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Starting my first Theatre/Media room build help advice opinion needed. (1 Viewer)


Mar 22, 2017
Real Name
So, We just moved to a new to us home in July, and theres an unfinished room in the basement thats 26x11 that will be my theatre room.
Attached is a cad layout of the entire basement (2 other rooms are finished).

I've been learning a lot on sound isolating, screens,stages, wiring, risers, lighting etc, but I still have so many questions to answer to finish preparing my plan.

The following is a list of what I plan to do, as well as a separate list of what I'm still in need of help and learning.

The plan:
1. Install an acoustical tile ceiling in the room, because my kitchen is above it, and I cannot make all of that plumbing mostly inaccessible.
2. Will install the thickest Batts up between the floor joists above this ceiling as I can.
3. Will stud frame the 3 concrete walls and insulate with batts in those.
4. The wall ajoining the other rooms, will have a 12 ft section removed and replaced with wood members to make a support header. (this is from where the fridge is, back to the AC closet).
5. This same ajoining wall is currently 2x6 framed. I'm debating if its worth putting a layer of the metal filled rubbe sheet in it, OR do 2 layers of drywall, OR try to rip 2x 1.5 and essentially bump it out to make it a staggered stud wall. (the issue is the room is already just 11'2" wide and by the time I stud frame the opposite wall, and sheetrock it, I'm down to 10'10" wide.
6. I plan to have an AV cabinet, space, something somewhere, but struggling to find a good spot for it.
7. I really want to get 3 rows of seating, and have the ability for the front row to turn and face the second row for amore communal feel in that area for playing a game or chit chat.
8. I want to run some type of small soffit around the perimeter to be able to put wall wash can lights in and be able to put up rope lighting
9. I have 8'10" to the bottom of the joists, and looks like due to plumbing in a couple spots, I can get an 8'3" ceiling if my soffits are only 1ft wide, but if I go 2 ft wide on the soffit, I can get 8'6" ceiling in the middle. (Soffits being at probably 1ft down from the joists)
10. I plan to build out a separate insulated and sheetrocked corner for my full size fridge to keep drinks, ice and water close by the movie room.
11. I want to have a portion of the wall open up to the pool table, and so I had planned to do barn style sliding doors between the table and movie room, so I can close them for a movie night, or open them for football party. (I keep hearing these doors are a bad idea, but my wife really likes them and for the space limitations they seem to make sense.
12. I cannot make the room any wider, because the AC closet is in the middle of the basement, and the opposite side long cement wall is under earth next to my garage.
13. I want to plan as much as possible to allow for smart lighting etc (I use a smart things hub in the house)

