A home movie theater is no longer the purveyance of dreamers and the super-rich. While it’s not cheap to do, the components to assemble one are readily available and can go far beyond basic home theaters to something very close to a genuine movie theater experience. Preparation is the key.
Home Movie Theater: Materials and Building Steps
12 Picture Gallery: Build a Home Movie Theater
Before starting your project, you should prepare all these following things:
- DVD projector
- Cable runners
- Cable floor mounts
- Mountable wall shelves
- Surround-sound speakers
- Speaker mounting kits
- Speaker cables
- Blank screen
- Theater seats
- Carpenter’s level
- Mounting brackets
- Drywall screws
- Measuring tape
- Masking tape
- Light dimmer
- Popcorn cups and popcorn
- Soda cups
- Theater snacks
After all the materials are ready, start your job by selecting a room for your home movie theater. It should have a good deal of space but have no windows and no more than a couple of doors. Basements are an excellent choice for home movie theaters. If you can, select a room which has non-parallel walls (they improve acoustics) and one which is carpeted and/or has plenty of curtains (they reduce echoes from the sound system).
Perform basic measurements of your selected space to determine where various components will be placed. Decide how big you want your screen to be and measure space on one wall for it, and then determine how far the DVD projector needs to be in order to meet that size. Mark spots for seating–a distance of 2 to 3 times the screen’s diagonal length is ideal–and make sure the screen is set at about eye level when you sit down. Factor in measurements for wiring–the speakers, the DVD projector and any other parts of the sound system–and make sure there are enough available power outlets to plug in all the surge protectors.
Set spots for your speakers. A basic surround sound system employs two or three speakers in the front, two in the rear, a subwoofer in the corner and a set of side speakers too if you wish. Mark their locations with masking tape and note their distance to any needed power supply, as well as the DVD projector.
Mount a screen in your selected location, first by screwing brackets into the marked position and then attaching the screen to the brackets. Make periodic readings with a carpenter’s level to keep the screen parallel with the floor.
Install the DVD projector at the location you have picked. A ceiling projector is most likely: you can run wires through the ceiling itself and control it using a remote. In smaller spaces, you may be able to get away with mounting the projector to the wall across from the screen. Attach a shelf to the wall at the appropriate height with nails or drywall screws, then run the projectors wires behind the wall or simply down the front.
Attach the speakers to their selected locations using stands or mounting kits. Run the wiring through the wall from them to the DVD projector and then to any required power outlets in the room. If you can’t place them in the wall, then use wire runners to run them along the wall itself.
Install the movie seats in the places you have marked. If you’re on a budget, you can simply use a couch or recliner, but you can purchase authentic theater seats to provide the perfect ambiance if you like.
Designate a concession stand in the far corner of the room. Install a microwave there for popcorn and stock it with soda and concession candy. If you want to add an authentic touch, purchase movie theater popcorn tubs and soda cups to carry your munchies.
A home movie theater can be as simple as a special room which is designed to show videos and TV to an elaborately themed area of a home which provides viewing opportunities in luxury.
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