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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I watched this show on HGTV a couple nights ago called "Incredible Basements." It showed how some people transformed their basements into a (very impressive) Home Theatre, sports complex, full court basketball court, classic arcade, etc. But the most fascinating parts were the ones where people themed their basement toward their passions like building an old town square with realistic store fronts, or going with a completely Egyptian theme, including turning their staircase into what looked like an Egyptian tomb entrance.


In a dedicated space, I would love to mix a theme like that with a home theatre. I've seen pictures of home theatres modeled after Star Trek, horror films, Disney characters, etc. But I can't help but wonder--would I get tired of it? I used to work at Disney World over a decade ago in college, and would love to maybe theme a room in some way to make it more like I'm getting away from the house. But not sure.


Any thoughts? Cool ideas for themes or links to theater pics with cool themes? Or thoughts on why you shouldn't theme it and make it like a regular cinema?


KP
 

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Art, I agree:

I can't seem to keep construction out of my Theater more than 3 months or after cleanup which ever comes first.


Kevin,

Have a classic base feel and you can change the mood, emotion or theme with simple changes like accents, art work, plants and many type of area rugs.
 

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If resale of your home is a concern, a themed basement may be more of a hinderance than a help. Depends on how "themed" it is.
 

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KP,


What if?


That seems to be the question I ask myself so often. What if I were to build a themed HT/ What if ....I didn't?


I too, like Art can find myself becoming bored easily...especially with the mundane or mediocre.


Three years ago I became bored with my motorcycle. Then out of frustration I did a complete rebuild and customization project called the PrymalUrge. That was some of the most fun I have had in quite sometime, even taking 1st and 2nd place awards at various custom shows. Three years later am I bored with it. Nope. Love 'er more than ever!


My newest project, The Cyberdyne Cinema, is just as similar. I bantered the idea of a dedicated HT for a few years. I finally realized that the creative "itch" was not going to subside until I tackled such a project.


First I worried of resale value...then and mostly, what would others think. After all, here in the Heartland, many people are not exposed to such things unless they come across it on a program such as on HGTV. Finally I said: JUST DO IT! After all, I didn't spend a year designing our home just to sit on it and resell it for profit. I built the home to be just that....a home. A place to call our own....a place that is just a part of me as I am it. I have done 100% of the landscaping...including a 5000 gallon, twin waterfall watergarden feature stocked with beautiful Koi that my neighbor and friends visit all the time. It has gotten rave reviews. However, that was another project that preceded the PrymalUrge that was another, What if? Now, several years later....I am so glad I did! I get as much enjoyment from it now, than I ever have.


With a themed HT, I think that you have to go beyond just "what is cool." Because what is cool today...may not be cool tomorrow. It is something that should be personal to you, something that will have everlasting meaning and appeal to you. With that in mind for our HT, I chose something related to the hobby itself. Asking myself why I even enjoy HT and where did that interest even come from. For me it was the fun and escapism I had as a young kid watching TV. Specifically Sci-Fi and horror films of old. I took that thirty year longing and put it into something tangible, incorporating the Old Sci-Fi of yesteryear with the new Sci-Fi of today. Hey, it works for me....


Will I be bored with in the tomorrows to come. Who can say. If so, then it will become another chapter in my life of creativity...and it will again evolve....but I think it will continue with its theme as long as I live in this home, and as a Cyberdyne organism it will continue to grow and recreate itself over time.


For those interested, here are a couple links to my PrymalUrge project bike:

http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/RADMAG

http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/fe...sername=RADMAG
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Sonneborn
Even though my HT has a classic theater look ,which lends itself to being a little more timeless, I'm getting tired of it.
Art, I'll gladly take your theater, since you are tired of it!;):D
 

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I'm with Darren, don't worry too much about how you'll feel several years down the road. If something lights up your imagination, go with it!


I, on the other hand, decided not to go with a theme and wanted to create a "classy" space that would make me or visitors feel comfortable and "special".


And remember, when the lights go down and the movie starts, you don't want to detract from that, so balance your thematic elements with good acoustics and lighting.


Actually, I think that lobbies lend themselves to thematic treatment more than the theaters themselves. So far we haven't decorated ours, but we finally got around to ordering a table and chairs for the lobby. I need to find some bar stools, then it's decorate the walls. I'm strongly tempted to do a "TGIF" treatment with all of the weird and collectible stuff we have, especially around the corner with the table, but so far, that has low WAF.


BTW - I saw the HGTV show as well. That guy did a terrific job with his theater - seats 30! But if you want to talk about range of obsessions, he uses a real film projector and schedules monthly showings.


My daughter noticed his speakers were in plain view, right, left, and center and commented, "why does he just have them sitting out in the open?" Guess she's spoiled already! :D


Good luck!


Randy
 

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Randy, your daughter must be spoiled.


