Dome-theatre in barn?

Here I am writing about my ideas about building a small dome-theatre in our old barn.

We have this old barn on our farm. It was a long time since there were any animals in there. It has been used by the military as storage for many years. Now our neighbor’s company is renting it as storage. That contract is going to end and we are thinking of new ways to make the barn useful. It is always possible to fill it with peoples caravans & mobile homes witch is a very common destiny for old barns in Sweden. But isn't there something more interesting & fun than storage (or animals)?

I (Peter) am very fond of cool things & special effects. I have a "party-place" that I rent out for different events that contains sound system, projector wall, laser-show, bar in a stone-vault... I am also very interested in computer graphics & games. I don't play games very much, but when I do I do it on 3,2m wide screen with a big surround sound system & the latest graphics card. I think I am more interested in the technology behind the game than actually playing the game. I work as a programmer on SAAB Training Systems, unfortunately not with computer graphics. It would be fun to combine my technical interest with our growing tourist/event business on our farm.

So back to this barn. The north end of the barn has a quite big open space that could perhaps fit a small dome-theatre. I think it would be awesome to have a dome theatre/planetarium but it's not something you just buy for your own amusement. If it's going to be a dome-theatre of this size it must be able to pay back some. I don't know how advanced or at which level of quality I should aim. Higher quality, higher cost , higher risk. It should at least be so good so somebody is willing to pay for the experience.
I am writing this text so you professionals can give me some advice, or help in any way. What is best, inflatable dome, vacuum dome or fixed structure? How many projectors? Software? Complete solutions? I plan to use wood for building floor and other structures, it's cheap and goes well with the surroundings. The most important thing is the dome & the projectors. Technology has evolved & has become cheaper & better. Somebody should be the first to build a fulldome-theatre in a barn.

Maybe it is better to start with a dome with a flat floor in the south end of the barn. There are already a stairway coming up through the floor so you can enter the dome without having a door. For a start we only need blankets & cushions instead of chairs. Perhaps virtual picnic is a good business with a full-dome movie from some a nice calm place.

If we see that that’s going well we can continue & build a 45 degree dome with seats in the north end of the barn better suited for full-dome ( IMAX like ) movies.

What do I want to be able to do?
Well as much different cool thing as possible. It would be nice to be able to:

  • Playback full-dome movies. Even home made. There is a 3d animation school in Eksjö, a nearby town.
  • Explore the universe with appropriate software. Planetarium-like experience.
  • Play games (modified for 360). Seems hard to find?
  • Do simulations with realistic controls. Driving learning, Flight-simulators ( Gripen perhaps ). Maybe in another dome.
  • Hunting simulator where you put sensors on real guns. There are a lot of hunters here...
  • Put cameras on an RC plane and transmit their video to dome in realtime & create a 360 view from the plane.

There is nothing like this nearby, the nearest is in Norrköping 200km away then there is one in Stockholm 400km away. I don't think there are any more in Sweden. I live in the countryside far from any big city so it’s not likely that people will walk by & drop in. On the other hand I believe that it is perhaps easier to be talked about in the surrounding smaller towns where there are nothing extraordinary to do like there are in the big cities.
If this dome-theatre idea seems promising I will look for other cool things to do with the rest of the barn. Of course there must be toilets, waiting room maybe a little restaurant. Perhaps smaller domes just for gaming.
Enough dreaming, here are the facts:


Photoshop1: 10m diameter.

Sketchup1, a 45 degree angle dome.

South end of barn second floor.

Same but with photoshoped geodesic tent.

Helicopter view from outside.


Links to different companies that have caught my interest:


Nearest other dome-theatres:

C in Norrköping
Cosmonova in Stockholm

Dome manufacturers:

5m inflatable dome1
Larger inflateabe dome:



Technical info

The basics of fulldome
Warping with mesh

Geodesic dome


Warp SW


Fulldome movies

Fulldome database

Free Space exploration software

Space Engine

Game engines