Doors and entrances discussion - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Doors and entrances discussion

Still in design and trying to think everything through. Planning on double stud walls with an inch gap inbetween to reduce sound.

Regarding the type of door/ebtrance, I have read that the best thing to do is a double door aka "communicating door". This seems easy enough with my double stud wall but seems quite unatractive and uninviting. Or at least I have not seen any yet that are. Can a decently thick solid core door with seals be good enough?

As for entrance location, I was wanting to do it in the back but that means either a multi elevation foundation or ramp/stairs into the theater which I do not like. What I am left with is at the front inbetween screen and first row of seets. Any issue with this?

Any regrets you have or things you would do differently regarding your entrance?
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post #2 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
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What I am left with is at the front in between screen and first row of seats. Any issue with this?
That is my preferred location if you can't enter at riser height. You need to be aware that depending on your acoustic treatment plan you may need to install some on the door, I've done that many times. Plan your hinges accordingly.
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post #3 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 05:51 PM
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I’ve seen recommendations of calculating the mass of a 32x80” section of your drywall on both sides of the wall, then aiming for that mass, using green glue. This still is a weak link due to the lack of decoupling, but double doors obviate that.

I would have done double-doors if I didn’t have stairs to contend with. The Sticky soundproofing thread has a lot of good info.
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post #4 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 05:57 PM
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I originally planed for my door to be more towards the middle of the room but ended up swapping screen walls from one end to the other and also moved the entry closer to the screen. I find it to be very inviting when I walk in now and I am really glad I swapped the room end for end too. Regarding doors I made a semi custom door. I purchased a 1 3/4" solid door slab and then added 2 layers of MDF with GG between it. I also added an auto door bottom and seals from The Soundproofing Company. Since I have nothing to compare it too I can't say how it performs against communicating doors but I will say you can dang sure tell when its closed if you have music playing in the rec room/hallway outside the door. For me the communicating door concept just didn't meet my aesthetic or use needs. FWIW I have about $1,100 into my door that includes the slab, hinges, hardware, MDF, GG, ADB, Seals, and door closer. I only mention it becuase it is one of the area's I way under budgeted.

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post #5 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. This has reassured me that an entry in the middle/front of the room at bottom level is perfectly fine so I will stick with that.

I have been running the Google today on "Communicating Doors" and I am feeling a bit better about them. I think they can be made to look pretty good and technically they look like a regular door when closed. I awill plan/budget for this type of door setup and will move on to other design components.

If anyone knows of some photos of good looking communicating doors I would love to see them.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 07:16 PM
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You might be able to do those communication doors, a nd do them with enough space in between, so it acts as a chamber. One can then enter and exit a movie, during a movie and
not disturb those viewing. An upside of hosting the door in the back, is it ends up easier if you do acoustical treatments, or do a fabric panelled wall.

I also like the entry at riser level and ideally in the back. A slightly widen hallway that hosts some steps, might also be an opportunity, to add interest and offer media
storage.
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post #7 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 07:29 PM
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My theater has a wall that adjoins a "rec area" of our basement. So I wanted to create some extra isolation from the the theater on that side. Therefore I built that wall as two 2x4 walls, set side by side with about 1" between. I was in the same dilemma you are, wondering if I wanted to do two doors, or just do a single solid core door. I went with the single door and made it swing out of my theater. It's in the front, between the screen wall and my first row. The other side of my room also has a door into a small isolated room where my equipment rack is at.

I am very happy with the way it turned out, even though it took a little work to build it. So I'd give you a vote for a single solid core door. And the front side wall works great for the door in our space. Here's a pic early in my build for reference...



Happy to answer any specific questions about the process I used if you have any. Good luck with your build!!

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post #8 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 07:34 PM
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I have a 100$+ sound blanket(more durable/thick) on my office and it really doesnt do squat so I wouldnt even think about that option....it is a name brand product.
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post #9 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
You might be able to do those communication doors, a nd do them with enough space in between, so it acts as a chamber. One can then enter and exit a movie, during a movie and
not disturb those viewing. An upside of hosting the door in the back, is it ends up easier if you do acoustical treatments, or do a fabric panelled wall.

I also like the entry at riser level and ideally in the back. A slightly widen hallway that hosts some steps, might also be an opportunity, to add interest and offer media
storage.
That is a good thought, I will definitely consider. Entry at riser level is exactly what I had planned originally in my head but on paper it is not working well. A sloped hallway with movie posters, DVDs, etc would be pretty slick though but eats space on the floor plan.

Now that I think about it, it would be pretty cool to have an entrance much like a movie theater. Slopped hallway along the side but when you enter you would be at the back of the theater at riser level. I could definitely get away with a single door doing it this way. Hmm, a lot to consider.

Anyone have some photos of side hallway entrances like this?