Things I am considering, or need info on.
1. Wondering how much a little extra layer of sheetrock on the interior wall might benefit since the ceiling will be a layin style, and the sliding doors aren't sound tight) at the detriment of making the room narrower the more layers I add.
2. Wondering if using a heavy rubber mat ( like tractor supply barn stall mat) at the back of the AC closet to try and dampen the noise of that unit.
3. Not sure where I can put an AV cabinet. Considering somehow UNDER the second riser, OR in the space behind the screen because in my version 5 layout, there will already be 3.5ft blocked off for the fridge, so might as well use that space. I wouldn't want led panel lights shining through my cloth wall, so thought I could turn everything sideways, and put a small solid blocking obstruction there justs o the audience can't see the equipment, and use an IR repeater to "turn the corner".
4. Not sure what kind of lighting controller to get. I'd like smart things integration, but can't spend a fortune. I want dimmable RGB LED rope lighting around the soffit and risers, and dimmable controllable can lights. Would be sweet to one day program an intro lighting show, but I have to remember this is a cheap build. Proba few k is all I can put in the buildout not counting equipment).
5. I've read the thread on what I should have done. SO much info. I think i'll try to wire for more speakers than I have, not sure I can wire for 24.10 or whatever atmos is.
6. I initially thought I'd use wall mounted speakers. Now I'm wondering if I wire for mid (side) high and low curround, should I try to find small shallow speakers and plan for inwall? (Only have a 3.5" stud depth on the current cement long wall. Could go a tad deeper at the back since the room is 26 ft long"
6b. Should/could I build speaker locations into the soffits? If yes, how can I build for that, but cover it up today but allow for the expansion if needed?
7. This in the future will prob be a game room for my kids to have game parties with friends. So if my equipment is back behind a false wall, how do game systems connect? Do I wire some kind of HDMI switch panel into the wall near the seating and the xbox 14 or whatever will connect there? I picture little wall plates or cover plates all over for connecting to power, HDMI, Component, etc right in the wall near seating or at the floor, or riser fronts, but not sure what panels or boxes to buy.
8. For speaker wire, I am on board running two wires to each local. However, I read a lot about running RJ45 or cat 6 or coax. What would those be for?
9. Might want to do a hush box for the projector, but I only have at BEST an 8'6" ceiling and with 2 risers, (approx20" tall), I don't want a distraction in the ceiling. Help appreciated here on what I might be able to do.
10. My current projector is an AX100 Panny from 2007 720P LCD, with full lense shift. I'll use this for now, and upgrade another year. It still produces a great picture. I've used it for years in my living room at our old house.
11. I want to plan ahead with regards to risers and wiring the design. Should I run conduit above the ceiling and drop into the wall cavity and turn out into the risers for future wiring of butt kickers?
12. Should I run outlets INSIDE my risers, with some kind of access door (door that wont rattle??) to wire butt kickers in the future or something else?
13. Need outlets somehow at the risers for rope lighting.
14. Considering if I should lay any ply wood on the concrete for the non riser area for better feel. Would have to somehow transition to the existing carpeted other rooms, and what underlayment would I use, and how would I attach the plywood?
15. For Subs, I was just planning to use my existing 10" polk, powered, and maybe in thefuture buy a second. I'm not into it to the level of building subs and all that. The first sub can go behind the screen on the small stage. Can I put additional subs down under my riser? Is that accoustically bad? If its ok, how can I allow access without makiing a rattling hatch?
16. I saw a lot of people in the thread on what they should have done say they needed more dvd storage. I have non, and in 2017 I expect everything to be either digital download or a redbox rental so don't see that as priority.
17. For seating I plan to use a couple chairs and a sofa I have for now, but want to build my risers big enough to get 3 rows in, and eventually be able to support two rows of reclining theatre seats, with the front two still being swivel chairs, or similar.
18. What ceiling tile is recommended?
19. I'm probably gonna build the stud walls and soffit myself, and hire a guy to drywall and do the drop ceiling and plywood the floor if thats deemed doable.
20. For the stage, I was gonna frame it out in 2x8, and insulate. Hadn't strongly thought about all the sand filling and such. Opinions welcome.Seems overkill for our little space.
21. I want the room to have a nice cozy, professional feel, but not over the top. My friends aren't theatre gurus and noone will know if my STC is too high or whatever that is.
22. Room already has 2 supply ducts from the existing AC closet. I planned to change the diffuser to slot style layins and use em right there.
23. i had planned to put a popcorn machine in the room, but I've read countless times that its a bad idea, so I think I'll make a deducated place in my garage for it, and take the fresh popcorn down there to eat.

Any other thoughts are welcome.
Also, I have a second child due at the end of July, and after he comes we'll be SUPER busy, so I really need to get this done, or 95% done before then.

My budget is a bit flexible, but I have to stay reasonable. If it takes me 5-6K over the course of 6 months to get it all built so be it. If I can reasonably do it for 3K then super. If it stretched to 7K so be it. i CANNOT let it creep much higher than that.

I'm starting the wall removal this weekend, and start building in 2 weeks, so help is GREATLY appreciated and requested to get this thing planned reasonably well.


  • 5 revised layout dimensioned with upfit ideas input 03-21-2017.pdf
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  • 4 revised layout dimensioned with upfit ideas input 03-16-2017.pdf
    43.3 KB · Views: 168


Mar 22, 2017
Real Name
Note, in my version 4 I had the room facing the opposite way.
When in version 4 I was having trouble with ceiling height because there is a duct across the back of the top riser area that would require a 2ft wide, by 16" tall soffit.
It also forced the top riser to be about 100" wide.

When I switched the room to the opposite end, it means the back soffit can be as small as I want to hold cans and rope light, and it gave me potential of hiding the fridge in a walled off cubby space behind the screen. AKA the fridge would be accessible from the pool table side, not visible at all in the movie room, but using that widened space behind the screen.

I'm so excited for you guys input here.

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