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Discussion Starter #1
I have been ready to start theater construction but have been struggling with finalizing design plans. The goal as to maximize functional seating in a small 12.8x16x9 room, when the room is accessed from the rear. This is my second theater- the first I just threw in a row of 3 seats, some absorption and drapes, and called it a day. I watched the Grimani Masterclass and have run a number of room mode calcuations, I know I will need approx 15% absorption and 20% diffusion and will plan that later. MM is generously helping with the AT screen, but I cant start until I finalize layout so I can determine screen size and height. Room is 100% movies (future 4K upgrade), with maybe a few sports a year.

There are 3 options attached and a view of the (not climate controlled) equipment room. Any other options I haven't thought of also welcome.

1. 1 row with a bar- the family doesn't love this and I'm not sure if anyone would enjoy a bar stool for 2-3 hours. This places recliners at around 9-10'

2. 1 row flanked chairs- main row at 13', flanked chairs at 7'. Chairs will have a bad viewing angle

3. 2 rows with riser- this is our first choice and we really want to make this work. This puts the main back row at 13' (3' from back wall) and spillover front row at 7'. With a 6' depth riser people will have to put their feet back to allow access to the middle. The front row will be close which limits screen size and height.


I've got spare wood to build a 1 chair riser and test the 2 row option. Thank you in advance for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the idea. I've seen those theater chairs but for some reason have not considered them. Mockup attached.

I like the shorter riser and the ability to fit a row of 4!
It also allows for a 5" thick, 4'H half wall to hide the back of the riser when entering the room
However for audio this puts front seating at 8' (the back of the recliner is at 8'10 less cushion), probably in a null. The back seating is still better for audio but the front gets the recliners.

I could do 2 rows of 4 theater seats to get the front seating back to 9', but then noone gets a recliner.
I can also ditch the half wall for 5" more.

The screen wall is already 5" into the room for absorption future in-walls

Thoughts?
 

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I would move the Side speakers so that they are slightly forward of the front row. This will give you better wrap-around envelopment AND greater side-vs-rear separation in the surround field.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Trust me I wish I could

That back wall and arch are 2' thick because duct work runs down the right side (when looking into room) from attic to the first floor. Also need room for the door to the equipment room..it's in-swing because of the roof angle behind.

I know I need to make compromises..I'm considering all theater seats..still playing with a few things thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
sorry that was to Big..let me look at the speakers

I have the speakers installed as close to thx 7.1 as I could, did not consider using sides as a front wide

What I can do is frame in the arch with a single or double door in the middle. This would allow me to bring the rears closer.
 

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I have the speakers installed as close to thx 7.1 as I could, did not consider using sides as a front wide
They will still be Sides, not Wides. We're talking 5 - 10 degrees forward of the main listening position. In movie theatres (and movie mixing rooms) the surround speaker arrays start well forward of the sweet spot. Placing all 4 surround speakers (Sides & Rears) behind the main listening position will minimize side-vs-rear separation (will sound more like 5.1) and reduce envelopment (no wrap-around, all surround info will come from behind).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I'm confused by "slightly forward". In front of the front row is a lot forward! Are we still talking about the back row for ideal audio?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok thanks sdurani, i think you are planning the front row as main listening position. which I am great with if I can get it back an acceptable distance!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I looked at the Manor theater and see the sides are close to the midway point of the (albeit much larger) room. I've also moved them to mid point 8'.

I've got the front row to 9', with a 12' second row on a short 3'5" riser. I watched a little from 9' on a 100" 16x9 and struggled to take it all in. If I want 2 rows while prioritizing audio then this is the sacrifice I'll need to make.

I drew in a 120" 2:39:1 screen which allows me to hide the in-walls. I lose almost 3" in screen height when watching 16x9 but a wider 2:39. Also my thought is that in a few years 100" displays will be affordable so build something that still has an advantage.

I framed in the opening and if anything like moving the rears farther from the side walls and blocking out kids xbox live battles.

I will either adjust to the front row or make the back the MLP. I plugged the room into the Harman calc and both rows look clear of the axial modes, I am not an engineer, will this design optimize a 7.2.4 atmos system? Does anyone sit 9' from a 120" 2:39?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Saving quote here because I felt this

I'm with fierce. Most theater builders have a "build it and they will come" mentality.
The reality is that the home theater experience is often a solitary one. If you are lucky your significant other will join in at times...and will not mind realistic volume levels...and will not want the lights on to do crafts...and will not multitask on their cell phone.
Pinning kids down for more than an hour at a time is almost impossible.
Pick the best seating option for yourself and drag in kitchen chairs once a year for Superbowl. Most people will be standing anyway.
 

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I agree for us its me and my wife 80% of the time, me 10% of the time watching sports, and about 10% with our adult kids. Those numbers may change a bit once people can actually come over but probably not much. My wife and I actually watched a couple movies from the theater seats in the back row (let the kids have the front row) over the 4th and they were fine definitely not the front row but certainly as good as many commercial theaters. Really glad we went that route as it saved not only space but almost $2500
 
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