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A Guy Created A Secret Trapdoor – So He Could Watch Movies In His Own Underground Cinema

Image: imgur
For some people, there are few things more satisfying than working on their house. Whether it be through redecorating or restructuring the layout of a room, changes like that can help personalize your home. However, there are other individuals who raise the stakes when it comes to DIY.
Image: imgur
And Gez, known as notadeckofcards on Imgur, is one such person. Living at home with his wife, the couple found a hidden room beneath the house that they dubbed “The Dungeon.” There was only one entrance to the space, located outside the property. And with that in mind, The Dungeon was used solely for storage in the months after they moved in.
Image: imgur
As time went on, though, Gez decided to make some big changes to the room. His first step was to clean up the area outside the house that led to The Dungeon. After that he then focused on the interior, building a number of cupboards along the wall to store everything.
Image: imgur
So with The Dungeon’s floor space now clear, Gez could move to the next stage of his plan. Noting the sole entrance to the room, he wanted some easier access inside the house itself. So on that note, the DIYer built a secret trapdoor in his living room that led to the transformed space.
Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker
One of the many joys of the internet is being able to connect with like-minded people on topics that you love. Regardless of how niche your interests are, you can always find someone that shares that same passion. Reddit is an excellent source on that front, as the website hosts a huge number of “subreddits” covering different subjects.
Image: Alex Trend Flooring
Gez was one of the many online users to take advantage of that, visiting the DIY subreddit. A self-confessed “amateur” when it comes to home improvement, he looked to share his story about The Dungeon on the website. Then, in April 2016 the DIYer took to Imgur to show his initial progress.
Image: Trenten Kelley
Launched back in 2009, Imgur is a unique website that allows users to share a wide variety of pictures. From memes to normal photographs, the site became incredibly popular over the next few years. Indeed, by 2013 Imgur became on of the go-to places for online image sharing, beating off the likes of ImageShack and Photobucket.
Image: Trevor Brown
On that note, Gez created a photo album on the website, posting under the name notadeckofcards. He subsequently shared over 50 images at that point, with each one showing the early progress of The Dungeon’s reconstruction. Before charting the transformation, though, the online user revealed a bit more about the room.
Image: Min An
Indeed, Gez began his story by posting a photograph of the room before the project got underway. The DIYer wrote on Imgur in April 2016, “So here’s where we started. A room under our house which we called ‘The Dungeon.’ Full of junk left over after moving in.”
Image: Carrara Companies
At that point, Gez revealed that The Dungeon had a noticeable safety hazard. He continued, “We left it like this for nearly a year while deciding what to do with the room. The steel support beams are about 1.8 meters off the ground, but everywhere else is perfectly fine to walk around in without hitting your head.”
Image: Instagram/notadeckofcards
After setting the scene, Gez then spoke about the goal he wanted to reach at the end of the revamp. The Imgur user wrote, “We eventually decided to turn [The Dungeon] into a home theater. I actually posted some of this in 2014 after the first week on the project, but in hindsight I jumped the gun.”
Image: Instagram/notadeckofcards
Gez added, “It wasn’t anywhere near finished. We have put a lot of work into it since then, so please enjoy the rest of the album to see the real finished product!” From there, he then shared his progress step-by-step, starting with the outside entry into The Dungeon.
Image: imgur
Prior to the start of the project, the only way that Gez could access The Dungeon was via a green door in his garden. The yard was on a downward slope, with the house near the top of the hilly area. As a result of that, an old pathway was in place alongside the wall, leading directly to the door.
Image: imgur
Meanwhile, Gez’s yard was also surrounded by a wooden fence, with the partition cutting off at the back of the property. To kick things off, the DIYer worked on the elevated pathway, which was made up of old wooden panels and bricks. He subsequently removed the former, before knocking out the latter.
Image: imgur
Gez then lay down new bricks in their place, alongside some sturdy-looking wooden paneling at the side. At that stage, the Imgur user decided to fill the gaps on either side of the brick path with decorative gravel. However, that wasn’t the only thing he wanted to improve in the yard.
Image: imgur
With the entrance to The Dungeon sorted, Gez enlisted the help of his father to move the fence. Together, they were able to reposition the partition so it was closer to the old green door, creating more space outside the back of the house. The hard work didn’t end there, though.
Image: Instagram/notadeckofcards
After restructuring the fence, Gez painted both that and the green door white. And to finish things off outside, the grassy area on the slope was covered in decorative gravel, which matched the updated pathway. He then completed his work by adding some stones near the top of the latter.
Image: imgur
At that point, Gez focused his attention on The Dungeon itself, which was still filled to the brim with what he described as “junk.” Following some spring cleaning, though, the room was finally cleared. Prior to the renovation, the floor was made up of stone slabs, while one of the walls boasted a bench-like structure consisting of stones and bricks.
Image: imgur
Gez then proceeded to spruce up the overhead steel crossbeams with a fresh coat of paint, before moving The Dungeon’s heating duct. With the latter now out of the way, the DIYer looked to take out the metal shelving surrounding one of the walls. And by doing so, he subsequently created a lot more space.
Image: imgur
From there, Gez filled the newly created gaps with some cupboards, which were eventually painted dark gray. He explained on Imgur, “[I did this] to improve the cinematic experience.” In addition to that, the online user left a small area open on that wall, using it as a bar.
Image: imgur
At that stage, the home cinema really started to come together, with Gez putting in a new seating area around the old brick bench. After that, he created a box-like structure for the projector, before installing a set of LED lights in the room. However, there were still some finishing touches to make.

