I'm at the point where I've cleaned up most of the basement to make ready for finishing it off, including space for a dedicated home theater "space." I say space as it will not be a stand alone room because if I sub-divide the basement totally it will make the basement feel cramped. I will be moving my Axiom system (Epic 80 without the Axiom sub), what my wife considers "clutter," from the family room where it currently resides to this HT space in the basement.

This is the plan. The basement area that will be divided up is approximately 26'wide by 34'long. There is a girder that runs down the middle of the basement lengthwise which is what I intend to use as my dividing line, building a partition directly underneath, 3/4 of which will be a "knee wall" (this is a wall that is only about 36"-42" high) that will allow you to see from one side to the other. I will also be building a partition perpendicular to this about 20' from the front of the room that will also be partially a "knee wall" to allow you to view the screen from a snack counter on the other side of the wall. This gives me a theater dimension of approximately 13' by 20', and unfortunately a ceiling which will be only just under 7' high.

I'm assuming that it really doesn't make much sense to do much in the way of sound isolation as the room will be opened somewhat to the rest of the basement because of the knee walls? Should I at least do something with the ceiling which is currently open joists to be covered probably with a drop ceiling? What should I do to treat the room so that it sounds as good as possible? Are acoustic treatments important even though the room is semi-open?

I am currently planning to cover the concrete slab with a sub-floor product called "Dri-Core." This will give me a wooden sub-floor but I will only loose about 7/8" in height. I plan on carpeting over that. I thought of making some custom acoustic panels for the ceiling rather than using the traditional "drop" ceiling. I have to use a drop ceiling as I have mechanicals (pipes and shut off valves, etc.) running below the joists. The walls I'm not sure what to do with. The one side wall will run along the cement block foundation and the other is as I described above. The front wall is currently framed with sheetrock.

Anyway, I apologize for the length of this post and I hope it makes some sense. I have been looking at threads over at the AVS Forum, and there is all kinds of info. and some amazing theaters that people have built, but all of the acoustic talk is confusing and making my head spin. It's overwhelming and looks like it's become a multi-million dollar business. I may post some questions over there but I thought I might get a straighter scoop from my fellow Axiomites over here. I have no problem framing out rooms and doing the carpentry but the acoustic engineering of all of this is making me crazy. Any thoughts or advise is much appreciated. Thanks.