Home Theater - Stage and Screen Build Out

This was a paid project for a client who wanted to install a large projection screen in a room that would become a dedicated home theater. My job was to create a small stage and a mounting setup for the screen.

The space in which the screen and stage were to be placed.

Unfortunately, this wall was the best place in the room for the screen but it meant contending with various factors including a soffit on the right-hand side and attic access via a outward opening door in the middle. To maintain access to the attic, the following options were explored:

  1. moving the door and hinges to the other side of the frame; this was not possible because of the location of the rafters on the other side.
  2. setting the stage 30” in front of the door to allow it to open.
  3. shaving the bottom from the door so that it would open out over the stage.

In the end, option #3 won out as #2 would have compromised the mounting positions for the speakers.

Starting to build the frame for the main body of the stage.

The desired final height for the stage was to be about 7”, so I opted to use 2x4’s for the frame since the floor, platform and carpet were going to add a couple of inches.

Marking out the arc that makes up the front part of the stage and cutting out the support forms.

Installing the wood that makes up the arc.

Given the distance and not-too-drastic curvature of the arc, I was able to get away with not having to kerf the backside of the board.

The completed frame.

Test fitting the screen to determine the desired height.

Stage in place in the correct orientation.

One of the most important considerations of the stage design was to make it as acoustically dead as possible. This was especially relevant as the speakers will sit on the stage and by isolating any potentially transmitted vibrations the result is a much cleaner and truer sound with no reverberation.

Installing ¼” rubber isolation matting to the underside of the stage.

Next step was to fill all of the cavities with fiberglass insulation.

Ideally, the stage would have been filled with sand, but with the room being on the second floor, the weight of the sand was too great. This was to further isolate the acoustic properties of the stage.

The platform of the stage was made up of three sandwiched layers of plywood (3/4”, 1/2” and 3/4”) with more vibration dampening material between the layers.

The finished platform.

Installed uprights and crossbeam.

All three pieces were made from 2x6’s that were joined to create an “L”. Also note the modified door.

Hanging the screen.

One of the frames for the panels that surround the screen to frame it in.

The frame to cover the top of the screen with a cutout for the soffit about to get painted.

Kind of hard to see, but this shot shows the test fitting of the frames for the side and bottom panels.

Preparing to wrap the left side panel in velvet.

Screen with the surrounds in place and completed stage.

Final product with painted walls, dyed carpet and wall treatments.