Room Acoustics

Movie Poster Acoustic Panels? Here’s the Trick!


Most of us have home theaters because we love movies. We probably have bought more than our fair share of movie posters in our lifetimes. When we see a home theater with a great big screen, lots of speakers, a couple of subwoofers, and movie posters all around, we can help but be envious. But then we learned about room treatments and how important they are to sound. Surely there is a way to combine movie posters and room treatments? Well, there are a few. Let’s go through them.

The Problem with Posters

Movie posters are licensed. That means that whoever printed the poster for sale had to pay a royalty to the studio for the rights to reprint the posters and offer them for sale. Even if you’ve bought the poster, you don’t have the license to reprint it again.

For this reason, places like GiK and others that offer printed acoustic absorption panels will not print copyrighted images like movie posters. They will only print original artwork or photographs. Or images that are not copyrighted.

Buy Direct

There are a few places online that have paid for the licenses so that they can print the posters. They offer some acoustic panels. One place is HomeTheaterSeattle.com. The problem is that they have a limited selection that may or may not have what you are looking for. More importantly, they limit the thickness of the panels to one inch. We always recommend acoustic panels be at least two inches thick.

The Workaround

Over at AV Rant, listener Rob W. describes how he created his home theater movie poster acoustic panels. Back when he did these, the online fabric printers were allowing people to print copyrighted images. That’s not the case anymore. But there is a workaround.

Remove the words.

Do you really need the words to know what movie this is?

If you crop the image so that it removes the words from the poster, you will be allowed to print it. Rob W. did his panels by hand but you don’t have to. By using GiK’s online printing interface, you should be able to print the modified movie poster images onto their acoustic panels without issue. Then, you can select the size of the panel plus the thickness. Is it exactly the same as the movie poster? No. But it is close enough.

Think Outside of the Box

While I love movie posters as much as the next guy, there are some fantastic free images out there that you can use. One of my favorites is NASA. That’s right, the organization that brought you the moon landing also brings you some crazy cool free images. Check out these images from the JPL. Or these cool “Cosmic Frights” retro movie posters! Not only are these free to download and print, but they want you to share your images of them!

Do you have any printed acoustic panels? Show us on Facebook page!


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