A theme would be nice if different people came over each time you watched. Cause really, the WOW effect is lost after the first couple of times guests come. And the WOW effect for me would be gone pretty quick. Give me something simple and dark and I would be happy. A classic theme would be nice, but then I would feel the need to change colors after a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. I think you're right...the only thing I don't agree on is worrying about resale value. I have so many friends who are living in their homes and every customization they do the first thing they think about is resale (they want marble, but Corian has better resale, they want to have an open shower in their bathroom, but not having a traditional bathtub would hurt resale, etc.). For me, there just comes a time when you gotta start living in your house the way you want to. Resale be damned.


But...as far as getting bored...I'm not so sure. I'm embarassed to admit it, but here's my geeky/loser/fantasy theme idea: I love haunted house and ghost movies. It's my favorite genre. I also used to work at Disney, and am a huge fan. I would like to create an HT with a gothic, "Disney Haunted Mansion" kind of look. Not too over the top, but definitely something that leaned in that direction. Here are my dilemmas on it though:


1. I don't want to scare the kids, who hate going into the basement anyway.

2. I don't know if I'll get tired of it.

3. I'm not sure of exactly what it would entail. I would need a designer. Mucho Dinero.


So there it is all laid out there for everyone to make fun of. But it's just kind of a dream I've had for an HT for years. I guess it's not any worse than someone else's Star Wars theatre. But I do think it would give me a chance to mix a theme with a classic cinema look.


KP
 

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Kevin,

I agree with you on the resale thing as well. If this is going to be "the house" then make it what you want it to be.Elvis had his jungle room and we hear about it to this day! I'm there now and that is why I had an addition put on with the whole upper level with no windows. It looks like a barn from the back but I wanted my theater!


I just think that the stronger the theme the more narrow the appeal and the wow factor ,if that is one of your goals ,will be occur more narrowly as well.


Art
 

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Kevin,


1. It would be a good way to keep the kids out of the theater ;). Think of little hands on that expensive equipment and screen.

2. It's your theater, build it exactly how you would like it. It would be a big hit, espescially around halloween.

3. This is just a thought, but maybe hire a college art major of some sort to do it for cheap. They could take pictures and use it on their resume or portfolio.
 

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In the CEDIA Expo book this year they had a Star Wars theater where the owners actually hired one of the Original trilogy's set designers. It was pretty impressive. Not what I would want, but very cool just the same.
 

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I think if you theme it on a fad (like Matrix theme) then you would tire of it. But I think if the theme is something that you have been passionate about for ever, then I don't think you would ever tire of it.


Aws for resale, I agree with most here, it is supposed to be your house, live in it the way you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I just saw the AWFUL new trailer for "The Haunted Mansion" movie which is coming out from Disney this Thanksgiving. Not only am I disturbed that this film is messing with my memory of the world's finest dark ride, but it is making me doubt my idea of theming an HT out of it, since I wouldn't want people to think I got the idea as a result from the movie which looks to have a very high SUCKS potential.


It was probably a bad idea anyway. But it was fun to think about it. Thanks for all the comments. I'll keep you posted as things go on.


Maybe I'll do an HT based on the Enchanted Tiki Room or the Hall of Presidents.


:)
 

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NO!!! not the Tiki room! those birds will talk through the whole movie :D


I love racing and cars, so I did my basement in a car/sports theme. I have a riser with two recliners in front, a fouton in the mid section, and a bar with workbench style bar stools, the walls are black and white checkerboard.


Racing posters, and a slotcar track in the back ! I need to get my camera back to post a few pictures. I would go along with the other thoughts, if you plan on staying in the house for a few years then go for it! Keep your theme to something you love and don't worry about what others think.
 

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To ring in on the theming idea, I think the best idea, unless you truly love a specific theme, is to go for a broad approach theme. You can do a haunted mansion type theater and not get bored I think as long as it doesn't tie too specifically with one movie (or ride or whatever). A futuristic looking theater I think has more longevity than one modeled specifically on the bridge of the Millenium Falcon (or whatever).


From what I remember of the haunted mansion, it is set up as a really nice mansion with lots of haunted special effects. Perhaps you can theme your theater as a dark sophisticated and classy mansion, and keep the ability to turn off and remove any "haunted" special effects. Those that aren't into haunting/horror type ideas will only see a nicely decorated mansion theme.


Alternatively, you could model after one of the really nice mansion quality theaters in Audio Video interiors, then add the hologram ghost special effects to only run on Halloween or at your pleasure.....
 

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The Millineum Falcon bridge theme would last forever and up the value of the home by at least $30K. More if the whole house looked like the whole ship.
 

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I guess the best thing to do might be to have an oversized room where you treat the walls for the acoustics and then add painted fabric facades in front of that. Several of them can give depth. Basically more of a stage type of thing. I don't know how well the painted fabric would allow the sound to pass through to the acoustic treatments, but you could change things at your whim.
 
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