The Benefits of Having a Home Movie Theater
Besides impressing your friends (and becoming the most popular house in the neighborhood), there are lots of fantastic benefits to having your very own home movie theater:
- Control: From pausing your movie to use the restroom to tweaking the volume levels, when you have your own home theater, you’re in complete control of the entire movie-watching experience.
- Stress Relief: Enjoy watching movies in your theater room to decompress or maybe relieve some stress and experience a temporary escape from the world without having to leave your home.
- Save Money: While there will be some upfront costs, you’ll save a ton of money on movie tickets and snacks over time.
- Resale Value: If you ever plan to sell your home, a personal home movie theater may increase your property’s resale value and might also may help you sell your home faster.
- Sports: If you’re a big sports fan, there’s nothing quite like watching the big game in your theater room.
- Customization: From the décor to the furniture, you can customize your home movie theater any way you choose and add your own personal touches.
Choose Your Location and Space
Before you start picking out theater seating, you’ll need to decide which part of your home you want to convert to a home movie theater, location, and space is a must. First, choose a separate, dedicated space where sounds from the big screen won’t affect other members of the household. Ideally, the room should be at least 12 x 12 feet in size or larger. If you have a spare bedroom on the opposite side of the house, this is a great option. A room over the garage that you aren’t using is a perfect place to design and enjoy a home movie theater. For those who want to go bigger, consider budgeting for a new addition to your home and make it a separate theater space. The room will need to be large enough to accommodate seating and the movie screen itself, and it should also be quiet and dark, so nothing disturbs your entertainment experience.
Ambient Light: Keep it Under Control
In order for your movies and sports to look crisp and sharp, it’s important to establish the proper level of ambient lighting. While you’d normally want more natural light in a room, you’ll want less when it comes to a home movie theater. Whether it’s light creeping in from adjacent rooms or sunlight coming in through the windows, it’s crucial to eliminate as much outside ambient light as possible. When light gets into your theater room, it can make your movies blurry and not as defined. Choose a projector with a high lumens rating to ensure a clear picture if you have ambient lighting that comes in through doors or windows that you can’t control. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a room for your home theater where there are very few (if any) windows, such as a basement or part of a garage. Keep excess ambient light to a minimum by using light-blocking curtains or blinds that will ensure your theater stays as dark as possible.
The Importance of a Surround Sound System
Part of the magic of going to the movies is experiencing incredible sound, so make sure you include a quality surround sound system in this space. Before you start shopping for surround sound systems, make sure the theater room is insulated from outside noise and distractions. Add a solid-core door and soundproof the walls by installing soundproofing insulation or a second layer of drywall, also you might want to consider hiding cables behind the wall. Once the room is properly insulated, you can bring in some quality speakers. Choose a small surround system that won’t take up too much space while producing a crisp, loud sound. If you need to make structural changes, pre-wire the room for surround sound first with speaker wire. Strategically place speakers in the room with one in each corner for maximum clarity. Adding one speaker to each side of the screen will help to recreate that magical movie sound. And, of course, you’ll also need a receiver that allows you to control the sound levels including bass, volume, and more for an amazing authentic experience.
Add the Best Seating
Once your new home movie theater is set up, it’s time to think about seating. Of course, you want the seating to be comfortable, but here are some other important features to look for:
- Format: You can bring individual seats or chairs into this space or try row seating that mimics a real movie theater.
- Extras: Choose home theater seating that includes extra features like built-in cup holders and consoles to hold snacks.
- Comfort: Always ensure that your theater seating is roomy and has ample cushioning for maximum comfort. A reclining seat is also awesome so you can kick back and really relax while enjoying the show.
- Upholstery: Leather is the material of choice for most home theater seating, but you can also choose microfiber or fabric as long as it’s easy to keep clean.
Set up Your Screen and Projector
No theater is complete without a large screen and a quality projector. Do some research to find the best projectors for home theater settings and look for the features that are most important to you. You’ll want to make sure that your projector is able to produce high-definition content for a crisp, clear picture. Most projectors require an HDMI cable to work correctly. A 4K projector produces the best picture, but they’re also much more expensive than traditional projectors, you could also consider mini projectors. Look for projectors that offer features like focus and brightness level adjustment so you can change the picture as needed. You may need to move the projector around until you find the perfect distance between the projector and the screen. Place the projector on a stable surface where it won’t tilt or move around. A remote control will make it easy to adjust the picture during the movie, so you don’t have to get up or pause the film.
Today’s home theater screens come in a wide range of sizes and quality levels. Choose one that will reduce glare and help to produce a sharp picture. Some screens are stationary, which means they simply stay in place and don’t roll up once they’re installed. Others include the option to roll up into a contained case so you can use your home theater for other purposes or take the screen with you if you need to. In terms of price, home projectors and screens vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each. Make sure you include both of these crucial components in your budget when you plan your home movie theater setup.
An alternative could be to choose projector paint to paint a wall or space of your preference. This could also help you save money and space.
Paint, Materials, and Decor
When you’re ready to do some finishing touches, you can’t forget paint and décor. Here are some helpful tips and ideas to inspire you to make your own home movie theater unique:
- Add molding and trim around the ceiling and on the walls of your theater to give it an authentic movie theater look and feel.
- Choose dark paint to help make the room as dark as possible, such as a matte black or an emerald green.
- Install dimmable lights around the perimeter of the room to recreate that classic theater vibe. When the movie starts, slowly dim the lights until they turn off for a fun intro your friends will love.
- Rope lighting and wall sconces are both excellent choices to create soft, warm lighting in a theater space.
- Hang some framed movie posters around the room or display a few fun décor items like vintage refreshment stand signs, movie reels, and popcorn wall painting for a fun touch.
- Install durable carpet that can handle messes and lots of foot traffic. A dark-colored, low-pile carpet is ideal for this room.
- Avoid adding anything that’s too reflective since it can create a glare when the movie is playing. Choose matte paint and frame posters without glass to help you minimize the possibility of annoying glare.
From blockbuster films to the big game, a home movie theater is an awesome way to enjoy your favorite entertainment. Once you decide on the location of your theater, make sure you take steps to reduce outside light and insulate the room from sounds. Choose dark paint colors and soft lighting, and don’t forget to pick out the best projector and screen for an amazing experience. Seating should be roomy and comfortable, and you can add your choice of décor to make the room fun. Use these tips to help you recreate the magic of the theater right in your own home.