Musician, passionate about sound and cinema from a young age, Lolo made his dream come true by designing his own personnal movie theater in his home. A dedicated room that allows him to make the most of music and movies thanks to a Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 installation made up of Klipsch speakers and high quality electronics.
How big is your home theater? From the technical area (electronics)?
My personnal movie theater is 7.20 x 4.50 m bare and 7 x 4.30 m with treatment, i.e. 30 m2. The electronics are in a home-made piece of furniture which is 65 cm long and 2.30 m high.
How long did it take you to build this home theater?
We started the construction of this personnal cinema on March 1st 2021 and we watched the first movie on April 16th! So, about a month and a half.
When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personnal movie theater?
I am a musician. I’ve been passionate about sound from a young age and I would regularly go to the movie theater with family or friends. For a very long time, I had been wanting to have a home theater room to watch what I want, whenever I want and as many times as I want. I wanted to have even more bass than in the cinema. I also wanted to share it with friends by inviting them over. Every single time they are speechless and tell that it’s better than an actual movie theater!
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging aspect?
In fact, I’m not much of a handyman, to put it mildly. I have a friend who’s a sound engineer in Paris. His name is Michel Avannier (Buddha Bar compilations, Hotel Costes…) and he called me back in February to get some news and ask me how was the movie theater coming along. I replied verbatim “You know, I can’t even hammer a nail myself, I have to ask for estimates “. And he said to me “I’m coming down on Monday March 1st and we’re going to get to work! “. For about a week, we detailed everything to do and what we had to buy.
So it was him, to answer your question, who organized everything. I gave him the tools and the material. There wasn’t a single issue with the construction. I just had an electrician come to make me an electrical panel and run some cables, as well as a drywaller to make me the ceiling in acoustic tiles.
What was the overall budget for the system and construction?
Not to mention the amount for Michel, I spent exactly 23,000 euros in total which can be broken down as follows:
- Equipment: 3500 euros
- Electricity: 2100 euros
- Home theater equipment: screen, video projector, etc. : 12,600 euros
- Armchairs: 4,800 euros
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
For the speakers, I had already made my choice, it would be Klipsch. Even though I have been a Cabasse fan for over 40 years, I wanted something for this room that sounded very loud and that had a lot of performance and power. So I have :
- 2 Klipsch RF-7 MKII front speakers
- 1 Klipsch RF-7 MKII center speaker
- 2 Klipsch RP-502S surround speakers
- 2 Klipsch RB-81 MKII surround back speakers
- 4 Earthquake R-8D Atmos speakers
- 2 JBL Synthesis subwoofers with 18″ woofer
For the video projector and the canvas, I trusted a person who is a loudspeaker designer in Lyon: Badfu Sion. So I have :
- An Arcam AVR390 A/V receiver
- An Emotiva XPA-7 power amplifier
- A Crown XLS 1002 amplifier for the 2 subwoofers
- An Epson EH-TW9400 video projector
- A Screenline Fashion (0.8) transparent screen measuring 3.50 m wide
- A Panasonic DP-UB820 Blu-ray player
- An Apple TV 4K
For the decoration and layout of the room, I have:
- 1 starry sky in fiber optic 288 strands of 3 different diameters
- 8 Philips Hue LED spots
- 3 Philips Hue LED strips
- Thick velor carpet
- Ceiling in acoustic tiles 600 x 600 mm by 40 mm thick sloping (higher in front than behind)
- 8 red microfiber armchairs
- 1 riser made of pallets filled with glass wool, resilient strip below and above, carpet and LED strips.
- 1 platform also made of pallets filled with glass wool, resilient strip below and above, carpet and LED ribbons.
- 1 double door 1.40 m wide with 1 handle on each door to open like in cinemas, acoustically treated.
For the choice of Blu-ray player, Apple TV or even carpet, I did some research on the forums and Facebook groups. I had several people on the phone who gave me advice. So I associated the different ideas to create my room. I would like to adress all my thanks to them again, they will know who they are…
How do you control the system (applications, remote controls, etc.)?
Simply by the different remote controls for each device and by my laptop via the Philips Hue app for lights. I can choose separately the starry sky, the 3 LED strips or the 8 spots and on each one, I can modify the color or the light intensity.
Did you use an acoustic treatment ? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
We put 7 cm thick joists with resilient tape on both sides over the entire height and fixed to the concrete wall. Then we filled them with 10 cm thick glass wool. Finally, we added 3 OSB plates that we had previously covered with black 320g acoustic fabric cover the whole.
We made four Bass Traps for the four angles. For the ceiling, we used 40 mm thick acoustic tiles. We used 4 mm thick cork on the floor, then a thick carpet laid by my wife. In front of the two windows at the back of the room, my wife also made curtains with the same 320 g acoustic fabric, but doubling it. At the moment, I don’t have any absorbent or reflective panels on the walls. The sound suits me perfectly as such, for both music and movies.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
In my room, it was “Bohemian Rapsody”! Then “Gladiator” then… I don’t have any particular film, however, that gave me a taste for home theater.
How often do you use you home theater installation?
Almost every day, even to listen to a song that will get me going early in the morning (Street Player by Leonid and Friends for example.)
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
Yes, a lot of videos on Youtube, whether it’s the 4K tests for the image or Atmos tests for the sound. I also use this room for concerts and some sporting events.
How would you like to upgrade your system?
Apart from having my projector calibrated by a pro, my installation already seems optimal. In fact, it’s always possible to upgrade, but for now, I am extremely satisfied!
What piece of advice could you give to someone who wants to enjoy the same type of home theater installation?
I think that by documenting, asking questions on home theater groups on social media, getting advice from professionals and being handy, the realization of a personnal movie theater can be done rather easily. You have to be methodical, make a good list of all purchases, as well as the order of the tasks to be done.
I had this dream for many years and you have to make your dreams come true as much as possible! We moved out of our house where we stayed for 20 years just to have that extra room to be able to make this personnal movie theater. So if time and budget allow it, go for it!
For the anecdote – not funny, sorry in advance – my father knew that I wanted this for a long time, and on March 6, on his hospital bed where he was in a lot of pain, he told me 2 things: I want it to end quick and how is the movie theater coming along? He died on March 7 in the early morning …
So much for my story, I hope to have given a taste to some or to have convinced others who were hesitant.