Grab the Popcorn: Making An In-Home Theater That’s Better Than the Real Thing

Whether it’s the latest and greatest TV or surround sound coupled with the comfiest chairs, here are some tips and tricks to create a home theater that’s better than the real deal.

Netflix, Hulu and an extensive DVD arsenal may be great for a movie night. But without the atmosphere of cozy epicness, it’s not nearly the same as having your own private theater. Whether hosting friends for an outdoor movie party or having date night at home, ESTATENVY has done the research on how to make an in-home theatre with all the nuances of a real theater in the luxury of your home.

The Space

Before going out to the store to buy a new 50-inch-screen TV, take into consideration if any of the current spaces in your home can support a multitude of technologies and seating. To build a successful home theater system, start with rationalizing the amount of space necessary to create a comfortable viewing distance between the watchers and the screen. Anyone who was unfortunate enough to get movie tickets at the last minute for a new movie release knows the pain of sitting uncomfortably close to the action.

After determining what size space is available, consider if the room will be themed. If movie posters are a must-have, make sure there is wall space for such items. The Spruce offers plenty of inspiration for in-home theater buffs, from a modern look to down-home farm-chic.

Some individuals create or remodel an entire room in the house. Not as ambitious? Try setting up a pre-existing space. Whether it needs a new coat of paint or rearranging of furniture, the space should ultimately allow for a comfortable viewing distance above all.

The Tech

Although you may not be interested in the latest and greatest technology, the main electronic necessities in setting up a theater are a TV or projector and a screen, cable, access to a streaming service or a DVD player and a sound system.

If you’re a tech-savvy individual, having separate systems for sound, visual and streaming may be an option. An eight-speaker set-up, a projector, screen and a DVD player may sound like an extensive array of technology to some. For others, it’s not enough. But, be sure to consider the level of quality and how intricate an entertainment system you want before heading out.

Popular Mechanics writes: “A projector with a full surround sound system is a killer setup, but you need a big room. Some discreet bookshelf speakers are better for a small space.”

If the space you’ve designated for your theater is smaller, perhaps a projector and a separate screen isn’t the most space-efficient option. Likewise, a small-screen TV won’t suffice in a larger setting.

Similarly, Dolby has a terrific guide to setting up speakers, depending on their style, size and range. The brand recommends maximizing space and arranging various speakers based on their output to create the perfect auditory experience.

No matter the set-up, be sure to connect all the proper equipment before moving in any furniture.

The Seating

One word: recliners.

It’s always a hassle going to a theater with stiff seating that doesn’t move with you. By creating an in-home theater, you’re already leveling up the luxury of a movie-viewing space. Why not upgrade the space with state-of-the-art comfort?

LifeWire provides a guide to the best in-home theater seating selections, including single-seat chairs as well as couches with drink-holders. Determine how many people will be in the viewing area at one time before heading over to the nearest furniture store. Not only is the quantity of seats important, but also the style of seating for each guest is critical. If recliners are too large for the space, swap that idea for an extra-comfy couch and an ottoman that doubles as a storage device.

Whatever your comfort needs, remember that a whole new purchase isn’t always necessary. If cramped for space, opt to use furniture you already have and repurpose other items within the house. If you have a coffee table that can’t be moved, use it for both concessions and as a spot to put your feet up after a long day.

The Snacks

It’s tough going to the movies and not getting a snack like popcorn or Crunch Bites. The same can be said for movie-watching in your own home.

Within the arrangement of furniture, make note if any snack trays or side tables are necessary to provide space for drinks and snacks, as no movie is ever complete without them.

Throw some popcorn in the microwave and settle in for a good time. Or, if you’re feeling inventive (and hungry), try replicating some of your favorite theater snacks or food dishes to satiate your stomach so as to not disturb others with loud rumbles and gurgles.

Rolling Credits

With a space built or cleverly rearranged, you can settle in for a movie in the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s a new addition to the house, a full remodel of a room or just the rearranging of some space, an in-home theater isn’t complete without a selection of great movies.

So, pop in a DVD or log into Netflix, take a seat and settle in, because the movie is about to begin.