A Movie Buff's Sanctuary

When constructing a home theater, the first thing I recommend is cooperation from your spouse. She had (and still does) complete veto power over every single decision that went into the development of this theater. I first had to convince her to turn a spare bedroom in our brand new townhouse into a dedicated home theater. However, what probably took more persuasion was convincing her of the importance to paint the room an unusually dark color such as charcoal grey with black trim. Or painting the connecting hallway Hollywood red, or the third bathroom metallic gold. Of course, the idea of having "exit" signs all about and life size busts of pretty ugly Hollywood characters took some hard selling, too.

As with any "do it yourself" project, there were certainly some problems along the way. The first obstacle was dealing with the two windows in the room. Since ambient light is the number one nemesis to any quality projection system, I applied a framed double-sided movie poster over the windows. What little light remains, it just has the appearance of a back-lit movie poster, which looks pretty cool and intentional. I then added two additional framed movie posters with the same window trim, creating the illusion of a room with no windows. In fact, sometimes I forget which posters have a window behind them.

I wanted to have the components out of sight and this was accomplished by putting shelving in one of the two closets. The other closet was perfect for storing hundreds of DVD/Blu-ray movies. Both closet doors were removed and curtains were installed to soften the acoustics. Speaker wire and other cables requiring long runs were hidden under the carpet. The exterior door was removed and two sets of decorative curtains were installed (red and gold on the outside and black on the inside). The walls and ceiling were treated with Auralex sound foam in the same charcoal grey as the wall color.

I also installed recessed lighting with dimming capability. It's a really professional effect when the movie starts and the lights go dim. Everyone seems to like that, makes them feel like they are in a real movie theater.

If you are building a dedicated theater there are some "must-have" decor accents such as a full size popcorn machine, posts and rope plus signage. Since my viewing room is small (10'x12'), the decor was extended to include the hallway, bathroom, and foyer which compensates for the theater size. I have an "Elite Home Theater" sign as you enter upstairs, a "now showing" sign above the door entering the theater, a "restrooms" sign over the bathroom door, and two "exit" signs. It's these accents that give the theater authenticity.

I work in law enforcement and the escapism of movies relieves the stresses of work. I only possess the most basic carpentry skills, though developing my own home theater has been a life-long desire of mine. From my experience, if you possess imagination, patience, and passion, regardless of your skill level, you to can have the home theater of your dreams.

Equipment List
Pioneer Elite SC-05 AV Receiver
Pioneer Elite FPJ-01 HD Projector
Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD Blu-ray player
Klipsch RF- 62 fronts (2)
Klipsch RC- 62 center
Klipsch RS-25 surrounds (4)
Klipsch RW-12D sub

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christine's picture

What did you promise your spouse in return to get the room of your dreams?! The room is absolutely amazing, let me know what you charge!!! Hope you continue to enjoy many more movies in your sanctuary!

Barry's picture

Congrats well done. I would like to see more of these small room theaters.My room is a work in progress. I'm a little guy just like you. My story is almost identical keep the wife onside learn as go upgrade in small increments.Working on my piece of heaven it is so much fun.

dan's picture

This is very nice, room looks larger than 10' X 12'?What size is your screen? How far are your eyes from the screen when seated?

movie buff's picture

thanks! ceiling is the same paint color as walls....added some sound tiles (more for look), cuz not really necessary for sound.....burgandy is a classic theater color, good luck!

Mike's picture

Im a little biased because I've actually watched a movie in this theatre and must say the acoustics are incredible and watching the transformation was very impressive but it truly does go to show what desire and persistence and a vision can accomplish. Great job with the room and congratulations with what you've achieved, a true little hideaway....

movie buff's picture

yes, room is 10X12.....looks bigger in photos...the screen is 94"....the rear seats sit approx. 11 feet from screen....thanks

Pituvision's picture

I mean! you got klipsch! Pioneer! and Freaking Sideshow Collectibles all over the PLace!!! This is the BEst Home Theater room EVER!!!!! Pure Awesomeness!!!!!

movie buff's picture

first, thanks for the comments....the movie frames are called quick snap poster frames and can be located at htmarket.com....they come in black,silver,gold and either glossy or flat finish....hope this helps,good luck and most of all have fun!

Pat's picture

I love your set-up and colors, the gray and black really look great. I'm in the process of converting my downstairs into a theater room. I'm using dark dark with burgany? How did you do your ceilin? I'am very impressed with the results. Great Job.....

John Jusseaume's picture

This is the type of home theatre that is most enjoyed . A couple with minimum knowledge of carpentry that took there own sweat and money without professional help to make such a awesome theatre . Goes to show that with dedication and your spouses permission. (LOL) you don't need a milliion dollars to enjoy movies with your family And freinds

Curious Wife's picture

I'm helping my husband finish his home theater and we bought some posters like yours but we are having issues with framing. What kind of framing did you use? I like your frames for the no glare affect. Please, help.

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