My goal was to create a room that had a "cigar club" feel (but
without the cigar smoke). I wanted
lots of wood paneling, and very dark colors. This was motivated in part by the
feel of the room, and in part by the practical consideration that, the darker
the room, the better the movies would look. The biggest part of the project was
the paneling, so those notes are separate. I
also have separate notes on
Projection Wall. I
like the effect obtained by
painting the projection wall flat black. The screen itself does a nice job of
framing the movie, but when the projection wall is painted black, you eliminate
a lot more visual distraction. The black wall also looks cool!
[Hand sketch of the stage area (TBD)]
Wall and Ceiling Color. The next step after painting the projection
wall black is to make sure the walls and ceiling are also dark colors. I painted
the projection wall black almost a year before I began the big part of the
project. When I first painted the ceiling dark red instead of its original light
color, I was pleased at how much darker the room seemed. I hadn't been
aware that I was noticing all the reflected light on the ceiling, but when it
went away, I noticed the improvement.
Raised Seating Area. I wasn't sure how high to make the raised seating
area. I ended up using 2x8 joists with 3/4" plywood for the sub floor, and
that has worked fine. I think 2x6 would not have made the platform high enough.
2x8 give the platform a very solid feel, while not making it seem like an
unnaturally high step up.
One thing I did that I'm sure will come in handy is I didn't run the plywood
sub floor all the way to the walls. I left about a 1" gap between the
plywood and the walls. My thought was that I'm sure there will come a time when
I want to run more wires from one side of the room to the other. I'd originally
thought of putting conduit under the platform, but that seemed like a lot of
work, and leaving a gap between the flooring and the wall seems like it should
leave me plenty of room to run any low voltage wires that need to be run.
Stage. I wasn't originally planning to build a stage, but the more
books I looked at, the more I thought the stage was needed to give the theater a
finished look. I also thought a stage might be fun for home talent shows, and
could also help keep the kids from accidentally bumping into the screen, so I
decided to do it. I used 2x6 joists for the stage and ran the joists the short
way on 16" centers. I then put blocks in front to keep the joists upright
and to provide a semi-curved front edge of the stage.
The stage is curved, and getting the curve right was a little challenging.
The span is 13', and I wanted a 6" difference between the depth of the
stage on the edges and the depth at the stage's center. I did a little math and
computed the length of string I would need to swing an arc that met my design
criteria. I then laid out some masking paper (the green kind you use for
painting) in my garage. I draw the arc on the paper, then transferred that arc
to the stage area.