Are you a movie buff? Do you need a place to get the family together for regularly scheduled family movie nights? Are you tired of paying audacious ticket prices to go see a movie, yet you still love the theater experience?
If you answer yes to one or all of these questions then chances are good you’re thinking about designing a home movie theater. Yet it’s a lot more than simply dimming the lights and putting on a popular streaming movie. The truth is, there’s a lot more that goes into designing the Ultimate Movie Room home theater.
Choosing the Right Room
Choosing the right space for your ultimate home theater movie room requires patient consideration. Some families simply choose to upgrade the family room with a big screen family room and surround sound speakers. Though it’s certainly not the only or the best option to consider.
A Basement Home Theater
Most basements have tons of unused space available. This is more than enough room to accommodate some massive couches or theater seating, with wide open walls for a screen or a projector.
The downside of choosing the basement for your ultimate home theater is that you are going to probably be near the furnace and air conditioner. You’ll hear them as well as the plumbing overhead. If you don’t want this to be an issue, you’ll have to add some soundproofing.
A Garage Home Theater
These days a lot of people are keeping their cars parked outside so they can transform their massive garage space into functional living space. This can give you tons of square footage for seating and screens. Not to mention enough height to let you elevate and terrace seating.
The potential downside of turning a garage into the ultimate home theater is that most garages are poorly insulated and have little to no HVAC. Winter cold and summer heat will spoil the experience. So, you’ll need to both beef up the insulation in the garage as well as add some sort of accessory heating and air conditioning system that’s capable of handling that much space.
Choose Your Screen Wisely
There are a few different options to consider when it comes to choosing the best screen for your ultimate home theater.
A Flatscreen Smart TV
Flatscreen TVs can get up to 70 inches or more, which is a very massive viewing space. Yet they tend to be heavy and very expensive. So, you’ll need to be able to securely mount it to the wall.
A Curved Screen TV
Curved Screen TVs have slightly smaller viewing angles than flatscreen, but you can often find reasonably priced 100-inch models with stunning visual quality. Here again, they’re heavy and will need to either be mounted to the wall or built into a massive entertainment center.
Short & Long Throw Projectors
Projectors are becoming the new normal when it comes to home entertainment screens that offer some serious square inches. They also tend to be reasonable in price and weight compared to flatscreen TVs.
With a short-throw model, the projector sits up close to the screen. You can usually see the device, but you likely won’t have to worry about someone walking in front of it.
With a long-throw model, the projector can be at the back of the room out of sight. It provides more of an authentic movie theater experience. Though if you don’t want to worry about someone walking in front of it, you’ll have to figure out how to mount it to the ceiling.
Regardless of the throw distance, you’ll likely also need to purchase a projector screen. It’s tempting to want to paint a wall stark white and hope for the best. Though any sort of texture in the wall will affect image quality, robbing you of the “Ultimate” descriptor in your home theater’s image quality.
Choosing the Right Speakers
If you’re going to use the word “Ultimate” to describe your new home theater, then you can’t just rely on the speakers that come with the flat-screen TV or the projectors. You need to invest in a home theater surround sound system.
Though to take it to the next level, you’ll want to do more than just put a couple of tiny speakers arrayed in a ring around the room. You want to put subwoofers under seats to let viewers feel the thunder and explosions. You might even want to add accent lights to boost the aural and visual synergy in the room.
Selecting the Right Seating
When it comes to seating, you have to start by considering just how many people you’ll need to sit at the same time. This means accounting for every single family member. Then also take into account how often your kid’s friends might come to visit and watch a movie, or how often you might have the extended family over. You want to go overboard a little bit here to ensure that everyone always feels like they have the best seat in the house.
Couches are great, and recliners rock, but they’re a little bit ordinary for a home theater meant to wow the masses. Theater seating couches with reclining footrests combine the best of both worlds to create what is arguably the ultimate home theater seating.
If you have the ceiling height available, you might even want to elevate a row of seats by two or three feet to replicate the movie theater experience. This can be done by building heavy-duty platforms that the seats are then bolted to for safety.
Snacks & Refreshments
The cost of popcorn, snacks, and drinks at a movie theater is one of the things that drive most people to invest in building their own home theater. Yet they are still an essential part of the movie-going experience.
So, make sure to include a popcorn maker in your plans. Not just to keep warm snacks on hand, but to also fill the room with the classic aroma. Then a drinks fridge or wine chiller makes it easy to keep everyone’s favorite refreshments close by so they don’t miss a moment of the action.