Please comment on theater layout

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jeff Jergerian, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. Jeff Jergerian

    Jeff Jergerian Auditioning

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    I threw together a quick web page with my theater layout. This will be a windowless basement theater with 8-foot ceilings. The biggest concern that I have is that the entry door will be on the screen wall, which forces the rest of the room to sit off-center.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated. I will also post a link to my lighting plan. I'd appreciate any suggestions/tips/commentary that anyone is willing to share.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Click here to see my theater layout plan
     
  2. Jeff Jergerian

    Jeff Jergerian Auditioning

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    The link below will take you to my plan for lighting. I have been researching the Grafik Eye, and I think I have placed the unit and the accessory entry control in logical places. I am going to ask the electrician to use the "two-box" installation method for the GE. If I do that, would it make more sense to have the junction box in the equipment closet, or would you put it in the utility room? The utility room will be unfinished, so it will be accessible. My concern with putting it in the equipment closet is that it will introduce even more electrical wiring into that closet, which will also house all of my cable, audio, video, etc. for the room (and most of the house).

    As I posted above, any comments or criticism of this plan would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Click here to go to my lighting plan
     
  3. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Jeff, the layout is clear and well designed. Is there a way to relocate the screen to the other side of the room? Doorways cause traffic patterns, light pollution problems (light coming in), and noise leakage (both in and out). You can keep the HR as is. One other possibility is do as the commercial theaters do, build a second door in front of the theater door. You may want to get on Cedia's site for more detail. www.cedia.org
     
  4. Jeff Jergerian

    Jeff Jergerian Auditioning

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    I did draw a layout that reversed the room, but the only way to make it work was if I used a drop-down screen in front of the equipment closet. I already have a fixed Grayhawk in my current home's theater, and I'll either take that one with me, or replace it with something very similar (maybe a Firehawk) in the new home. I would prefer not to have to have a motorized screen if I can avoid the expense. Most of the walls that are shown are fixed (exterior or garage on three sides), so I don't have much flexibility in that regard.

    I gave a great deal of thought to the issue of having the entry door on the screen wall. It's my number one concern with my proposed layout. I've had a front-projection theater in my current home for about 18 months now. While my current room has the entry in the rear, I honestly can't think of a single time where someone walked into the room while a movie was playing. This leads me to think that I can go ahead and treat this as a virtual non-issue as I plan the current theater. I'm thinking of going with an exterior-grade door with weather-stripping at the bottom for light blockage. That door leads to the rest of the basement, which is a walk-out. The utility room to the side of the theater room has no other access (it is only accessed via the theater). It basically houses the water heater, furnace, etc.

    It is because of the off-center seating arrangement that I added the counter to extend so far down that wall. On paper, it helps to "re-center" the room by filling the space created on that left side. I was trying to figure out if I should center the lights to the room (As shown in the lighting plan), or if I should center them to the seating.

    Again, I appreciate any comments that anyone would like to make. I still have a month or so before they even break ground, so I have time to plan, modify, and plan some more before I have to commit to the design.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  5. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    What type of motorized screens have you priced?

    The snack bar and sofa placement also force the room to be "off center".

    One concept that springs to mind is this:
    1. Add a wall approx. 3.5 feet from the entrance wall extending from the utility door wall to within three feet of the right wall.
    2. Leave the new three foot entrance open (no door). The effect when someone opens the main entrance door is that of a comfy 11' hallway that opens up to the main theater in a really nice way (snack bar to the far right, seating spread out in front of you, your cool lighting setup etc).
    3. New 11' hallway could have posters, artwork, themed decorative pieces, etc.
    4. New wall provides extra measure of soundproofing, and from the seating there is (visually) less things that break up the overall aesthetic (i.e., no door to your left and a cleaner looking wall).
    5. Shrink the utility room side of the snack bar counter by at least 6.25 feet. Extend the equipment room side of the snack bar up to near the entrance to the equip. room.
    6. On the new projector screen wall, centering the screen would put it about 2-4 inches from the new entryway on the right. with about 3' on the left side of the screen.
    7. Place subwoofer in the new left corner.
    8. Move large sofa to the left, centered with the new position of the screen.[/list=1]

      Without giving it too much thought, this is one design concept to consider, if only for a moment [​IMG] The new sofa and screen placement would ramp up the viewing angle from 36 degrees (THX recommended min.) to 50 degrees, which I would personally like, but it might be too much for some folks.

      Sean.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Jeff,
     
  7. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I think a bigger concern than the light issue would be the sound issue. You are going to have your sound "off center" in the room. With your right front speaker so close to the side wall and the left one so far, I think you are going to run into trouble getting the room to sound right.

    I notice you have a utility room to the left of the theater, is it possible to close up the entry door to the theater, put an entry door into the utility room and then enter the theater through the utility room? Use the utility room as a sort-of "Lobby".
     
  8. Jeff Jergerian

    Jeff Jergerian Auditioning

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    I wish that was an option. That would solve many problems. Unfortunately, the stairs come down right at that point, so there is a fixed wall at that point right outside of the HT room.

    I'm also not thrilled about the placement of the speakers. When I have my projector calibrated, I'll also have the sound calibrated. Hopefully with enough tweaking, I can minimize the effects of the off-center room. I tend not to be a strict perfectionist once I'm actually watching a movie on the screen. I tend to do all of my obsessing on the front end trying to do everything I can to maximize the pic/sound given the hand I'm dealt (budget, room constraints, etc.). Once its showtime, however, I always seem to get lost in the movie, and I rarely notice the flaws.

    Thanks again for all of the comments so far. I'm going to continue to play with the layout using some of the feedback you all provided. Ultimately I'll be the one enjoying the room 85% of the time, so I just need to make sure that it makes me happy. Everyone else that visits (non-enthusiasts) are always wowed enough by the room anyway.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     

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