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Building a new movie room... with 3 rows of seating (1 Viewer)


Oct 14, 2019
Hermiston, OR
Real Name
David McCarthy
Note: Right now I am a beginner to actually setting up a dedicated system I just watch lots of Youtube in the hopes I can have a great system someday. So I apologize in advance if I'm asking an extremely novice question or should be asking somewhere else.

TL;DR look at my attached movie room plan, and tell me what I'm doing wrong

I (hopefully) sooner rather than later will be remodeling my garage space. The previous owners already made the garage into a family room and two sort of bonus/storage areas. Our planned remodel will convert one of those bonus storage areas into a bathroom, and also create a sort of hallway that opens up into a library play area for our future kids.

That leaves me with a big rectangle. And if I'm left with a big rectangle, then I want a dedicated movie room.

The room will be just over 28' front to back, 10.5' across, and juuust under 8' high.

I want to build a wall to create an AV/Networking closet like Superdave does in his YouTube tour, and I arbitrarily chose 5' into the room. That gives me plenty of room to walk around yet store all my equipment in there as well.

Ok so now I'm left with 23' x 10.5' x 8' or just shy of 2,000 cubic feet.

My plan is to center a 75" 4k TV on that wall that separates the room from the media cabinet, that should leave just enough room for two "large" subs and two towers at the front of the room... ok fine, relatively standard stuff.

I have to align my each of my 3 person w/fold down table sofas (86") to the right to allow for 3 feet clearance on the left... non negotiable for everyone in my family to be... comfortable getting to their seat. So only the left most seat is centered. not a problem, that's my seat! And the front row is about 8 feet from the TV.

I'm planning on a 7.2 layout with potential to upgrade to Atmos later.

I was thinking Bipoles for the side surrounds if I can get one that gives a good bang for the buck, mounting to the wall, and bookself speakers for the surround back channels mounted to the back wall.

My problem is where to put the side surrounds. My wife and I will do 80-90% of all film watching in there. so I figured make the front row the sweet spot. but can I get a decent area effect with surrounds that are farther back than Dolby's recommendation?

I've attached a PDF of my proposed layout that I did in excel. I'm pretty sure everything is to scale. every square is 6", and I wanted to leave plenty of walking space between rows.

ALSO. IF you have other ideas for how I could make the layout better I'm willing to hear them. Thanks!


  • MovieRoomSampleLayout10-14.pdf
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Sam Posten

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Oct 30, 1997
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten
Putting your couches along the wall will be majorly suboptimal. Any side speakers will be up against your listeners ears. Everyone will be looking at the screen off axis.

Can you make it work? Yeah probably. I'd go with love seats in the middle of the room personally.

@JohnRice may have more, uh, constructive ideas =)
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David Willow

Babbling Idiot
Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 2004
Mechanicsburg, PA
Real Name
You room (with the front 5' removed for the closet) is only a few feet longer than mine. There's no way I can put 3 couches in here. It looks like it should work on paper but there's no way I'd do it (my room is 11x20). Also, if you plan to use rear speakers you need space between them on your rear seats. Where are the surrounds going (they should be on the side walls)?


Senior HTF Member
Aug 12, 2013
Real Name
As others have already stated, the design is not optimal for surround on the right or back. If you are set on using existing furniture, pulling out even a foot and using low profile surrounds (or in-wall) would help. Otherwise, as was stated by another, try to find furniture less wide that can still accommodate the needs so the furniture can be more centered and with space to support the surrounds. I went with HT recliners. In some ways these can potential save space since you have shared arms, and unless people don't mind being shoulder to shoulder on a sofa, the distinct seats provides a comport level amount of separation.

How often are you going to fill all the seats? My room is 15x18, and my original plan was to go with two rows. However, I realized I would be compromising since the first row would be too close and the second row against the back wall. In the end, I went with one row of four recliners with adequate space around for surround and my preferred seating distance using a projection system. In my case, four seats accommodates over 90% of our viewing needs, and in the other instances I have bean bag chairs for overfill.

Even if you can fit a third row, they are pretty far back for a 75" screen. I would recommend instead going with a projector system with a 100+" screen.

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