Nothing can quite replace the experience of going to the movies, but creating a state-of-the-art home theater will bring your movie-watching to a whole new level. Plus, you get to watch whatever you want, whenever you want—a perk no movie theater can offer.
Whether you’re looking to build a stand-alone theater space, add a new custom room, or make a theater in the space you have, these tips will not only get you started—they’ll put your home theater over the top.
One of the first questions you will have to ask yourself is this: HDTV or projector? The answer depends on your space and your needs. An HDTV can give you better image quality for the price.
But if you really want to go big, a projector and screen have an HDTV beat when it comes to size. There simply aren’t HDTVs big enough to compare.
You can get real movie-theater seats if it’s what you really want and you’re willing to pay quite a bit for it, but comfort should really take priority here. Plush leather recliners are a popular choice, and for good reason. Couches are always an option, too, especially if you’re imagining your theater as a gathering or party space. If you have kids, you could even throw in a few beanbag chairs.
Why limit your theater to just movie-watching? You can incorporate gaming consoles for an incredible video game experience. And you should consider hooking up streaming capability so you can get access to even more movies, TV shows, and sporting events
Make sure you take measures to soundproof the room, both to keep sound in and to keep outside sounds out. For the sound itself, don’t skimp on speakers. Investing in a high quality surround sound speaker system can actually give you better sound than at the theater, and make your home theater experience that much richer.
If you have risers for stadium-style seating, you’ll need track lighting like LED rope lights on the steps to make sure no one trips. For the overhead lights, install a dimmer to give you full control over the atmosphere.
For a real theater experience, you don’t want clutter in the room. Cords, players, and other paraphernalia will need to be hidden, and you might need to get creative to do it. Built-in storage or shelving at the back of the room is an option, as is hidden storage under the screen.
Add a snack bar, including a source of popcorn, whether it’s a popcorn maker or a microwave. Throw in a mini fridge for drinks and a stash of theater box candy, and you’re bound to keep everyone happy.
The last thing you want is a theater with incredible technology that looks boring and bland. Movie posters are a classic choice for theater wall décor. Or hang vintage photos of movie stars, or even art that incorporates famous movie quotes. Those finishing touches make all the difference.