-09-2018, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the seating requirements?

Would there be budget to eliminate one support?
@Tedd , I'd like to have 2 rows, 7-8 seats. Two sets of Twins in the back and then maybe 3 singles in front. Enough for family and friends. This gives me a centered seat when I watch by myself, but twin seats for the wife who has to always lay on my shoulder when we watch together.
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post #10 of 64 Old 11-10-2018, 03:28 AM
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If there is budget to eliminate one support post, flip the gym and the theater, and maybe do a smaller office
with perhaps a glass wall or partition?


That could be a substantial home theater that would keep up with the rest of the house.
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post #11 of 64 Old 11-11-2018, 05:47 PM
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A front row of 3 seats, and a second row of two loveseats perhaps?

Bunch of rough ideas strung together... more open concept.
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post #12 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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A front row of 3 seats, and a second row of two loveseats perhaps?

Bunch of rough ideas strung together... more open concept.
@Tedd , I like this concept. We are now looking at a corner bar instead of a straight bar, so where you have it located or in the bottom left corner of the basement (see attached image). Looking to do a nice Irish bar, dark wood, and wood paneling on the ceiling over the bar.

This HT location I think we could make work, but my wife isn't thrilled that if we do move it and keep the storage in the bottom left that we are giving up the use of both our basement windows. If we move the bar and I can salvage the original location, we gain the two windows in the living space.

What is the height of everyone's current rooms? @BIGmouthinDC , Jeff I took a look at your projects and they are super nice. How tall is the room in your lemonade project? I was at my in-laws this weekend and their kitchen is 8 foot and it is a decent sized room... so maybe I can get away with just boxing out the ceiling to 8 foot below the HVAC returns and live with it? I'm not super worried about the sump any more... just not happy that what I thought I would have for space isn't all available to me.

Also in the lemonade project is a pole in the riser. I tried to make a drawing where the HT sits in the top left corner of my basement... but the pole there is only like 9 or 10 feet from the left wall.. I think it will obstruct the screen, or not allow me to fit my 3-4 seats in a row.

I am open to all ideas. Thanks for all the input and drawings so far!

Josh
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post #13 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Making the 8 foot ceiling work in the original location... I think something like this might be nice. I may play with the extra storage space a bit, but this could give me a nice sized theater.

Not to scale, but adding the extra space up to the stairs and putting the screen on that wall should allow for a really big riser. As I wont want the seats 20 feet from the screen I would probably bring the seats forward on the large riser and just be able to build a closet door around the sump behind the seats on the riser and not have to worry about cutting the pipes of the sump at all.
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post #14 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 05:15 PM
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I've been in many a two row home theater at 8'. It's workable but a 9' ceiling height is a substantial upgrade.
Simply better audio and more headroom, meaning a larger screen is possible.

What kind of screen are you thinking? A scope screen might be a nice option for 8' height, when you think about
screen real estate. and getting the second row sight lines right. You also might need to watch where the projector
lands, when the riser has but 7' of headroom.

You might be able to use some ladder framing and skim the HVAC, and gain a few inches of height. The HVAC might also
impact on any lighting plan.


How much light will those window wells actually admit? I gather they are all egress?
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post #15 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 05:56 PM
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You could frame off the sump area, and hide a door behind the AT screen wall for access.

The AT wall could have a "door" with open framing, that is covered in the same acoustically
transparent fabric, that the AT wall uses.

The entry could now be in the backwall, in the corner. Maybe build a little drama with a small entry and
have steps up to the risrer level. You could even push that area alittle wider and add min some movie poster
light boxes, and add a feature wall there. The room could be squared off, or the av rack hosted in the room,
depending on where you plant the door.

The entry door to the sump pump space, could also be hidden in the back wall of the bedroom closet.


You might need/want a little more service space around the furnace/s. Might want to refer to their manual.
A flip top bar could be wall to wall, and then cabinetry could be wall to wall also, with the recessed
area hosting refrigeration.
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post #16 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 06:23 PM
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other thoughts:

Guest suite and an addition of a theater entry with a bit of wow factor.


The pool table area could be given a short wall, and be used for the couch and tv, and then the big open
area could be more of an entertainment space.
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post #17 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
I've been in many a two row home theater at 8'. It's workable but a 9' ceiling height is a substantial upgrade.
Simply better audio and more headroom, meaning a larger screen is possible.

What kind of screen are you thinking? A scope screen might be a nice option for 8' height, when you think about
screen real estate. and getting the second row sight lines right. You also might need to watch where the projector
lands, when the riser has but 7' of headroom.

You might be able to use some ladder framing and skim the HVAC, and gain a few inches of height. The HVAC might also
impact on any lighting plan.


How much light will those window wells actually admit? I gather they are all egress?
The only egress window is the big one in the bedroom. The other two are small transoms just for light. I though about just boxing in the HVAC and putting the project to the side... but its right down the middle of the ceiling so that's out. The HVAC doesnt run al the way to the right wall, If I put the screen behind the stairs, I could box out the back of the HVAC and have a few feet at 9' ceiling to mount the projector to.

The riser plus the ceiling drop is exactly what I am worried about... 7 foot seems a bit small... but when your seated in a dark room, maybe it isn't so bad? really wish the HVAC returns weren't in this space!
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post #18 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
other thoughts:

Guest suite and an addition of a theater entry with a bit of wow factor.


