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Thinking of moving over the next year, year and a half. I'd like to find something that will accommodate a home theater for perhaps six large recliners. Would love 7.1 but can settle for 5.1.
I don't have the budget for a house that already has a large dedicated home theater. Thinking of getting something with a basement - either finished or unfinished.
I don't know what to look for as far as size / shape of the basement. Any help appreciated.
 

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When I was shopping, I wanted a full rear exit unfinished basement. I got all of that, but it was kind of chopped up so I had to make due with what I had. It worked out as I was able to separate the areas. Personally, I would look for as open an unfinished basement as possible so you can build it to your requirements.
 

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Tks.

Anyone know what min size would accommodate this?
It is hard to say. Do you want two rows of three seats? What size screen?

I do a 151.5" 16:9 7.4 in my basement and it was as simple as painting a screen and putting a projector on a shelf. My room is 16 feet wide at the seats and 21 feet in length. I could do five large chairs at the max but I have 5 or 6 feet behind the chairs so I could do two rows of four if necessary.

Now that I'm looking for a new house down south, I'm leaning towards a open basement for a row of at least six to eight chairs and a much larger screen.

Here's my current basement and I could flip the main room for a single row of 6 large chairs.
 

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I would aim for 13' wide minimum, and about 22' of depth, with the basement height ideally being 8.5', with limited obstacles.

I'd also be looking at no windows in the space, or the ability to cover over any windows.
 

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you can build a theater anywhere you want. the limitation is really about your budget.

the cheapest route is to find a home with a finished basement already and set up a simple projector/screen that fits the room size.

if you're handy, then an unfinished basement may be just as cheap, but you'll be able to make a better product in the end.

the easiest space to turn into a theater is a rectangle. room width/height will determine max screen size, and max screen size will determine how many seats you can effectively have. with 8ft ceilings, you can't really go much bigger than about 135" (unless you go scope), and that screen size will need about 12ft of width in the room. If you want a smaller screen, then you can absolutely do a it in a smaller room.

things to consider:
-room size. 12-13ft wide is a pretty good size. smaller is ok if you want a cozy theater, larger is awesome if you want more seating and space. figure roughly 10ft per row if you're doing nice reclining chairs
-windows. more windows = more light. so in this case less is better
-air ducts,etc. not only are these things that can make noise, they can always let it escape. if they run across the ceiling then you also have to figure out a design to cover them up
-access to a/v gear. with a simple system, you probably won't have a central room for all your gear wired up to the whole house. so consider where your gear will go, and try to make sure you have easy access to the back of it. i like the idea of building the rack into a wall, and having a 'media closet' on the other side of that wall

i can tell you, my room is 11'6" wide and my seats are currently placed about 10' back from the screen. the screen is roughly 133". i think if i had these dimensions with a closed room, and entrance from the front i could squeeze 3 chairs across, but with the rear entry set up i have, there's not enough room for more than 2.

before:

in progress:
 
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