If you love films but live miles away from your nearest cinema and are tired of forking out for tickets and overpriced popcorn, why not bring the big screen experience to your home? In the past, visiting the cinema was the only way to truly get that luxurious big screen effect, but it is becoming increasingly common for contemporary homes to have a room dedicated to entertainment, such as gaming or films. Now, thanks to advances in modern technology, creating a home cinema is easier and more affordable than ever before.
If you’re going to go all out and create your own cinema room, you want to do it right. The atmosphere we are familiar with at the cinema stimulates the senses by combining a number of elements including lighting, surround sound, images and food. If you want your room to feel as close to the real thing as possible, you will need to consider these particulars as well.
First things first, which room in your house is prime for transforming into a cinema? There are a few things to consider. Space is the main factor; you will need a wall big enough to mount your chosen screen or projector and you should ensure that you and your fellow film watchers can sit comfortably about four metres from the screen, to avoid eye strain.
The ideal cinema room will be relatively isolated from the rest of the house. The last thing you want is people traipsing through your cinematic space, or the sounds of an oven timer or washing machine interrupting your viewing experience and likewise you want to disturb the rest of the household as little as possible. If possible, use a room which is sound proof or add some insulation to the walls and ceiling. You also ideally don’t want any windows in your room which can let in light and spoil the ambience, but if this is unavoidable investing in some thick blackout curtains should do the trick.
Bearing in mind that a film can run over 3 hours in length, a cinema room should have comfortable seating, suitable for extended periods of sitting down. If you can afford to, it’s best to invest in some plush theatre seating; there are some available on the market which are exact replicas of those you will find in real cinemas, complete with cup holders and reclining options.
Don’t be afraid to make it your own though – if you’d prefer a cinema sofa to cosy up while watching a film then go for it. The name of the game here is comfort, so select seating that you and your family and friends will be able to relax in.
For the ultimate Hollywood experience, a projector is the way to go. They have been dropping in price in recent years and now hardly cost more than a flat screen, but having a projector in your cinema room will really help to make it feel like the real thing. One advantage of using a projector over a flat screen is that there is no need to work out measurements; it will easily adapt to the size of the wall you are using. For the proper experience, using a projector screen is best although you can get away with projecting your image directly onto a wall too. If you are using a flat screen, bigger is always better so you can truly feel like you’re at the movies, so aim for about 65 inches.
Any movie buff worth their salt will tell you that good quality audio is crucial. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a movie and finding that you can’t hear the dialogue over the orchestral score, or that the special effects are too loud. It’s important to invest in a sound system that can manage the balance between the various audio elements in a cinematic production.
7.1 surround sound is the most highly recommended, which uses eight channels of audio to encompass you in sound. Loudspeaker placement is vital to get the sound distribution right. Place the centre speaker as centrally as possible, with the left and right speakers at the same height, at a 45 degree angle to each other. Your rear speaker should be placed a right angles or just behind the listening position.
If you have paid attention to all the elements listed above, there is no doubt that you have got yourself a deluxe cinematic space. Now all that is left is to make it your own! If you’ve got any money left in your cinema room budget, adding dimming lighting can really add some style to the place. Also, get some movie posters of your favourite films for the walls, to add authenticity to the space and to put your personal stamp on it.
And don’t forget your cinema food – popcorn is the traditional choice and can emit a tantalisingly familiar cinema scent, but the beauty of bringing the cinema to your home means that you can eat whatever you want. You can even enjoy a relaxing glass of wine while you watch the action unfold from the comfort of your own home.
This Guest Post was written by Emma Williams, a film fanatic who recently built her own cinema room with the help of MK Sound. MK Sound’s loudspeakers are designed solely for delivering the best surround sound and are the perfect addition for your cinema experience.