Sometimes you just need an escape — from work, from the pressures of life. The annoying part of having to escape, however, is that you usually need to leave your house, and most people are just too drained to be bothered taking a trip.

One man in desperate need of an escape went down to his basement one day and started tearing it to shreds. After two years, he was finally done with his project, and when his family saw what he created, they knew they’d never need to leave the house again!

One man dreamed of the perfect getaway inside his home for years, but finally, he was ready to make it happen. He had the perfect space: his totally bland and boring basement.


But where other people saw a dingy basement, this man had vision. To begin, he removed the tiles on the ceiling, the front of the closet, and the shelves. Whatever he had up his sleeve, it required a pretty serious renovation.


He stripped and expanded the closet toward the back of the room. Inside, he set up wiring that appeared to hook up to some kind of audio-video system. It certainly was a lot of equipment!

He added soffits — those elongated boxes along the ceiling — next. These structures are a type of eave that, when used indoors, can provide indirect lighting to a room.


What’s this? A projector! This handyman positioned it between the soffits at the back of the room. Either he was teaching a lot of high school classes down there, or he was planning on screening films in his…


…home movie theater! As you’d expect, his entire family went wild for his idea, even though it was taking quite a while to materialize. The kids weren’t much help, but they were useful for measuring out the screen.


Even with the basics in place, a real theater needs some style. To spruce it up, the super-dad set sheetrock into place and situated lights around the ceiling. That way, you’d have just enough light to make a snack or bathroom run without tripping over yourself.


Time to paint! The multiple coats of gray didn’t make for the prettiest walls in the world, but that’s okay. After all, you want to direct your audience’s attention to the movie screen, and not to the room around them.


Specialized insulation to improve the acoustics went in the front of the room. After all, you want to hear the roar of action scene explosions from your theater seat — and not in the kitchen upstairs.


He placed a stage in front of that, which added some depth to the screen for a real theater feel. Maybe it also leaves the door open for some live performances in the future?


Who wants some killer sound? That’s a lot of gear, but only the top ones are speakers. Below them, those painted boxes serve as stands to ensure the brunt of the sound blares out at ear level.


Finally, he put the screen back into place, and the theater began to truly take shape. This creator even dubbed it the Level 4 Home Theater — because every good venue needs a catchy name.


Not too shabby! But the project wasn’t done. He could screen movies in the basement, but he knew nobody would ever watch them unless he upgraded the room’s style and comfort.


A custom-made box was placed in the ceiling, with an array of varnished crown molding on top. That looks great! Maybe this handyman could get a job building professional theaters once he’s done with his own?


The columns on the side of the room are a nice touch. In addition to adding some color to the walls, they also provide a sneaky place to hide the room’s outlet and A/V jack. Otherwise, they would stick out like a sore thumb.


But the columns weren’t finished quite yet. They still needed a trim! When it comes to home improvement, paying attention to the little details can really take a project like this to the next level.


Wow! That is a total turnaround from the boring, off-white walls. Even without the projector on, he’s made this space into a cool room to just hang out in.


Finally, the soon-to-be theater manager interspersed acoustic paneling between each of the columns to further improve the sound. With these in place, all he really had to do was invest in some quality seating. And then… 


Time for opening night! The dad laid down the red(ish) carpet for the grand premiere, and we can only assume he wore a tuxedo as well.


After nearly two years of work, it was time for the big show! All that’s missing are some overpriced snacks and a few kids trying to sneak into the R-rated movie, and it would be just like the real deal.


The only problem: what movie do you start with? Hopefully, this family had a little extra money set aside in their budget for a Netflix subscription. Feeling inspired by this project? So was another man from England…


Ashley Yeates from Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, was fond of building what many, at first glance, would call a simple shed. These were perfectly lovely sheds, of course, but simple ones nonetheless. But Ashley would beg to differ.

Torii Cinemas

Yes, while they might have looked that way on the outside, the constructions Ashley and his team of builders created were actually cocoons of luxury. Just take a look inside…

These “sheds” were built with timber frames and insulation just like anything else. They kept out heat and could survive the elements, too. Big deal, right? But, according to Ashley, these were no ordinary sheds.

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Ashley’s company, called the Torii Cinema Company, specialized in designing, manufacturing, and installing custom movie theaters in people’s backyards or garages! These theaters had everything you could imagine… and more.

Torii Cinemas

In this custom theater, for instance, seven retractable seats faced a massive canvas screen. A roof-mounted projector played whatever movie the homeowner slid into a connected Blu-ray player. The cinematic experience didn’t end there, either.

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What would a trip to the movie theater be without snacks? In this home cinema, Ashley installed a candy counter, all of which rested on a luxurious red carpet. And, amazingly, you could do so much more than watch movies here.

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In the back corner of the home cinema, beside a classic movie poster, Ashley and the crew included an Xbox game system, along with a few games. The owner of this home cinema could project not just films, but video games on the big screen, too!

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But why hide all of this in a shed-like structure? Why not remodel a bedroom? Ashley’s creations weren’t cheap, after all—the top-end units cost about $42,000—so the people adding a home cinema likely had the extra space.

“There’s something extremely magical about going out to a completely separate space from the house,” Ashley said. “Once the door closes behind you, you completely forget you’re just in the garden—the whole experience is extremely immersive.”

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Ashley created several different “immersive experiences” for his clients; in fact, the seven-seat theater was just one of four home cinema creations Torii Cinemas shared with the public. The second was contained in this beautiful, nautical-themed structure.

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For this particular client, Ashley constructed a more intimate theater. Instead of seven seats, this cinema had just two—but man, did those plus seats look comfy! Most of the features matched the seven-seat unit, but the same couldn’t be said for this next home cinema…

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Just from the outside, you could tell that what Ashley eventually dubbed “The Cine-bar” would be something special. This garden add-on had stairs and even its own porch! Inside, it was even more impressive…

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   Like the seven-seat home cinema, the main feature of the cine-bar was a canvas screen facing plush, theater-style chairs. All the bells and whistles—the red carpets and curtains, the surround sound—stayed. But here, Ashley added some luxuries, too…

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Alongside a candy counter, this home cinema included a refrigerator! The client could really get creative with the kinds of concessions he or she craved inside this theater. But there was one more surprise…

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The entire refrigeration unit had been built into the backside of a bar! Liquor bottles hung from the walls and wine glasses rested on crafted wooden shelves. Inside the fridge, the client could chill wine and beer—can your ordinary movie theater offer that?

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This home cinema utilized an HD 3D projector, giving an authentic movie-theater feel to the place, too. Ashley’s work definitely couldn’t be considered sheds or playrooms; these were real movie theaters. And Ashley still had another trick up his sleeve…

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Another client of his wanted something a little different—something more than just a home cinema or a video game room. Even better, he or she offered Ashley a brick-lined structure to build in. So, what did Ashley and his team put together?

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Ashley’s latest project was a room that carried all the luxuries of the last three: leather reclining chairs, a bar with a fridge, and an HD projector. But this one had a couch—and so much more.

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The brief of this cinema was to seat eight people in comfort and to include some form of karaoke,” Ashley wrote. “So when designing, I worked entirely around the furniture choices, integrating them entirely in the design.” See those microphones?

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Imagine bringing a few friends into the home cinema—located conveniently in your garage—projecting some lyrics onto the screen and just singing your heart out? You could even turn on the big game afterward. Talk about a man cave!

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Just check out the “Karaoke Bar” home cinema. You’ll see even more of the amazing details that went into every one of Ashley’s creative luxury projects. Which one of these home cinemas would you want in your own house?