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post #10 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Just playing with the hallway idea, see attached photo. Takes up a ton of room but would be pretty cool I think. Great spot for posters, DVDs, limiting light from people coming and going, and I would have double doors without them being in the "communication door" configuration. It is almost like I took the 1" gap between the wall and made it 3'+ for a hallway.
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post #11 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 09:10 PM
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post #12 of 52 Old 01-19-2020, 09:57 PM
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a door at the far end, rear of the theater means you have to step up to riser height, you could have the door between the screen wall and the first row of seating and not have such a long walk, or even flip the screen wall to the bottom have a little shorter walk and use the end of the hall as the equipment stack location. Still keeps your poster gallery opportunity just not 28 ft long.
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post #13 of 52 Old 01-20-2020, 04:16 AM
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Does the hallway need to be a ramp? I myself like the idea of some nice BigA$$ style steps of Jeff's, and that could eat up a little less building material.
They sure seem to emphasis a little bit of higher end style to me.

And does the hallway actually need to be that long? It could be a small lobby area + maybe a storage closet, or something like a media vault, if you flipped the theater
end for end.
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post #14 of 52 Old 01-20-2020, 04:49 AM
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What's all the obstacles in that 24x28' space?

If you google image "Rayvva", you'll see Theo K's smallish entry.

Jeff's done a nice entry with two digital movie posters, and a triple av rack in the lobby.
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post #15 of 52 Old 01-20-2020, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for all the advice. It does eat up some space and it is a bit of a walk. Going to work/think that through a bit more!
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post #16 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 04:19 AM
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Space is something you do have, so you could start with your seating needs, and design outwards from there.
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post #17 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 05:11 AM
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I personally like the idea of a not too long and not too narrow space, as an entry and media storage closet.

In your case, I could see a room flip, and do a decent sized entry. That would allow for an elevation change to enter at riser height. That small square footage also wouldn't be much of a cash drag for a DIY'er, while it could be a serious bit of wow feature, if so desired.

I myself will be doing a small entry, and I want it purposely kept small. One piece of that entry is a simple digital movie poster light box. Nothing more then a rotated 1080P hdtv, and a simple masking panel. It will either be hosted in a small run of 3D feature wall, or be part of a hidden door, as part of a hidden door to a media vault.

Anyways, just tossing ideas at you.... No clue how much height you have, but I suspect three rows of seats, with that volume. Yellow being floor level, white is step height at 7.5" up, and black is riser level. Not shown could be an "island riser" on the riser, f you need further elevation.
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post #18 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 09:18 AM
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I "think" some commercial theater spaces might scale down nicely. Some of the panel look, simply looks like a few sheets of MDF, with some angled cuts, and some paint.
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post #19 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 09:27 AM
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I also sometimes think a run of wall space could be nothing more then a bunch of plastic 3D letters, forming a bunch of famous movie quotes, and then be given a coat of spray paint
and basically become might be an inexpensive design detail. Tone on tone would be pretty easy.

And maybe a digital movie poster lightbox, or two, could fill out a decent chunk of wall space. More money and work, but 43- 50" 1080P hdtvs are getting pretty cheap.
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post #20 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Tedd, I appreciate all the ideas! I have a lot to consider for the entrance.

As for space, this is new construction so I can pretty much do what I want... just trying to decide what I want sucks and is a lot harder than I thought. I also overthink things. Every SF is added cost of course so I cannot get too carried away but I will do the work myself so really just paying maybe $50 per SF for material cost so not afraid to go big.

On room design size/layout I just started with the largest "Golden Ratio" that would give me the seating I wanted, 28'x19.2'x12'T internal dimensions. I was planning on two rows of recliners and a back row bar. I am now running into the problem that after accounting for 3' behind the screen for speakers and 72" spacing for full recliners really gives a huge range of viewing angles when trying to design screen size. 200" screen gives 72 deg front row, 46 degree second row, and 38 deg barstool row. I can lower screen size to lower all viewing angles but just very difficult to get it right. Might need to change something up or greatly reduce screen size to design it for the front row. I could try to change the room size a bit but like the idea of using a "golden ratio" size. I could go slightly trapezoidal for more seats in the ideal row and delete the front row.

My head hurts. I almost wish I had an existing room I was trying to fit to!

I will definitely have some classic 90s-2000s movie posters and maybe 1 digital one like you mentioned. I originally planned for posters in the room itself but do not want to distract, undecided still.
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post #21 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 03:12 PM
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I can well appreciate why your head hurts. There is literally almost no limit to what you can do, with that space.

And yet there might very well be limitations, if you think about best practises and things like properly being able to light up a massive screen, and how bigger,
means the need for a brighter/pricier projector. Budget, and where you might potentially apply your dollars might sway the final design.

One other thought is will you actually fill what could easily be 15 seats on a regular basis? That space could be two rows of five seats and every seat could be 5' off of a speaker.
And you could still add something like four "flex" seats, as occasional overflow seats. Your speaker's capability to play reference levels over what could be 20', might be expensive
and limiting choice. (Or simply mean very diminished third row performance.) The flip side to this, is maybe one less row is better overall performance, and the savings of five seats,


I doubt designers start with golden ratios. They start with the seat itself, and a seat count. And I am sure they work hard to hit a right balance of performance, while working to avoid
near multiples of room dimensions. They also make sure seated ears avoid areas that suffer from a lack of smooth audio.