Image: imgur
To give off the desired effect when watching a film, Gez then added some curtains around the edge of The Dungeon. Once that was done, he focused his attention on the floor, covering it with large rubber slabs. To complete it, the DIYer put down some astro turf, ahead of installing the big screen.
Image: notadeckofcards
With the screen now in place, one final task remained for Gez. In the entrance to the home cinema, he looked to fit two beige curtains above the doorway, completing the transformation. The Imgur album detailing the journey subsequently earned over 300,000 views, as well as close to 12,000 points.
Image: Instagram/notadeckofcards
Meanwhile, in January 2017 Gez returned to Imgur with another photo album. While The Dungeon was now a fully functioning cinema, he had a small issue with it. Despite all the changes that were made to the room, there was still only one way to get in via the outside door.
Image: imgur
So on that note, Gez laid out the plan for his next project. He wrote on Imgur, “So you may remember the dungeon I have under my house which I turned into a cinema, but the problem was there was only access from outside. That’s fine when the weather is nice and/or you have appropriate clothes on.”
Image: imgur
“But for cold days or when you’re just in your pajamas, I thought it would be nice to be able to access [the cinema] internally,” Gez continued. “As a kid, I always thought how cool it would be to have a secret tunnel or passageway in your house. So now that I own one, there was nothing holding me back.”
Image: imgur
Gez then added, “After my wife agreed that I could cut a hole in the floor, of course!” At that point, the DIYer pressed ahead with his plan, choosing the best place to create the secret entrance. In the end, he opted for the left-hand corner of the room, just to the side of the big screen.
Image: imgur
After Gez made his decision, he prepared to work on the section of the living room floor directly above it. He said of the corner upstairs, “It used to have a chair and was a nice place to sit. So I wanted to incorporate a sitting area into the solution, which would double out as a great secret entrance.”
Image: imgur
“I did consider both a trapdoor and bookcase, but felt a seat was best,” Gez added. He continued, “I liked the idea of a bench seat with storage, but in this case instead of storage, a secret staircase.” At that point, he assembled the bench and purchased the materials needed to create a cushioned seat.
Image: imgur
With the bench now in place, Gez faced one of the biggest challenges of the project. He wrote on Imgur, “I had a few different avenues of carpenters I was going to get to come cut [the hole]. But since it was made over Christmas and New Years, everyone was on holidays.”
Image: imgur
Gez added, “So after calling my dad and talking to some guys at Mitre 10, I felt confident enough to do it myself. In this photo, I’m getting a feel for where the additional supports would go to frame the edge of the hole.” From there, he cut through the upstairs floor, creating a square-shaped hole in the corner.

Image: imgur
At that stage, Gez then put some new brackets in around the hole, to help support the upstairs floor. After putting the finishing touches on that, he switched his focus toward the ladder, which he’d be putting together himself. Using timber that was over 100 years old, the Imgur user assembled it outside his house.
Image: imgur
Gez’s work on the ladder eventually came to an end, securing all of the steps with a number of “heavy duty screws.” On that note, he hosed down his creation before taking it back into the house. And with everything in place, the online user gave a brief overview of his efforts.
Image: imgur
However, when Gez shared the finished results of the entrance, he also relayed some feedback that he’d received. The user wrote on Imgur, “You would open the [secret] door and… apparently reveal [a] ‘giant hole/death trap,’ according to Reddit. A lot of the main concerns from the comments was the structural safety of this ‘death box.’”
Image: imgur
“I fully admit to being an amateur (hence posting to r/DIY),” Gez continued. “And it was pointed out that the type of wood used to make the sides (melamine) and holding it together with screws wasn’t a great solution.” Despite the negativity, though, he was offered a potential answer to the problem.
Image: imgur
Gez added, “It was suggested to build an internal frame, which would be the structural component of the seat. And the melamine would [then] become just a decorative skin.” Away from that, the DIYer was also informed of another possible issue with the home cinema’s secret door.

Image: imgur
“The other complaint was that if the lid broke [on the seat], the person sitting on it would fall straight down the hole,” Gez wrote on Imgur. He continued, “While the chances of the lid breaking in such a way to allow it to do that were highly unlikely in my opinion, I recognized people’s concerns.”
Image: imgur
With that in mind, Gez then revealed his solution. “[I] decided to bring back the cutout floorboards to make a trapdoor for the extra layer of safety,” he said. From there, the Imgur user shared some photos of the entrance inside the cinema, with the ladder perched away from the big screen on the left-hand side.
Image: imgur
At the end of the album, Gez had some final words regarding his two big projects. After all of the work that he put into them, he highlighted one of his favorite features. The user wrote, “One of the best things about this room is how cool it stays during summer.”
Image: imgur
“This photo was taken in the middle of a day that was 35+ outside, yet down here it stays in the low 20s,” Gez concluded. “Closing the lid blocks out all the light from upstairs, and you can enjoy a full cinema experience without leaving the house! Very, very happy with how it turned out.”

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