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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,


OK, I need people's opinions on a possible theatre build-out. I've got an unfinished basement that is just begging for a theatre installation, but because of a couple of load bearing walls (well, 1 wall, 1 steel beam with supports), there really is only 1 space appropriate for a theatre.


Its a raw space that is 16' long and 13' wide (with this strange 2.5' deep by 4' wide inset into the wall at one end...which seems to have equipment closet written all over it). A perfect space for 2 rows of seating, and a roughly 7' wide screen. The big kicker is the height. In its current state, I have 7'1" of clearance. Now there are nice big 2x12 joists running the length of the room supporting the room above, so I have some space there to run wiring, etc.


But I have 7' of space to put in a floor, put up a ceiling, etc... This makes me worried that if I want to hang the projector, I and my taller guests will have to bend their heads to avoid hitting it as they walk by...and placing the rear row of seating on a 6" riser sounds pretty iffy as well.


Suggestions appreciated. I'd like to do this. I think I can do this, but I want some assurance that we don't have a failure in the making before I start down this road.


Thanks in advance.


Chris
 

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Do a search for Mark Brown's infamous theater lowering thread (It's massive). There's all the information you need for removing your current concrete floor, and digging down, and repouring the floor ;)


Obviously not for the faint of heart. Realistically, if you plan a CRT, yes it's going to be low. A bulb projector might not be too bad however.


If you are using CRT, another option might be a floor mount...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Aaron Oz
Do a search for Mark Brown's infamous theater lowering thread (It's massive). There's all the information you need for removing your current concrete floor, and digging down, and repouring the floor ;)
Ye gods...I think that's a bit more hardcore than I want to go. I will search out the thread, however...sounds like a fun article.


I'm thinking of probably a bulb projector. It will not be a huge, mega-high end CRT unit. Nice LCD or DLP unit will be quite fine for me...


Chris
 

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Question? Why put in a floor? I am going to just carpet over the concrete as a lot of people have. I am 6'5" and the solution I had for my riser was to raise the couch Higher then the rest of the riser. You could raise the couch only if you were going to only do 6 inches. The kids don't mind hoping up into the couch, and it isn't that bad for adults.

http://www.wolffhouse.com/ht/platform.jpg
 

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Chris,

I have a similar height-challenged room at 78" concrete to joists. I installed thick padding on carpet as well as a double sheetrock onto ceiling and, while not ideal, doesn't feel to bad at all (I'm 6'1"). I hung my projector from the back row and just lined up the armrests of the back row to the projector so it became a non-issue regarding height.


I put in a ~10" riser in back (2x8 with plywood, etc.)


See my gallery or sig-link if this doesn't make sense as a picture is worth more than...etc.
 

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croosenraad:


I had the same problem with 6'8" ceiling height and a crawlspace where my theater should be. So I lowered the floor and took out the crawl space. Pics at www.ballzac.com . Lots o' fun!


Ballzac


------------------------------------


No experience required.
 

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croosenraad:


To code or not to code is the first question. In my part of the world code dictates a minimum ceiling height of 7'. In other parts 7.5'.


To isolate or not to isolate sound to/from your theater. Should you go with code.


Of course if you were a short man with short friends (if they are tall then they won't be invited), you could just lower the ceiling height without regard to code.


Ballzac :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by croosenraad
Its a raw space that is 16' long and 13' wide (with this strange 2.5' deep by 4' wide inset into the wall at one end...which seems to have equipment closet written all over it). A perfect space for 2 rows of seating, and a roughly 7' wide screen. The big kicker is the height. In its current state, I have 7'1" of clearance. Now there are nice big 2x12 joists running the length of the room supporting the room above, so I have some space there to run wiring, etc.


But I have 7' of space to put in a floor, put up a ceiling, etc... This makes me worried that if I want to hang the projector, I and my taller guests will have to bend their heads to avoid hitting it as they walk by...and placing the rear row of seating on a 6" riser sounds pretty iffy as well.
Aha! Finally some measurements!! I'm jumping into this discussion since I have seen the space and plan to stick my nose in the project! :)


Other than the slightly low ceiling, it is an excellent space for a HT. The wall to be projected on will be perfect.


I like the idea of mounting the projector further back in the room to avoid headroom problems. Also will keep it closer to the equipment rack allowing for shorter cable runs. This will require a longer throw projector lens.


So with carpet and drywall you shouldn't lose much more than an inch. That would keep you within code for Fairfax County:


"Habitable basements shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet. Beams and girders spaced not less than 4 feet on center may project not more than 6 inches below the required ceiling height."

http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/dpwes/pu...ts.htm#Fairfax
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All,


Wow, what great feedback! I now feel quite confident I can get this in, and in at an acceptable ceiling height.


bwolff: Thanks for the photo, it definitely helped me visualize a few things. I'm now debating a platform in back or just raising up the couches and making folks hop to get in them. Have to debate that.


adamf: good call with the placement of the projector...its so simple now that I've seen how you did it. Over the armrest, and almost no one can hit it unless they really trip badly...


ballzac: Dang, now that is an agressive build-out you've done. I'm going to go in code (don't want to have problems down the road), so 7' of height is required.


Sayer: well, you're in for it now. You've posted, you've volunteered, you're now officially part of the construction crew...


Chris
 

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If the joists from the floor above run front to back in the proposed theater, rather than across, you might be able to recess the projector somewhat betwen two joists.
 

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My solution is my hush box will be right above the door as you walk in the door frame top is the bottom of the hushbox, and i will form a soffit that runs the room the same drop as that..


In the event some one come over that is taller than the door frame, then they just have to duck for a few moments longer as they enter or exit the room...


Since Digital PJ have the advantage of throw varied throws very easly, this is a decent solution... the best solution of corse would be a higher ceiling.


But as we all know this usualy isnt doable.
 

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"Habitable basements shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet. Beams and girders spaced not less than 4 feet on center may project not more than 6 inches below the required ceiling height."


Did I miss something here? Didn't croosenraad say he had 2x12 beam? I'm running into the same issues in Connecticut. I have a beam comprised of four 2X10s. I had to file an exception with the state. I haven't heard the results yet. If there's a way around it, other than not pulling the permit in the first place, I'd like to know what it is.
 

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I've mentioned this before, but i will say it again.

I dug my basement HT room (12x20) 21" deeper with a shovel and a few weeks of grunting. After pouring a new floor the total depth was 14" deeper.

Before I poured the concrete, I put in pex in-floor radiant heating.

nice and cozy.

the concrete floor probably cost me about $2500.00 Canadian ($29.95 in US funds) , but that is because i did most the :"grunt" work myself.


It was worth every penny...now i have 8' ceiling and the PJ is well above everyone's head.


An added bonus is that I didn't dig where the back row of seats was proposed...so I saved some cash and back aches...instead i have a ready-made 14" high concrete platform for the rear seats.


The whole floor is carpeted and though the "balcony" floor isn't heated, the mezzanine and orchestra are...


Scott
 

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WOW! Your room sounds great.


I neglected to mention that I live in a condo and would have to get the board to approve any change to structural elements including beam, lolly column or foundation walls or floor.
 
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