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Hi All,

I am purchasing a home and will be finishing the basement mainly to build a dedicated theater room. This room will mainly be for movies or sports, very little music. I am working on a basic cad design to figure out where best to put the room. The issue is that it's a 8ft tall basement and the trunks for the HVAC run down the middle and would reduce height to aprox 7ft. Seems we have 3 options: narrow but long room, short but wide room, or figure out how to incorporate the ducting into the room. I have attached a basic layout of the basement. Anyone have any advise or have dealt with this in their designs? I am looking for a large room that could hold 6-10ish people. Possible with a sitting bar if that works into the design.

Jason
 

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How much space from the top wall of the drawing to the ducting?
 

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I'm not 100% sure. Its a little strange because my wife picked out the house while I am working out of state. In my plan it shows 10ft but this is all just rough guess based on tax measurements and pictures. Here is a pic and the interesting thing is if you are talking the far left side the ducts actually become narrower down there which I haven't accounted for in my drawing so far. I do plan to see if my dad can go out and firm up some dimensions once I have a general idea of where to put it.
 

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That picture is towards the left wall by the way. I assume that beam is 12 foot off the back wall so depending on the width of the duct its likely 11ft off the back wall shrinking to 10ft as it expands coming closer to the camera.

Jason
 

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You could have the ductwork as a soffit in the room and build the poles into the wall and gain some space. If that gave you like 12-13', then you could easily go to maybe 22' or so on the length.
 

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I think thats a good idea. We could build a soffit on the other side so it looks nice and symmetrical. I would likely build space for the speakers to be behind a AT screen to maximize screen real estate. I do like the idea of a longer room so I can consider a bar top behind the second row. Thanks for your help!

Jason
 

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There's lots of possible ways to lay out a theater in that large space, but dimensions and exact support post locations would be ideal
to suggest the best layout.

There might be an opportunity to rebuild the duct work further down, to a wider/flatter profile, to gain a little more head room. The real question is
do you want an exterior door into a theater, and if you are willing to give up the day light to the basement?

You can also save a 2-4" of headroom by doing ladder trusses where the duct work is, and skipping framing beneath the duct work.
 

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You could go with 3 seats wide, plus a bar row to get a tight seating foot print.

You could shrink the visual foot print of necessary soffits by using an acoustically transparent
screen. An acoustically transparent false back wall, could hide the rear surrounds and
possibly allow for the projector to be in a hush box behind the rear AT wall.
 

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You could go with 3 seats wide, plus a bar row to get a tight seating foot print.

You could shrink the visual foot print of necessary soffits by using an acoustically transparent
screen. An acoustically transparent false back wall, could hide the rear surrounds and
possibly allow for the projector to be in a hush box behind the rear AT wall.
Thanks for the ideas. The only issue with the bottom left is that is where the exterior door is located. Its a walk out basement on that side.

Jason
 

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Great basement.

I do wonder just how much space between the support posts is at the stair end of the basement?

With the stairs and a hallway needed there, (eating up theater depth,) I would stick six seats in a single row.
And build a large acoustically transparent screen.


I did see the door down there for a walk out. And you are going to need circulation space along that stair wall, so
that eats up theater depth, when considering a two row theater.

One could also go long in the upper section, and use a "riser on riser", second row design. You would need to pay spacial attention to where
the projector lands, re headroom and riser circulation.
 
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