Well, we've been living in this house for just over two years now. We put a new roof on this summer, got the vehicles all repaired and our third child should arrives in three days. There's no money left over to do anything, but since I've got time on my hands I figured it was time to break out SketchUp and see what I can do with the space we have.
The room is in the (mostly) unfinished basement, under the master bedroom. While my wife and I are the primary movie viewers in the house I don't expect that to be the case forever. I am planning to do as much sound-proofing as I can in the hopes that if the kids are sleeping while we're watching a movie, they'll stay asleep... and in 10 or so years time when the kids are watching a movie us parents could be sleeping. Okay, that's a stretch but, at least we could be somewhere else in the house without being too disturbed by the sound levels.
Dimensions are 20' x 15' x 7'9". There are concrete foundation walls on the North and East walls. The South wall is 2x6 bare studs and the West is a framed doorway and beam. (In the attached sketches* the screen is at the North end.) Seating will be two rows, probably three seats in the front and four in the back on a riser. I'm definitely planning to frame in under the beam so that the room is completely separate.
Actually, though the sketches don't show it, I'm thinking about the room within a room concept. The floor above is on 2x10 joists at 16" centers (yes, its a little springy). I figure I could put 2x8 in between each of them sitting on 2x4 walls inside the existing walls. I'd be giving up a little bit of overall ceiling height (maybe an 1 1/2"?) but would get the benefit of a completely isolated room. Lighting would be in soffits along the sides so I wouldn't be poking cans through and hitting the joists from the floor above. What do you think? Is a "room within a room" worth it?
Currently I have an Epson 8500UB hitting a 137" DIY Blackout Cloth screen. It works great and handles low ambient light okay but I think for a permanent build I'd like to have something a little smaller. I'm actually toying with the idea of a ~116" CinemaScope AT screen. I know the Epson doesn't do anamorphic... I think for 16:9 content I'd just mask the sides with some portable AT panels. Currently the PJ is on a shelf about 19' from the screen. I'm hoping that by going with a little smaller screen I can move it up a bit closer, get a little more brightness out of it and ceiling mount it.
For LCR's I'm thinking Mini Statements behind the screen. I've not built speakers before but those look like a really nice design and have been built by enough other people that hopefully I can get a lot of good advice. For the sub I'm looking at the CSS Trio12 Tapped Horn. I have no idea what that will be like in a room that size, but it looks like it'd be fun to build and I'm only about 3 hrs drive from CSS so it's easy to get the bits from them. I'm not sure what to do for surround channels. Suggestions are definitely welcome.
Of course, all of this is purely theoretical at the moment since I have no budget, but I can dream can't I? In actuality, I hope to get started on the framing and wiring after Christmas with completion by the end of the summer. Then build the speakers and sub during the fall/winter.
Love to hear your thoughts, especially about soundproofing and speakers for that size of room.
(*Let me know if those drawings are confusing... I've been staring at them a long time so they make sense to me.)