This is my first post, so I'll take the opportunity to introduce myself. My wife, Jeanne, and I live near Washington, DC, but we also have a summer home in Atlantic Canada (Saint John area in New Brunswick). The summers in DC are becoming more and more unbearable, so New Brunswick gives us a welcome reprive. Our house is on the Bay of Fundy, which works as a huge air conditioner.

It's quiet and peaceful where we are (in West Quaco near St. Martins), but there is not much in the way of movies. We have nice neighbors and we have been pondering for a while to have our own (private) film club.

Here is picture of the house:

The main house is on the left, in the middle is a so-called summer kitchen, and on the right is a barn, or garage, as most people call it. The initial idea was to use part of the current barn for the theater, but after consulting with contracters, we have decided to tear it down and build new in more or less the same style.

The new extension will be multipurpose with the theater section measuring about 13' by 19.5' and located on the right side of the new building. An unusual feature will be a vaulted ceiling with one of the long walls being higher than the other one. Like this:

You will notice a lot of seats: the idea is to get movie theater seats rather than the typical hometheater loungers. It is a cheaper solution, especially as many small theaters are closing (due to the digital-only requirement in 2013), which results in used or refurbished seats becoming available. It will allow me to seat about 15, with the center of the second row being the optimal seat. We may still go with folding chairs initially; it all depends.

The planned screen size is 120'. I measured the viewing angles at the various rows and they are within SMPTE/THX recommendations. The projector will be an Epson 8350. I've considered 3D, but I don't like the idea of active shutter glasses.It would also be very expensive to accommodate all our guests and some may not even tolerate the glasses. LG has a 3D projector with passive glasses, but that's outside my budget...

For receiver I like the idea of the new Pioneer Elite SC-61, which has 7 class-D amplifiers rated at 125W. It is also able to deliver reasonable power with all channels driven. There is no professional review out yet, but I'm not in a hurry, just planning!

OK, speakers, finally! Initially I had selected the KEF T305, because I like the idea of speakers on the wall. But in one forum someone suggested Axiom, so that's where we are now. I like the idea that it is a Canadian company; it will may things easier if I want to return something, etc.

I have to explain that I'm not an audiophile or videophile, although I like my sound to be undistorted and my picture to be clear. I have a small setup in our regular home consisting of a Sanyo Z2 projector (still very nice) and an not to be named speaker combo. So anything will be an improvement. The new theater will also be used only part of the year for now, so I don't want to go overboard, although I do want an 7.1 setup that will last me a while. (I notice some of you can't resist to keep adding; I just want to watch movies!)

The theater will primarily be used for movies. We both prefer foreign films over most Hollywood blockbusters. We do like animation though, such as from Pixar. I got the following recommendations from the HT Wizard (Animation should be included as an genre, BTW):
  • Center: VP150 (1) regular, mounted on wall
  • Main: M22 (2) regular, mounted on wall
  • Surrounds: QS8 (4)
  • Subwoofer: EP500 (1)

Does this look like a reasonable setup? It stays within my $3,000 budget, especially when going outlet. The basic black finishing is fine with me, we're sitting in the dark after all... I like the idea of QS8s, as it will help in providing good emerging surround for all seats. One question I have is about the VP150 after reading comments on this forum. Would it be better to go with a VP160?

As this is my first ever real HT project, any insight is welcome.