The pool table area could be given a short wall, and be used for the couch and tv, and then the big open
area could be more of an entertainment space.
@Tedd , this is a pretty awesome idea. I had other thoughts like this that actually moved the whole theater to the top wall, just to the left of the bathroom. we would then use the space between the stairs and the poles as a hall way to the bedroom and bath. The issue however, and just like you have here for the entry way, is that the distance from the top of the stairs to those poles is only slight larger then arms length. Its maybe 3-4 feet. I don't know if that enough space to make an entry way to the theater.

trying my best to find a good solution with out sacrificing a great room. I want a nice sized screen, if the 8' tall ceiling kills that then I have some more thinking to do.
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post #19 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 07:10 PM
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The riser height is going to be a function of screen height and proper sight lines so the second row sees the
bottom of the screen over front row seated heads.

There's a good room to be had with eight feet. Nine feet can get you to great, and it's easier to pull off.

The poles are embedded in a wall. That doesn't mean the wall can't step back around the posts, or they could simply
could become stylish posts (or columns). and become part of the decor. Measure all that out, and I'd give a go design-wise.

What size of a screen are you hoping for?
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post #20 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 07:12 PM
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Could the HVAC returns be moved to the outside of the room and be enclosed as soffits?
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post #21 of 64 Old 11-13-2018, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Could the HVAC returns be moved to the outside of the room and be enclosed as soffits?
I will ask tomorrow. I've never seen a home that didn't have straight returns... not to say its not possible.
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post #22 of 64 Old 11-14-2018, 03:49 AM
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That's generally a function of good, simple, and usually the cheapest route for a builder and the sub trade.


Another option of paying for a better space, would be underpinning a section of basement floor, but I expect
that ship has sailed as a potential cost effective answer (if implemented up front).
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post #23 of 64 Old 11-14-2018, 04:20 AM
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Another possible option might be to reduce the seat count to a single row of five seats, and
up the projector budget, and go with a bigger screen. The elimination of the expense of a riser
and larger room construction costs, could end up in the projector budget.

I kind of think of this as an option for a really nice hybrid screening room. The speaker throw distances
can mean you can have reference level capability to all seats, cheaper. My thinking is very much based
on how to compete performance-wise, with a truly high end room, without torching my bank account.
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post #24 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 04:00 AM
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The hallway might be a little on the long side of things, but if one thought of those lolly posts as columns and display niches,
the hallway could be given a little more breathing space. Two rows of three seats in a 15.5-16' wide theater, is pretty substantial
in the way one could have all seating off the walls and surround speakers.


The entry could be at riser level and have some sort of feature wall. The relocated gym ties in with the bathroom(and maybe a
larger shower might be a thought. You also could expose a hint of the gym area with a glass door and small glass wall section.
Create some longer sightlines and maybe show off the gym a bit.

Anyways, just some more ideas (which might just be stepping stones,) to locating the theater where there's 9' of height.
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post #25 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 08:27 AM
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Pushed some walls around, with the concept of a mid theater placement.
Basically, treating the gym, guest bedroom, and the theater, as spokes with
the hub being the bath room.
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post #26 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Pushed some walls around, with the concept of a mid theater placement.
Basically, treating the gym, guest bedroom, and the theater, as spokes with
the hub being the bath room.
I like this one a lot! I'll walk the space again with the wife and see what she thinks. The issue is the hallway between the theater and the stairs will be tiiiiiight. If it gives me my 9 foot ceiling with nothing but open space though, it might be worth the small hallway. We have a 3'4" Hallway in our master bedroom that leads to the master bath. We have a 3'6" hallway form the living room to the kids room. The basement hallway will be right around 3'0.5"... say 3' even.
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I'd close off that rear entrance and open up a side entrance just above where the stairs land in the basement, Between the first row seating and the screen wall. You can keep the equipment alcove, maybe a little smaller.

Putting the door there shortens the path to the bar and avoids climbing up and back down to get to the front row center MLP
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post #28 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
The hallway might be a little on the long side of things, but if one thought of those lolly posts as columns and display niches,
the hallway could be given a little more breathing space. Two rows of three seats in a 15.5-16' wide theater, is pretty substantial
in the way one could have all seating off the walls and surround speakers.


The entry could be at riser level and have some sort of feature wall. The relocated gym ties in with the bathroom(and maybe a
larger shower might be a thought. You also could expose a hint of the gym area with a glass door and small glass wall section.
Create some longer sightlines and maybe show off the gym a bit.

Anyways, just some more ideas (which might just be stepping stones,) to locating the theater where there's 9' of height.
@Tedd , this is pretty awesome! Thanks for all the advice. I could like you said box out, or just put the wall just north of the poles and then hang movie posters on the outside of the theater wall between the poles. It would feel like an actual theater, walking to the door. I was going to do all 007 black and white prints over the speakers in the theater, but with this I could just put cheaper framed posters in the hallway and have a cheaper, less themed theater decorated simply by color.

Thanks for you time and advice!
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post #29 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd close off that rear entrance and open up a side entrance just above where the stairs land in the basement, Between the first row seating and the screen wall. You can keep the equipment alcove, maybe a little smaller.

Putting the door there shortens the path to the bar and avoids climbing up and back down to get to the front row center MLP
This is a good point as well. I do want to make a nice columned framed door entry and a cinema sign on a nice wooden header above the door. Do you think having the entry in the hallway vs the back where it opens up would limit the visibility of the entrance?

I've sent a few drawing to the builder to see if I can get some free CAD drawings and designs since my original space was ignored of the drawings I submitted. I haven't asked for any kind of $ discount, hoping they will work with me and at least do some drawings. I want to be able to see the measurements and widths of the walls.
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post #30 of 64 Old 11-15-2018, 05:35 PM
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did you see this from White Oaks? I worked on the theater, but not his entrance




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