Poster and glass in the room also are acoustically reflective. Not such a desirable feature, in my opinion.

A 72 degree front row is ergonomically a mess. You want your eyes to be able to take in the entire screen, at once. You do not want your eyes jumping around a screen to follow the action.
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In my first theater I put a door near my theater screen and it was my biggest regret. People are always coming and going in and out of the theater, and every time the door opens it washes the screen with light, ruining the image. Then they leave the door open and I have to either holler at them to go back and shut the door or I get up and shut it myself. It is a pain. So in my new theater the entrance is in the back. I know often you have to deal with seating risers and so the door goes in the front out of necessity, but it should be avoided if possible in my opinion.

Long and narrow hallways are not my favorite architectural feature, especially when there isn’t a window at the end... they give a maze-like feel. So I would put the screen at the opposite of the entrance. No hallway, you just enter into the theater walk past the riser and enter into the room midway. You could do an optional equipment closet, or just have more space and no closet:

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post #23 of 52 Old 01-21-2020, 11:37 PM
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Also as an alternative to the riser you could do a multi level foundation so the back row is on the same level and the front row is on a lower sunken level. This is obviously more cost but it would be nice to not have the riser at all. Check out my theater for an idea.

I would also add that a 200 inch screen will require a massively powerful projector that costs quite a bit. Easily over $10k. Something to consider.

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post #24 of 52 Old 01-22-2020, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Also as an alternative to the riser you could do a multi level foundation so the back row is on the same level and the front row is on a lower sunken level. This is obviously more cost but it would be nice to not have the riser at all. Check out my theater for an idea.

I would also add that a 200 inch screen will require a massively powerful projector that costs quite a bit. Easily over $10k. Something to consider.
Thanks for the advice. Definitely rethinking the hallway idea a bit. I have started reading about projectors and screens a bit more. For this size room I was actually thinking a 180". I want 4k so was looking at the JVC DLA-NX7. At 1,900 Lumens is that enough for a 180" screen?
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post #25 of 52 Old 01-22-2020, 06:53 PM
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www.projectorcentral.com has a calculator if you know the screen gain.
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post #26 of 52 Old 01-22-2020, 07:13 PM
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Travis,

My room is similar in size and I have communicating doors.

Photos available in my build thread ... go to the last page where I've uploaded all my photos again following Photobucket finally trashing my account.

Cheers,
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post #27 of 52 Old 01-22-2020, 08:01 PM
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I like the “man trap” model, you can tie the lighting into the theater so the chamber lighting is dim when the theater lighting is down, and you will have more control of the light. I also like the buffer aspect, it feels like you’re in a different building.

I’m not sure about the mega long hall though. Maybe you could cut it in half and use the screen side for a media area.
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post #28 of 52 Old 01-22-2020, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Travis Reed View Post
Thanks for the advice. Definitely rethinking the hallway idea a bit. I have started reading about projectors and screens a bit more. For this size room I was actually thinking a 180". I want 4k so was looking at the JVC DLA-NX7. At 1,900 Lumens is that enough for a 180" screen?


I asked something similar, you’ll find that the NX-7 won’t have enough horsepower for HDR, in fact you’d want more like 5000 lumens, more than 30 foot Lamberts.

However, I’ve also seen projector pros say that the 30+ thing for HDR is a myth, especially if you have good tone mapping. I also am doing a 180” wide screen. Not exactly certain yet what I’m going to do to light it up, but I’m probably going to do something in the 3000 lumen range plus an anamorphic lens to boost it.

“One of the common misconceptions about HDR is that you need more light to make it look good”. - Kris Deering

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post #29 of 52 Old 01-23-2020, 04:25 AM
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As well as Peter M's theater, I'd consider The Savoy, Art Sonneborn's Sun Cinema and thebland's new build as rooms worthy of researching.

But one of the first things taught in a home theater design course, is it all starts with the individual seat. And then you establish a realistic seat
count and a seating foot print is established. You can say you want a 180" screen and you have the room to do it that way, but you as you have already
found out, thee viewing angles are often a mess when done that way. One other thing no one seems to talk about is how you may not want to stretch 1080P
and 4K so large. And not everything is available in 4K, so that might be a limitation that you want to consider.

Being able to build and then being able to keep a lid on costs, which can work in your favor. But the demands placed on gear, to have a quality
overall result, can get very expensive. Which means you need the knowledge to properly select gear, and the suitable budget, or there's becomes a
hidden cost to going too big, in that seating that sees little use, can be budget best spent elsewhere, invested in performance versus seating that underperforms.

You need to look at speakers, and how loud they can play at various distances and their off axis performance also starts to become a very important factor.

Are there support posts buried in that hallway? What factors made you choose the layout as such?
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post #30 of 52 Old 01-23-2020, 06:07 AM
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Be careful of placing the door too close to the rear corner where subs and rear surrounds might be located. Just a couple feet off the rear corner would work better and make the hall end easier to decorate/finish.


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