Adding a cinema to your office space | Soul Spaces

A cinema in the office: how complex is it to do?

Updated: May 8th, 2024

Published: January 29, 2023

When building this cinema in a workplace in Rathbone Place, Tottenham Court Road, I was excited to get it finished and invited to a viewing!

This wasn’t a fad or for the staff to enjoy at lunch time, this was a necessity for the business. There are some really important office fit out details to think about when installing the silver screen. Here are our top tips

 

Acoustics!

The room needs to be acoustically sound regarding leakage and attenuation. The use of acoustic panels and sound board plasterboard are both recommended. We used partitions that were 150mm deep with improved insulation to ensure the performance of the room was up to spec.

 

AV co-ordination

There is a lot of AV co-ordination involved and I would recommend allowing your main contractor to manage the AV company you decide to use. Yes you will be paying a premium for your contractor to manage the AV company but you are mitigating risk on yourself for the project and ensuring there is a clear liability with the contractor.

A lot of designers for some reason often leave out the control centre for the cinema room. I suppose when you go to the cinema you don’t really see how it all works, just a huge screen showing Marvel characters running around in fancy dress. We designed a small desk which controlled the screen, sound and lighting in the back corner of the room. Super simple, non-intrusive and allows the controller to be in the room with the viewers.

 

Get the seating right

Understand how long people will be within the room and whether you want to use the room itself as a multifunctional space. We allowed extra room at the front with flexible seating which could be moved around for a debrief after the viewing as well as a fixed tiered seating solution which added a sense of “theatre” to the room.

 

M+E

Ensure your main contractors sub-contractor has experience building cinema rooms. Lighting is relatively simple but you may need an additional distribution board for the power requirements to the cinema room and attenuators within the mechanical system as well as fire dampeners to ensure your room meets building control requirements.

The experience was exciting for me, as a big fan of movies I felt like I was playing a small part in the success of the film industry. The process is relatively simple, but some will try and convince you it is incredibly complex and expensive to do.

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