There are those of us who love the movies. And there are those of us who want to live the movies. And as consumer technology becomes more advanced and affordable, there are more ways than ever for families to replicate the movie theater experience in the comfort of their own homes. Let’s face it, getting to the movies can be an ordeal that leaves a small localized black hole where our wallets used to be.
Today’s movie goers can expect to pay around $10 on average for their ticket and that’s before you consider gas, parking and the bottomless pit of expense that is the concession stand. And aside from the cost, there’s also the growing irritation that comes with a half hour of ads and trailers before the actual film starts.
With the plethora of quality and choice that we have at home these days, especially with so many exciting new streaming services on the way, is it any wonder that movie theaters are struggling to compete? Of course, families can expect to spend some serious money if they want the ultimate movie night-in experience. But even if you’re on a limited budget, we’ve detailed some ways in which you can replicate (and even improve upon) the movie theater experience at home…
Project movie night
Lots of homes these days have big screen TVs. But for a truly magical movie night in, consider using a projector. After all, that’s what movie theaters use, and there’s a certain romance that comes with the image of the multicolored projector beam. You can use your projector to project onto a screen, a blank wall or even your ceiling if you have a good reclining sofa, or want to all pile into bed for movie night (you can’t do that in the theater!).
You could be forgiven or assuming that projectors are prohibitively expensive. But while there are many projectors out there that cost north of $1,000 there are plenty of budget projectors out there starting from as little as $80. Even with a budget option you’ll get a large crisp and more immersive image than you might expect from your TV.
Today, movie theaters invest heavily in bringing audiences superior picture quality for a more immersive cinematic experience. As such, if you want to recreate the experience in your own home you need to do the same. Fortunately, 4K playback is more affordable than ever, be it through a 4K Blu-ray player or a 4K Roku / Apple TV box.
If you remember the wow factor that came with the upgrade from standard definition DVD to high definition Blu Ray you can expect to be wowed even further by 4K. The increased resolution helps to create a richer and more vivid picture with textures that look so real you could reach out and touch them. And with the HDR (High Dynamic Range) and RCG (Wide Color Gamut) you have far more range and nuance when it comes to color. It’s the best way to see the latest movies, whether you’re watching them on your TV or through a projector.
Needless to say, movies aren’t just made to be seen, they’re meant to be heard too. And if you’re only listening to movies through the relatively tinny built-in speakers in your television, there’s no way you can expect to get the ultimate movie experience.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy and affordable to enjoy a 5.1 surround sound setup. There are a number of ways you can do this. You can either buy an amplifier into which you plug your Blu-ray Player, Digital TV box and any other sources (many now also support Bluetooth Connectivity) a subwoofer and 5 satellite speakers, or alternatively you can buy a “home theater in a box” solution which will usually consist of a Blu-ray Player, 5 satellite speakers and a subwoofer.
The latter is more affordable and easier to setup while the former will give you better sound quality. It all depends where your priorities lie. When you’ve decided on the right system for you, it’s simply a case of setting up the speakers. The ideal speaker placement will depend based on your space but typically you will have one central speaker up front, two front side speakers and two front rear speakers on either side of the audience (or, in most cases, sofa) as well as a subwoofer to carry the low-frequency sounds. Dolby has some useful advice on setting up, placing and calibrating your speakers.
Play it cool
When you step into a movie theater screen you’ll likely be met with a pleasing gust of cool air. There’s nothing more distracting than being too hot when you’re trying to immerse yourself in the movie. And if you’re going to be snuggling up together as a family, you’re likely to be much warmer.
Try installing a large ceiling fan from ModernFanOutlet.com. It’s a great way to keep the family cool while you snuggle up to enjoy the movie. Some of them also feature little spotlights much like the ones that sit overhead in movie theaters. Alternatively, crank up your HVAC safe in the knowledge that you can always get a blanket to snuggle under.
Attack of the snacks
A movie without a treat is like a day without sunshine. But the kinds of snacks served at theater concession stands are not only astronomically over-priced, they’re also incredibly unhealthy. If you’re going to be enjoying more movie nights together, it’s in your family’s best interests to find healthier ways to snack.
The good news is that there are lots of healthy tasty treats you can enjoy with a fraction of the refined sugar, saturated fats, trans fats and other nasties found in heavily processed movie theater fare. Try;
- Homemade popcorn made with coconut oil instead of butter
- Dark chocolate dipped berries
- Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
- Home baked kale chips
- Roasted almonds
If you simply can’t live without candy, choose snacks that take longer to chew and consume like hard candy and chewy sweets. Because they take longer to eat, you’ll consume fewer of them by the time the movie’s over!
So, you see? Even on a budget, you can easily outfit your home for ultimate movie nights and take the theater home to you!