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In addition to the considerations you put, Bryan's questions are certainly pertinent.

Since you are making a dedicated room in an unfinished space, you are in the catbird seat to produce a great result. However doing so probably requires more work and considerations than you have thought of so far:
-Sound isolation: how much do you want to keep the outside out, and how much do you need to keep the inside in?
-HVAC: what does the current HVAC to the area look like / what can you put in? Remember that a projector, audio gear, and a bunch of bodies make quite a bit of heat that you will need to rid the room of for it to remain comfortable. Also, how will you ensure that the HVAC system is quiet enough so that you can hear all the details in films without turning it up to ear-damaging levels?
-Other acoustics: the construction of the walls (generally for sound isolation) determines, to some extent, the low frequency acoustics in the space. If you want to take advantage of this, you will either need a very smart, studied friend or a pro.
-Shape of screen: do you want a constant image height setup, or to just match the (likely 16:9) shape of your projector's image and call it done?
-Do you want a false wall to mount the screen on?
-Do you want the speakers to be out in the room (visible), hidden, or in-wall?
-Are you a fan of the Oxford comma?
-What overall look do you want? Modern? French provincial? College student? Klingon battle cruise bridge?

These are things that determine how you build the structure of the space, which is not as changeable later as your projector, audio gear, "acoustic treatments" if you use them (which will be more part of the room and no one will ever know they are there, if a good pro tells you what to build), and furniture.

The budget question is also because a bigger budget makes it even more profitable to hire a good quality pro to design the theatre for you. If you don't intend to hire a pro, you would be well advised to spend at least a month using all your free time to read theatre build threads here and at AVSforum. Also make sure to review the "what I would do differently next time" if this is your first theatre build. Many who have built a theatre have a valuable insight into what they didn't realize initially (which is usually a lot).

31x24x12 is a dream space for me. The 12 foot ceiling part, especially, puts you at great advantage and gives you the possibility of having a simply awesome theatre if done well.
 

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-My question would be what type of insulation is best to keep the sound in and the outdoors out.
The answer is... the cheapest thing that will meet your requirements. It's not just in the insulation, it's in the mass on the outside of the wall, the mass on the inside of the wall, the size of the airspace, how airtight all the layers are, whether the layers are decoupled, the type of studs used. Much of the data used by pros is from the national research council of canada but that doesn't cover down to the lowest frequencies we'd like to control so there is also a heavy dose of independent testing, experience, and analytical calculation. Much of that is available for you to learn about though.

Using that information to better control the sound inside the room, not just to keep things out, that is one area that I have not seen a whole lot written about (but that I know pros do). An area I don't personally know that much about, and hope to learn.

Do you want the garage to be able to be used while using the theatre without interruption? You will need to figure out how to make sure you don't hear the garage door opener run, or the cars start, in that case for example. Trust me, it should still be a little easier than trying to isolate a basement theatre from upstairs footfalls!

If you are going to need heating and cooling, you are ideally going to want a mini-split for sure, and find out what ones are sufficiently quiet. Again, an area about which I know relatively little that I can tell you directly. I do recall one particular post from Dennis Erskine on AVS that would be a great start in terms of knowing what the cooling requirements would be... but I haven't a direct link handy, sorry. Some searching there should find the information pretty quickly.

As for the optimum acoustics... well it depends on your sensibilities. It depends on the speakers you choose. And it often depends on the acoustic philosophies of any given professional what you will get as an answer to what is optimum. A better question would be "what tends to be common among various acoustic/theatre designers". Also "what are industry standards for film mixing environments"... which is a question I will link to an answer for later when I have a bit more time. Bryan Pape is a good resource here, but he does work for GIK (a great company with good integrity as far as I can tell BTW) which sells "add-on" acoustic devices so if you want something that is more integrated you may want to look elsewhere also.

I personally have a 16:9 setup with no masking, and I'm happy with it. I wanted to keep it just a bit simpler (and less costly) because this is all complex and costly enough already! In either case, read build threads, look at pictures of completed theatres, and -- I can't stress this enough -- try to get to local HT meetups or contact some local people who have built a dedicated theatre to get into their rooms. The more theatre rooms you get in from others the more you will know what you like so you can just cut straight to the final answer. You'll probably still muck about for the rest of your life though... a theatre is nearly never really "finished"... and BTW it is a constant struggle with friends. "When will your theatre be done??" Answer.... never.

I'm not sure I understand why one would want a motorized screen unless there was a window to cover. Motorized screens are much more costly and may not be as flat or have as nice of blackout borders. I think motorized curtains in front of a fixed screen might be cool, but I probably wouldn't do that either... as I mentioned. But then I've a bit of a minimalist streak.

Right now, only 7.1 really has films actually mixed for it (and you can multiply the .1 as much as wanted or needed if you become a basshead). As such, I see 9/10/11/12/13 speaker setups as a bit of a novelty--again personal opinion. I do enjoy a 7-channel setup over a 5-channel setup by experience, but I have never heard anything more than 7 so who knows, I could be blown away if I tried it!

I'm honestly not sure how "war movies" translates into a theatre room theme other than guiding your choice of posters wherever you put them.

Another consideration I forgot to mention is to consider if you want an adjacent minibar/snack stand/popcorn machine/mini-fridge type area. Having a little anteroom for this kind of stuff is really nice, and you will get better acoustics if you separate this area.

A GC and electrician friend would be great resources, but you will want to brief them extensively and monitor the work carefully. Good theatre work tends to be more exacting than your average home construction these days, particularly installing the sheetrock, soundproofing measures for the electricals, making sure to run conduit for any wiring that may change in the future (without providing flanking paths that hurt the soundproofing measures).
 
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