My Movie Theater

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Blog entry by Ben posted 01-16-2016 02:06 PM 1196 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well folks, this is my first post here – and I guess it’s more about my inspiration for woodworking rather than a true woodworking project.

This is my home theater, completed late in 2012. I purchased my house in 2010, and I started this project with a circular saw and not much else! I don’t know where the itch came from (I don’t think my dad even owns a screwdriver!) and I had absolutely no construction knowledge when I began, but I have always wanted to know how things work and how things fit together.

I have to thank the wonderful folks at – I made many friends there and they taught me a ton about framing techniques, soundproofing – and saved me from a million mishaps along the way! The only physical help I hired for this project was a plumber, an electrician, HVAC, and carpet installers. (I also hired the Erskine Group for architectural plans and acoustical treatment strategy, and The Soundproofing Company for soundproofing consultation.)

A few details about the room:
  • Soundproofing: isolation clips and resilient channel on all surfaces, 2 layers of 5/8” drywall with soundproofing compound in between (that is the LAST time I am carrying and hanging 110 sheets of drywall by myself!!!!)
  • A bunch of different products from Quest Acoustical Interiors throughout the room (designed by Erskine Group Architectural Acoustics).
  • Danley Sound Labs DTS-10 “Super Spud” subwoofers.
  • 4,000lb. stage (filled with sand) for accurate low frequency transfer.
  • 8 motorized recliners, stadium seating. Seating riser is constructed as a Helmholz resonator to reduce unwanted base modes.
  • 132” acoustically transparent screen, 2.37:1 with anamorphic lens and auto sled (for switching between HDTV and Cinemascope formats)
  • All functions including theater system, lighting, HVAC, and security are IP controllable and automated.
  • Separate climate controlled equipment room
  • Approximately 10,000W total sound power!

As I worked on this project (nights and weekends), I slowly started acquiring a tool collection – but mostly contractor grade tools rather than accurate woodworking tools. Fast forward to the finishing details – acoustical paneling, poster framing etc. and I was really frustrated and missing the accuracy I knew I could obtain with the right tools and some practice. And there you go…woodworking.

I will post the construction details of my backlit poster frames as another project. I have built five of them now and I think I finally have a pretty good procedure.

I would like to publicly thank Ted White at The Soundproofing Company and Dennis Erskine at The Erskine Group for their help with my room. This project would still be just an idea if I didn’t have their help.

Now on to the pictures!

Well…you have to start somewhere. This is looking from the back of the theater toward the screen.

A ton of insulation. Here you can see the iso clips and channel on the ceiling, with cut-outs for backer boxes to be installed on the back of the drywall. Backer boxes prevent sound leakage through holes cut in the ceiling for can lights etc. The HVAC supply in this pic was actually ripped out and then reinstalled inside a soundproof box to prevent sound from getting into the HVAC system and then into the rest of the house.

Drywall is done and the stage is in place. It is constructed from 2×10”s and filled with 4,000lbs of sand. 3 layers of 3/4” OSB on top. Ceiling is painted with Rosco Supersaturated Black Velour theatrical paint. This is the flattest, blackest paint on the market – it’s incredible how much light it soaks up! Acoustical treatments for behind the screen are starting to go up…

Acoustical treatments behind the screen are done and carpet is in! Now we are ready to start acoustics on the walls…

Acoustical panels going up all around the room (different panels in each box based on speaker reflections etc.). They are simple sande ply (Home Depot) frames painted black, with 2” deep magic Quest Acoustics panels inside, then covered with Guilford of Maine acoustically transparent fabric from their Anchorage line.

And the final product! Now it’s time for a Guinness and some pasta:

These are some of my poster frames and the theater entrance (still a work in progress). More on those details in another project soon!

4 comments so far

View JimYoung's profile


341 posts in 2196 days

#1 posted 01-16-2016 02:15 PM


-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View Ken90712's profile


17820 posts in 3798 days

#2 posted 01-16-2016 03:58 PM


-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Reaperwoodworks's profile


94 posts in 1543 days

#3 posted 01-16-2016 05:20 PM

Are you currently adopting?

-- Website:, Youtube:

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3475 days

#4 posted 01-16-2016 08:43 PM

Wow! Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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