DIY Home Theater Room

When we were planning our home, we knew we wanted one of the rooms in the basement to be our theater room. We planned for the room to be under our bedroom, so we could watch movies after the kids went to bed without the sound waking them up. We also didn’t put any windows in the room, so it would be dark, which is also the reason these pictures are dark. 
For the last year and a half we’ve been watching movies in the room with old couches and a simple white block of paint on the wall to serve as our screen. It’s been super fun, and plenty good enough for me, but not good enough for my hubby! We were lucky because we actually got 16 movie theater seats from the local theater for FREE! We noticed that they were putting new seats in, and since my hubby knows the manager, he texted him and asked him what they were going to do with the old seats. My hubby’s friend told him they were going in the trash, so he could have them for free if he came and got them. The next morning hubster went to the theater and picked up the front row of seats, since they don’t get used as much as the other seats in the theater. They sat in our basement for a very short time, before my hubby couldn’t stand it anymore. Here’s the room before we got started.  

It was empty except for a few pipes. We measured the area we wanted the platform to cover, and sketched out the framing of the box. The area was 16′ x 11′, it needed to be big enough to hold all of our free chairs, and some other recliners we bought second-hand.  We decided to build two boxes. One base box, and one to go on top of that.

Your project needs might differ based on the size of your project, but this will give you an idea of where to start.

  • 4- 2″ x 10″ x 16′ boards 
  • 9- 2″ x 10″ x 12′ boards
  • 9- 2″ x 10″ x 8′   boards
  • 6- 4′ x 8′ sheets
  • 2 1/2 inch finish nails
  • carpet (ours was old carpet that our brother and sister-in-law gave us when they got wood floors)
  • theater seats (FREE)

 First, we had to build around the pipes in the basement. We framed the bottom box, by placing the supporting boards 2 feet apart, with supporting beams in the middle that we could use to hammer the sheets onto.

 After the bottom was framed, we built the top box directly on top of the bottom. The sheets were simply nailed right into the beams below.

So we skipped a few pictures because I had to go upstairs to take care of the baby, and the hubby was too excited to finish, and he worked fast! Imagine a few more sheets nailed to the top. Then he pulled the old carpet over the top of the boxes, and stapled it down, he even folded the corners, what a pro!

Then he installed the seats, They were just bolted right through the carpet and into the plywood sheets.

Overall, it was a pretty easy project. The screen is still just a white-painted square on the cement, and the projector is in a little box that my hubby built into the rafters. Like I said, we’re not professional, and this is just meant to get your creative juices flowing, so you can create an oasis in your unfinished basement too!

This project is just a temporary solution and one day we’ll have enough money to actually put in dry wall and cabinets, but it’s still really fun, and I think it just goes to show that you can do things little by little. You don’t have to have a TON of money to transform your home into the retreat you want it to be. I love that everything is old, so when my kids spill their drinks I don’t have to worry about it. It’s perfectly imperfect, and we have already had a few parties down there, we just bring our blankets and space heater, since it’s pretty cold! 🙂

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