The Coldwater Creek Cinema is yet another testament to DIY. Owner Jeremy built nearly the entire room himself—with lots of online help from other AVS Forum members.
Jeremy Schneider (hd0823) loved going to the movies as a kid, a feeling that followed him into adulthood. "When I got old enough to work and save up some money, I bought one of those home theaters in a box. I was hooked! Four or five years later, I got my first apartment, which was very small, but big enough for a 120" screen with a Sanyo projector and some budget Klipsch speakers. Fast forward another 13 years, and I was finally able to build what I have today. I became a member of AVS Forum in 2015, but I read tons of posts prior to joining."
Jeremy has some very specific goals for his home theater. "My primary design goal was to build something that would surpass the commercial-cinema experience without spending an astronomical amount of money. Dolby Atmos was just starting in the home market, so I wanted to include that in my build. At minimum, I wanted a 7.2.4 setup, but I ended up with 9.4.4.
"For the screen, I went back and forth between 16:9 or 2:35:1. I ended up deciding on 16:9, 165" diagonal which I'm totally pleased with. It really gives you an IMAX type of feeling.
"After talking to a few members and reading many posts on AVS Forum, I knew that I wanted to treat the room acoustically. Also, I wanted two riser levels and fabric on the walls instead of just drywall and paint."
Jeremy's starting point was a large room over the garage. "The room started with 16-foot cathedral ceilings. I opted not to soundproof the room, mostly due to cost and the fact that it's just my wife Tia and me. So, I used no Green Glue or isolation clips and channels. There's just one layer of drywall all the way around, which does a surprisingly good job at keeping the theater sound in and outside noise out."
Jeremy's home theater started as a large room over the garage with 16' cathedral ceilings.
One of the first steps was to install ceiling joists to make a more rectilinear room.
The acoustic treatments include Linacoustic RC duct liner on all the walls above the chair rail. "I used 1.5" Linacoustic RC for sound damping and Acoustimac suede material to cover the Linacoustic. Also, the riser is stuffed full of insulation, and it has cutouts so it acts as a bass trap. I did the same with the front stage."
Jeremy wanted two riser levels "to give it that rising look as you enter the room."
The build is well underway, including framing for a bar at the back of the room and a soffit around the ceiling.
Once the drywall was installed, Jeremy built several columns that would house the surround speakers.
Another nod to acoustics was a baffle wall behind the screen. Jeremy placed three QSC SC-2150 cinema speakers in custom cutouts in the frame. "I covered the baffle wall with Linacoustic RC as well as the wall behind the baffle wall. It made a huge difference when I placed the QSCs in the cutouts."
The frame behind the screen is custom made for three QSC SC-2150 cinema speakers.
Jeremy went the DIY route for his subwoofers. He started by building two SubMaximus v3 horn-loaded cabinets designed by AVS Forum member LTD02. Each houses a 21NLW4000 21" driver from Eighteen Sound. They are located in the front corners of the room, just outside the screen frame and covered with black fabric. "I left openings just wide enough to fit them in."
The popular SubMaximus v3 horn-loaded subwoofer cabinet was designed by AVS Forum member LTD02, but it's up to you to actually build it. Jeremy built two.
The baffle wall is covered with Linacoustic RC, while the two SubMaximus v3 subwoofers are located just outside the wall boundaries. In this photo, the one of the right is covered with black fabric, while the one on the left is visible, standing 80" tall.
He then built two more subs using 30-cubic-foot ported cabinets designed by AVS Forum member eng-399. These cabinets house Stereo Integrity HS-24 mkI and mkII 24" drivers, and they are located in the rear corners of the room.
Jeremy took his time in the planning phase. "I read through hundreds of posts for a year before I started building to make sure everything would be done perfectly the first time. I wanted all the viewing angles and speaker placement to be right."
Then, the build itself took another year and a half, "mostly because I have a full-time job and a lawn-care business. Fortunately, it gave me time to buy everything piece by piece and spread it out instead of buying everything all at once. AVS forum member cdy2179 helped me a lot through the build process."
Jeremy originally wanted 12 seats, but the budget would allow for only eight. "I actually waited months for seats that would fit the width between the riser stairs to show up on clearance."
Jeremy built his home theater almost entirely himself, except for installing the carpet. "If I didn't know how to do something, I taught myself. For example, I had never done crown or trim work before. This was my first big construction project, which gave me the confidence to remodel other rooms in our house. I had a little help with the framing from my father-in-law, and one of my buddies helped hang the drywall. My wife Tia also gave me a helping hand once in a while, but I did most of the work on my own."
Jeremy's trim work is excellent. The red sections of the walls are Acoustimac suede over 1.5" Linacoustic RC.
In fact, that was the most challenging aspect of Jeremy's build. "I hadn't really built much of anything before this. I had to come up with a lot of different techniques for working solo, especially with long runs of trim or putting up most of the 18-foot ceiling joists. It was a bit of trial and error and thinking of ways to do things with one set of hands."
The screen is 16:9 measuring a whopping 165" diagonally.
Jeremy and Tia decided to call their home theater the Coldwater Creek Cinema. "It's a combination of the name of the street we live on in Flint, MI, and something that would go well with 'Coldwater.' Tia had drink coasters made with the name on them, which I think is a nice touch." The coasters even have integrated bottle openers, clever!
So, how much did Jeremy spend? "The total cost was between $23,500 and $25,000. With so many runs to Home Depot, it's probably closer to $25,000." That's certainly not chump change, but it's remarkably low considering how the room turned out. That's what you get when you do almost all the work with your own two hands. Well done, Jeremy!
For much more detail about how the Coldwater Creek Cinema came together, check out the build thread here .
Oppo UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray player
Roku Premiere+ streamer
Amazon Fire TV Stick streamer
Comcast Xfinity cable box
Xbox One game console
Marantz SR7010 AVR (4 overheads)
Marantz MM8077 7-channel power amp (LCR, 4 surround channels)
Lab Gruppen FP 14000 2-channel power amps (2, subwoofers)
Seymour AV Center Stage XD (165" diagonal, 16:9, 1.2 gain, woven acoustically transparent)
DIY screen frame
QSC SC-2150 (3, LCR)
DIY Sound Group Volt 10 (10; 6 surrounds, 4 overhead)
DIY subwoofers (4; 2 with Eighteen Sound 21NLW4000 21" drivers in SubMaximus v3 horn-loaded cabinets designed by AVS Forum member LTD02, 2 with Stereo Integrity HS-24 mkI and mkII 24" drivers in 30-cu-ft ported cabinets designed by AVS Forum member eng-399)
Monoprice 12 AWG speaker cable
Logitech Harmony Elite with Harmony Hub
APC H15 power conditioner
Seatcraft Meridian (8, 2 rows of 4)
26.5' (L) x 18' (W) x 10' (H)
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