Theater room, minimum size?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Joseph Sulse, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Joseph Sulse

    Joseph Sulse Auditioning

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    What would be the smallest acceptable room for a home theater? I am in the process of planning a new house and need to get an idea of the square footage and dimentions needed for a decent theater. Keep in mind that I don't want to push the lower limit of size, just need to know what will lead to problems. Right now the space I'm considering is 14'x19' with either a 8',9' or 10' ceiling. The 14' wall would be the viewing wall.

    Thanks and Cheers,
    Joseph
     
  2. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    Is that the finished dimentions or bare concrete basement dimentions? My room finished is going to be 20x14 and from what Ive read I think it will be just fine.


    What kind of display device are you going to be using?
     
  3. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    14 would be the minimum I would consider. I have a room that is 12 and thought the screen would be ok, which it will be, but I want to put 4 of those HT seats in, which will take up 119 inches, leaving just shy of 1 foot on each end, if you read my post below, I'm going to expand the rear of the room to 16 feet wide, which I think will be perfect. I think 14 would be just enough

    I would consider the space needed for the seating as a higher priority then the screen. If you plan to put in 2 rows of seating then 19' will not be long enough, you'll probably need to go to 23-25 for that. My room is 20 feet deep and I am trying to squeeze it in now, and contemplating knocking out the rear wall to give me that extra few feet to allow for 8 viewers.

    I thought I had my plans all finished until I realized my seating would not fit [​IMG]
     
  4. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    I am having my two seater in 11x13' room for 100" picture. Not bad but it could be bigger. I had a 13x18' room before and that was quite nice size. The bigger you go the more you need to invest to speakers and amps.
     
  5. Joseph Sulse

    Joseph Sulse Auditioning

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    Thanks guys!

    So far the consensus is 14x20 finished dimensions would just barely fit two rows seating 8. 8 viewers would be the minimum seating I would like the design to accommodate. I'll fool around with the plans to see if I can get a 16x21.5 finished dimensions. Is that enough for two rows? Scott feels a minimum of 23' is required. Dang!! 21.5' will be the longest the room could be but I think 16' wide wall should not be a problem.

    Real life experience and advice is so vital for me as I have never attempted anything like this. Your help is much appreciated! That said, I would have thought a 14x19 finished room would have been more than enough for 3 rows, never mind just 2 rows!

    Because the room will be used only as a theater, with great lighting control, I am leaning toward a projector type display device.


    Cheers,
    Joseph
     
  6. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Yep, you have to figure in the viewing distance. You don't want to view 80-100" picture from one meter. [​IMG]
     
  7. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    FYI, even though you're working in a completely different scale than I am, here is a rather... small Home Theatre.

    Room Area: 13x10x7
    Useful Area: 8x7x7

    Useful seating area: 6 people, max, 3 'best.'

    Take a look here for some pictures of when it was crude. Note, it's still pretty crude, but the mechanics have been improved a great deal (all the ceiling tiles are back in, the projector mount is better, the screen mount is better, and the screen is better, but other than that, nothing's really changed. [​IMG] )

    Leo
     
  8. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing to remember is you have to look at each person's overall picture. I know you can do an 8 person (2 rows of 4) in a 19 or 20 foot room, if the rear seats are against the rear wall. I have to enter my HT room from the rear, and want a dramatic entry with a 7' wide double door, so I have to walk in the center, then around my seating. If you can in from the side of the room, a 20 foot room would be no problem.

    If you look at Jay's room and my design that I posted in this forum, just look back a few days, you'll see that if you design your room like that, you'll need the extra few feet. If side entry, or entering the room from the rear, but offset to one side, you would be fine with 19'. If you can get to 20 or 21, go for it.

    Since my room is at 20' and I have to enter from the rear, what I might do is have a countertop on the back of the seat(stole from Jay), then on each side of the counter have the supports run to the ceiling, then put in headers on the left and right to enter the room, of course this exposes the entire back wall which I'm trying to prevent, since my subs will be at the rear of the room, they would certainly bleed into the next room, losing much of the sound. If I had 23', I think Jay said his was 25', I know I would have the perfect amount of space for rear, center entry.

    I was all set to start framing this weekend, but because of seating difficulties, I'm back to the design. I think I'm ready to start construction, but I know as soon as I do, I'll change my mind about something or have a better idea.
     
  9. JasR

    JasR Auditioning

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    Hi,
    My theatre is 21' x 16' and it works fine. I have seating for 8 with 2 rows of 4 ( 2 double lounges front row and a double with 2 singles in the back row. I use a 100" screen with the front row viewing distance at 12'6" which is ok but definitely no closer. The back row is approx 3' from the back wall. I use a Yamaha RX-V3300 (130w x 7) with B&W CDM series speakers + 3 B&W subwoofers (great with Black Hawk Down & U571). To help the sound I use heavy curtains down both sides.
    If I can figure how to post photos I will include some later.

    Regards
    Bob, (Newcastle, Australia)
     
  10. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want to email them to me, I can put them up.

    You say that 12'6 is the minimum distance you want between your seating and a 100" screen. That's good to know as I'm trying to decide on something between 96-108 and have 12' to my first row.

    In the FAQ it says use a 1.5 ratio for your screen width. I was planning to have my seating 12 feet from the screen. 12 feet / 1.5 = 8 feet wide. This would give me a screen 54 high by 96 wide for a 110" diagonal screen size. Is this too big?
     
  11. JasR

    JasR Auditioning

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    Hi ScottATL,
    Personally I would not bother going any larger than 100" diagonal as this gives a huge picture with still good quality. I use an Infocus 4800 DLP projector. If you are using an LCD be careful that the between pixel lines are not too prominant.
    I will email you those pics tonite.
    Bob.
     
  12. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, I'm more then likely going to go with one of the Infocus models, so that is good to know.

    One more question, how much space does your seating take up from the back of the 2nd row to the front of the 1st one, and how much space did you leave between the rows?

    Here are those pics
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. JasR

    JasR Auditioning

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    ScottATL,
    Thanks for posting the pics for me.
    The legroom between the two rows of lounges is 1'9" from the back of one to the front of the next row which gives a distance of 5' from the seated position in the back row to the persons head in the front row, this also allows easy access to the liquid amber in the cup holders.
    Bob.
     

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