Installing a Home Movie Theater

By John Donegan

If you have a houseful of cinephiles, you may want to consider installing a home movie theater. Although it may cost you a pretty penny, a movie theater adds value to your home and can be a lot of fun. While building your home theater room, we recommend using a self-storage finder to find an affordable storage unit for your excess furniture and home renovation materials, and a local mover comparison tool to find help getting the heavy stuff to the storage.


The ideal space for a home theater is at least 20ft x 13ft and isolated from the rest of your house. When constructing this room, it’s important to keep acoustics in mind.  For the ceiling, you can install a couple layers of fiberglass insulation, which will help contain the sound. In regard to the walls, place acoustic boards over your drywall and then cover these boards with a layer of thin carpeting. If you have windows in the room, cover these with heavy curtains. Lastly, place a thin layer of carpet on the floor; and remember, you definitely don’t want wood or tile flooring in this room.


Although the lights will be off during the films, you may want to have dimmable lights for before and after screenings. Also, for convenience, you can always purchase a remote for the lighting.


If you don’t want to spring for specially made home theater seats, you can bring in reclining chairs or a couch from another part of your home. If you have a large family or just really want to go the extra mile, you can build a second row of seats. If you do decide to build this row, it’s recommended that you make the platform around 12 inches high.


Although you can certainly go the HD TV or LED TV route, it is significantly cheaper to purchase an HD projector; these cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, yield a large screen, and give a unique ambiance. However, keep in mind, if you use a projector, you’ll need to either buy a screen or project directly on to your wall.

Surround Sound

When it comes to sound, a 5.1 surround sound system should be sufficient. This will include five speakers and a sub-woofer and should run anywhere from $300 – $500.


Depending on the type of films your family likes to watch, you may want to adjust the décor accordingly. For example, if you exclusively watch Westerns, perhaps you opt for a rustic look, say, antlers on the wall. If science fiction is your preference, a steampunk aesthetic could work. Regardless of your family’s film genre of choice, curtains flanking both sides of the screen can be a nice touch. Also, some people decide to install popcorn machines, mini bars, and vintage movie posters as well.
John Donegan is a writer at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. John lives in Austin, TX and occasionally directs videos for rap artists.

Photo credit: gsloan