Re-creating the look, feel, and overall mood of the movie theater in your own home takes more than a big screen and a dark room. In reality, there’s quite a bit of nuance that goes into a home theater, and if you take the time to figure it all out, you can create a better experience than just about any cinema has to offer.
After all, when was the last time you got a packed theater to pause the movie so you could go to the bathroom?
To help you bring the cinema experience to your home, check out these 5 essential tips for creating the perfect home theater experience.
1. Pick the Perfect Spot
If you’ve ever shown up to a movie late and wound up sitting in the very front row, you know the importance of having enough space in your theater. The space you build your theater in should have enough room so that you can fit the desired number of seats without compromising anyone’s view of the screen.
It’s also crucial to select a low-traffic, low-noise area that gets as little sunlight as possible. There are ways to block both noise and light, but that’s just more money out of your budget that you may not need to spend.
2. Reduce Sound and Light
Odds are, even if you have a great spot for your home theater you’re still going to want to reduce external noise and ambient light. Sound reduction can be done fairly easily with some soundproofing materials such as acoustic tiles, sound panels, and drapes.
Ideally, light reduction would involve black-out curtains, but any decent-quality curtain or blind would still do a solid job.
Another important factor is keeping the walls of the room as dark as possible. Remember: white reflects light, black absorbs it.
3. Get the Proper Equipment
Perhaps you want a projector/screen combo, or maybe you want a jumbo flat-screen TV. Either way, your best bet is to go into a Best Buy or other electronics store and speak with an expert in the field. They should also be able to help you get the best possible audiovisual setup for your budget.
4. Get Your Seating Set
Movie theaters eliminate the issue of that super tall guy in front of you blocking your view by using stadium seating, which is simply seating set on a graduated incline. Home theater owners can create this effect by installing a small stage for every row of seats behind the first. It’s more work and more money, but your shorter friends will thank you.
5. Deck the Place Out
One of the key components to creating that perfect movie theater mood is decorating with the idea of celebrating cinema in mind. Movie posters, popcorn buckets, film reels, and clapboards all contribute to creating that special movie theater feel in your space. Adding that extra ambiance will really put your home theater over the top.