Bring the Movie Theater to You

There’s something magical about going to the movies. Without the giant screen, perfect surround sound and stadium seating, you’re just not getting the same experience, even if you own a home theater system. Capturing the movie theater atmosphere without investing in home theater installation is still possible. It’s budget-friendly, and will turn the average room into a great place for your family and friends to go to for entertainment.


Step One: The Screen

Perhaps you already own a cool projector with a roll-up screen or flat panels. If you don’t, you can build the illusion of a movie theater with any size TV. How? With curtains and dim lights. All you have to do is purchase a dimmer and velvet curtains in the color of your choice from a fabric store, from free-cycle communities or yard sales. Rig up your curtains with pulleys, and presto! You now have a retro cinema backdrop!

Step Two: The Sound

You don’t need to buy state-of-the-art surround-sound speakers. Any decent pair of speakers will do if they can produce the same rush of sound effects as you’ll hear in a big theater. If you do a little hunting on eBay, you can get speaker sets for as little as a $1.

Step Three: The Seating

Get an old couch from free-cycle or Craigslist and mount it on a durable base behind your main couch to create tiered seating. You could even make mini-tables with cup-holders for the drinks and snacks for those seated in the first and second tier.

Step Four: Concessions

Stopping to get candy or popcorn at the movie theater is a tradition. To capture that concession feel in your home, grab a $20 air popper and have melted butter and flavored powder ready upon request. As a tip, go to a movie theater in your area and wait until the it has cleared out and help with the cleanup to get your hands on large, movie-themed tubs. Having these tubs lets everyone have their own servings, flavors and toppings with their popcorn.

Step Five: Pre-Film Entertainment

Who wants to see a barrage of commercials before the trailers have a chance to air? Pre-film entertainment is a cinch to do with a DVD burner. There are a range of classic movies and snippets that you can download at the Internet Archive legally and for free to fit the mood of your feature presentation. You can even use a mini flashlight to escort those who have to leave early or help latecomers get their snacks and may need to go to the bathroom.

Step Six: Invite People

A movie theater setting needs a group of people to make your arrangement really magical. Many movie goers like to share their laughs, sadness, excitement and scary moments with others.

Step Seven: Be Creative

To save time and money, you can e-mail people about your event. If it’s nice outside, take the party outdoors with a smaller, more portable television. If you can a great deal on a projector, attach a white sheet to your room’s wall or on the outside of your home and play your movie on that. It won’t deliver the HD experience, but it does deliver a decent picture. Be warned: this could cause damage to some TVs’ sensors.

Distractions at the movies can be really annoying. Children screaming. Cell phones ringing. Rude, late patrons. Now you can capture the ambiance of the movie theater without ever leaving your home again! For more information about home theatre systems click here.

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