When Patrick Williams (jedi1982) and his wife decided to build a new house in Nixa, MO (the home town of fictional superspy Jason Bourne, as it happens), they decided to include a dedicated home theater in the plan. Patrick has been an audio and home-theater geek most of his life. He started with an Aiwa stereo and upgraded several times to end up with a 5.1 system based on Aperion Verus Grand speakers and Rythmik subwoofers.

"I was very content with that setup. I felt I had achieved home-theater nirvana—until I joined AVS Forum in 2013. I have you all to blame for feeding the fire! Reading through various forums and articles, including Home Theater of the Month, brought the upgrade craving back. At that time, my wife and I were talking about building a new house, and if we were going to build from the ground up, why not incorporate a dedicated home theater? Seemed like the perfect justification to me!"

Another of Patrick's passions is Star Wars, so it seemed like a no-brainer to incorporate that theme into the interior design. "I always thought it would be awesome to have a themed home theater, and I had some 'napkin sketches.' But I never really knew how to make them a reality with the polished look and function of a high-end theater—that is, until I connected with Shawn Byrne (SierraMikeBravo) at Quest Acoustical Interiors. I also reached out to Jeff Parkinson (BIGmouthinDC) for consulting help on the actual build."

Shawn Byrne came up with the floorplan of The Force Theater.

After two months of planning with Shawn, Patrick brought his builder, Mark Martin, into the process "to make sure we got things correct and aligned with the rest of the house plans. We started the dig on May 5, 2017, and moved into the house Nov 2. The theater wasn't completely finished, but it was far enough along that no more construction was needed. We just had to install the acoustic paneling, wrap the fabric, and get everything calibrated."

The Force Theater is located in one corner of the ground floor.

Of course, the theater would need to be acoustically isolated from the rest of the house. "For sound-isolation purposes, we used metal hat channels and IB-1 clips from Soundproofing Company on all walls and ceiling with double 5/8" drywall and Green Glue between layers. The concrete floor was covered with the company's Serena Mat and 3/4" OSB (oriented strand board) with a gap around the perimeter to avoid contact with the walls."

The walls and ceiling are insulated with R13 pink fluffy, and metal hat channels accommodate the IB-1 clips. In this photo, you can see the back boxes Patrick built for the side and rear surround speakers. You can also barely see the back boxes he built for the overhead Dolby Atmos speakers and lights.

To minimize the sound of air flowing through the HVAC system, Patrick insulated the supply and return chambers with Linacoustic RC duct liner.

The drywall presented some particular challenges. "Jeff warned me about several things to look out for and suggested that I be on site for this phase of construction. Am glad I took his advice, because everything he said could happen did happen! For example, there were large gaps between the first layer of drywall and the ceiling, which needed lots of caulking. Thankfully, I was there to catch and correct these issues before it was too late, or it would've cost more to fix."

There were a few problems with the drywall installation, but Patrick was on hand to ward off any major disasters.

The next step was installing the paneling that would simulate the look of the Death Star from Star Wars. "We used 1/2" MDF strips to create panel framing to attach the actual 1/2" MDF wall panels to. This provided the space needed for the LED lighting behind the panels. I contracted with a local business who had a CNC machine to cut the shapes out of the panels as well as the panel surface detail."

In this super-wide-angle shot, you can see the MDF paneling designed to look like the interior of the Death Star. Of course, it was subsequently painted.

The MDF paneling includes cutouts backed with frosted plexiglass. LEDs behind these panels can be set to any color. Also, notice the black projector box at the back of the room; it's vented with a large flextube to keep the projector cool.

With two rows of seating, a riser was a must, along with a stage under the screen. "The riser was built as one big bass trap, and the stage is filled with a mixture of sand and sawdust. Let me tell you, hauling about three tons of sand into the room was a chore!"

The second-row riser is a big bass trap.

The acoustic treatments were integrated into the paneling. "The acoustic treatments and fabric track are all products from Quest. They are in specific locations to provide absorption, diffusion, and reflection. The ceiling panels are from Acoustimac. I decided to use GOM Anchorage material for the wall treatments and paneling because I think its finish and texture are better than 701. The walls are painted with a Sherwin-Williams flat-gray paint."

The acoustic panels are shaped to conform to the Death Star motif.

Patrick decided to use his Aperion Verus Grand tower speakers for the front LCR duties. Interestingly, only the center speaker is placed behind the acoustically transparent screen. The left and right speakers are just outside the screen boundaries, and two Rythmik FV15HP subwoofers are on either side of the center firing through black grille cloth below the screen.

Patrick's beloved Aperion Grand Verus towers serve the front LCR channels. Not seen in this photo are two Rythmik FV15HP subs that flank the center tower and fire through the frame below the screen. There's a layer of Linacoustic RC behind the speakers as well.

When all was said and done, Patrick figures he spent about $70,000 on The Force Theater. "As my wife says, 'there's your Corvette!' I was able to save roughly $10,000 by laying the Serena Mat and OSB flooring (thank you dad and Mark!), building the speaker, lighting, and HVAC back boxes, caulking around the seams of drywall, and installing the acoustic paneling and fabric into the fabric track."

LED lighting above the finished screen can be set to any color. Of course, it's turned off when a movie is playing!

What were the greatest moments during the build? "One of the greatest things was Shawn's calibration. I thought it sounded great during the initial setup, but holy cow! If you're going to build a dedicated home-theater space, you must have the audio and video properly calibrated. It was night and day!"

The door to The Force Theater integrates seamlessly with the Death Star design.

When Patrick senses conflict between the good and dark sides of the Force in his visitors, he sets the lighting to represent both—blue for good, red for the dark side.

Clearly, the Force is strong with Patrick. His commitment to creating his dream theater never wavered. With the help of Jedi masters Shawn Byrne, Jeff Parkinson, and Mark Martin, The Force Theater is a beacon of hope for all who seek the enlightenment that only a first-rate home theater can deliver. May the Force be with you!

For much more detail about how The Force Theater came together, check out the build thread here .

If you'd like your home theater considered for HT of the Month, send an email to [email protected] with a few photos, a brief description, and a link to your build thread if available.

EQUIPMENT LIST


Sources

Oppo UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray player
Sony PlayStation 4 Pro game console
AT&T U-verse set-top box

AV Electronics

Denon AVR-X4300H AV receiver
Outlaw Model 2200 monoblock power amps (3, LCR)
Outlaw Model 5000 5-channel power amps (2, surrounds, Atmos overheads)
miniDSP 10x10 Hd

Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB

Screen

Severtson Cinema White MicroPerf (fixed, 117" wide, 2.35:1, acoustically transparent)

Speakers

Aperion Verus Grand Towers (3, LCR)
Triad InWall Bronze/4 Surrounds (4, side & rear surrounds)
Triad InCeiling Bronze SealedRounds (4, Dolby Atmos overheads)
Rythmik FV15HP subwoofers (2)

AV Cables

Ruipro HDMI
Monoprice HDMI

Control

Savant with Alexa voice control

Seating

HT Design Warwick (7, black leather, motorized recliners, lighted cup holders, USB ports)

Room Dimensions

24' x 16' x 9' (before walls)
23' 6" x 15' 6" x 8' 9" (finished)



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