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