Dedicated small home theater room or multi purpose

Ryan B

Novice Member
I am new to the forum although I have read many post over the years. I just bought a new house and have 2 options for the family movie nights, the games, and the big fights!

1. Dedicated home theater room size would be 19.5' x 11' x 9' ceilings. 8" one level riser for seating behind two main chairs. For now will be using a TV but would build the room with projector upgrade in mind. This currently my office room, however on one end it does narrow down to 10' wide because of a closet in the other room

2. I have a fairly large open basement how the movie theater area is roughly 16' x 16' x 9' ceilings. The issues so far is the squared area is not the best for sound acoustics, as I have read. Also the left hand side would be wide open, so my surround speaker would have to be on a stand in the middle of the room or another 18' away on the wall. I know this can be fixed with an in ceiling solution however there is a beam that drops down about 1' so the speaker would be on the other side. Maybe I could build a bulkhead with the beam?

So every room will have its issues that I will have to overcome. However looking for advice would you have a dedicated small room to seat 5-6 people or would you recommend making a media room. My primary concern is sound quality for the movies. Once I have decided on the room I will start to post the project!


Well-known Member
I'd personally go with option 1, perfect size and being fully enclosed won't have the sound issues the other option could have.

You didn't mention whether it was your intention to keep the TV once you add a projector or it will go. With a 11ft wide and 19ft depth room you could go for a 120" 16:9 screen which would leave you just under a foot either side between screen an side wall this would give you a fully immersive viewing experience, if TV goes then you could save money and fit a fixed frame screen but if TV remains then your best option is an electric roll down screen... preferably tab tensioned.

If doing room from scratch I would personally run all the cables for a complete Atmos system even if you don't go for this right away, less hassle and cost doing everything in one go plus not repeating the mess later on.
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Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
I also would opt for the 19 x 11 room, but I would do things a little differently.

I would go for an AT screen with speakers behind and a scope ratio screen that was as wide as you can go (120"+), and have your seats close enough so the 16:9 image was as large visually as you felt comfortable with (10ft back for the first row is a good starting point), then scope movies are wider and more immersive. You'll need a projector that has zoom and lens shift to do that, but many have electronic memories, so can change ratio at the push of a button. JVCs an Epsons for example. What's your budget?

If you go for seats that are more like commercial seats, you can fit more seats in per width and also not use up so much depth, but that depends on what you prefer. There are riser calculators out there, but I would think a 12" riser would be the minimum, and you may want to offset the chairs so the second row seats fall between the seats in front.

With two rows, speakers behind the screen work better than under as the first row can get in the way of the audio getting to the second row, PA style horn loaded speakers work well for movies (with a sub or two) behind an AT screen and send the sound more towards the audience and less towards the walls and ceilings. Again, depends on budget.

Atmos is a must, but follow the commercial guidelines for ceiling placement as that has them more over the seating and the effects work better that way.

Dark decor is best for image quality but that's also down to personal preference.


Well-known Member
^I’m currently covering my walls with self adhesive velvet flock because paint even Matt reflects back and reduces your contrast. In the room size above you could cover the screen wall and about 5ft of side walls and ceiling for £200. This makes more of an improvement to picture quality than anything else I’ve seen.

Agreed on acoustic screen but didn’t suggest it because he’s running a TV to begin with and ideal the centre speaker would be where the TV will probably be mounted.

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
I made up some frames and stretched and stapled black velvet on them, then fitted them to the walls just relying on 'interference' fit with the columns and walls. I only used screws into the drywall ceiling - each ceiling panel is light and easily held in place that way. As you say, it makes a big difference even compared to black paint (did that in my last place and ended up covering it with black felt IRC), it also marks very easily,

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