For Dolby 5.1, I followed the traditional front end set up, with side positions utilizing dipoles. The speakers I choose for the sides directed one pair of drivers 45 degrees front, and another pair of drivers 45 degrees rear. The wall position for this dipole, when seated, should be at or slightly behind your shoulder, as you face the dialogue channel. This is a terrific way to get full sound in the room, with a minimum amount of hardware. I am about to be forced to do some major repair/construction on my listing room, and I am planning changes for speaker type and position. The new Dolby 9 channel format specifies that speakers be placed at both sides and rear ( the two front speakers, subs, and dialogue all remain the same ). The rear can mirror the dialogue as a single center rear, or a pair may be used, placed fairly close together. Parasound has released an inexpensive converter that allows the current 5.1 movies to Matrix into the 9 channel format. Instead of only dipoles at the sides, I am going to buy conventional speakers for both the sides and rear. This means I have the possibility to play stereo, Dolby 5.1, Dolby 5.1 matrix 9 channel, and discrete Dolby 9 channel. Obviously, this same set up would allow music to fill the room beautifully for the party effect you wanted. Better yet, after all the people are gone, you and your mate can experience state of the art movie sound. I wish you luck on what ever way you decide to proceed.