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Basement Home Theater....on a budget. (1 Viewer)


Nov 28, 2016
Real Name
Hello all,

I was looking for ideas on the good old WWW when designing my basement theater. While looking through some projects on here and on Google images, I came across some amazing set ups. Way too amazing. Some home theaters seemed to have 20 foot ceilings, some were as big as the local theater, some looked like a closet with a TV, most were way out of my league. I wanted something designed for a family of 4. Something back to basics, but intriguing and functional.

I have a 7.5' basement and a secluded space of about 15' x 13'. 3 walls are concrete in the theater. There was duct work and conduit that wasn't going to move so I had to work around it. I am a big fan of symmetrical rooms so this is what I had to work with.

I thought I'd share what I put together.

Nothing is "high end". I'm using an Epson 2040 projector, a silver screen 100" acoustically transparent screen, A Denon 7 channel receiver (set for Atmos) at 5.2.2, Polk Audio RT series center, Front R/L, and Rear R/L, Yamaha ceiling speakers, and 2 Polk PSW505 powered subs. I didn't really have my heart set on anything particular, I watched for sales/deals with great reviews while building the room and bought as it came up. The room is wired for 7.3.4 if I get the itch later.

I do not have seating yet (unless you consider bean bags as a means of theater seating) however the seating will sit about 10' from the screen (THX recomendation). I could have placed the front left and right behind the screen but aesthetics and my OCD for symmetrical spaces pushed me to place them in the corner pillars. I really wanted to do a star ceiling until I saw how much work it was. I had a HVAC trunk that was a big eye soar so I made the best of it by running a false soffit around the room. I dropped the ceiling to about 7'4" to clear any conduit. I placed the equipment in the front of the room, below the screen, so it would be accessible for gaming. It's low and dark and unnoticeable with the lights off. I ran PVC from below the screen to behind the projector in case I break an HDMI cable or want to run something else later. There are 4 ceiling tiles in the back to access any wiring and that can be ran to the utility room next to it.

With the lights off and the seating position, the room feels great. I was worried about it feeling claustrophobic but even in a smaller space, it doesn't. The acoustics are good, although one of the sconce lights makes a slight rattle with certain low frequency high volume sounds which will be fixed with some rubber. I did insulate the entire room, including ceiling, but that was to keep some of the high frequency noise out of the family room above. I painted the ceiling white however my original plan was black. With the black soffit, the white ceiling is pretty well unnoticed. I figure if it does become a distraction I can paint it black later. I had a hard time picking out flooring. I read carpet is best but in a room this small, any carpet installer is going to have some high install charge to come out and do 1 room so I went with carpet tiles. Easy to install as long as you clean and scrape the concrete first. I think the prep work took longer than installing the tiles.

The drywall work was the worst part of this project but I am glad I did it the way I pictured it.

I hope this helps those looking for ideas for a theater space in a smaller room.

Also.... I'm really like 99% done. Waiting for door handles and I have a light in the back right to install.


Second Unit
Jan 24, 2010
East Tennessee
Real Name
It looks like you did a great job to me. I'm sure you'll enjoy your space for a long time to come.

I've been in some odd "theaters" in the past. In one place, we had an open warehouse room with a large screen in one end, and an elevated area that had a couple of 16mm sound projectors. The ware house was used for office furniture. Seating consisted of anything you grabbed-my favorite was an armed swivel chair, with a plain desk chair to put my feet on (all in government gray-it was the Army, after all). The next place was an open very basic dinning room, with a kitchen in back, a bar to the left, the screen in front and a year round open balcony on the 5th floor. We could only show movies at night, and had quite an audience of flying critters that came to share the show. The thing all these places had in common was the ability to allow you to sit back, tune out the work and enjoy the show (although a near lightening strike during the show made some of us wonder if it was something else for a second-couldn't entirely tune out the world).

You've got a nice set up. You might have some fun with the seating, Captains chairs are pretty reasonable, and you could alternate with the bean bags !


Nov 7, 2008
Real Name
Hi.. Nice build!

Have you thought about a painted star ceiling instead of fiber optics? That should be much easier to do, and you wouldn't need to run any wires or change anything.

You can probably find someone near you who can paint it, or you can paint one yourself with a few of the DIY stencil kits that are available. It would go nicely on your white ceiling too.

Good luck. Nice job!


I really wanted to do a star ceiling until I saw how much work it was.


Apr 19, 2016
Real Name
Scott hendrix
I just finished a 4 x 8 section with 2 sets of fiber optics. It was a tedious process, but not as tedious as many of the tasks involved with the rest of my home theater and well worth it.
Last edited:


Stunt Coordinator
Aug 5, 2006
Real Name
That is a dope dope set up. I would add some DIY acoustic panels; however. Acoustics are key if you want a "legit" Home Theater experience.

Fancy stars in your ceiling wont do much for the experience, but acoustics will take shit up several notches.

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