Want to recreate that cinema experience and enjoy your favourite movies or shows from the comfort of your own home? In this guide, we’ll be taking you through how to make your own home cinema. From design tips tolighting, and even tips on how to make an outdoor cinema in yourgarden, read our blog post and let us help you get the aesthetics of your very own cinema at home right.
What makes the cinema experience something that draws millions of people into movie theatres every year? Before we go through how we can adapt the cinema to your home, let’s take a quick look at what makes the cinema stand out.
When we think about cinemas, most people picture large theatre rooms. With the exception of smaller picturehouses, the space in a conventional cinema allows for the volume to be higher as there is more space to project it. The larger the cinema room, the larger the screens will be. On average, cinema screens measure around 30 by 90 feet wide by 10 to 30 feet tall.
Getting the sound right is a cornerstone for a great cinema experience. Too loud and it can be tough on your ears, and too faint may be inconvenient, particularly in such a big space. Have you ever wondered how sound technicians get the acoustics and sound quality inside a cinema so perfect? Speakers are spread evenly across the left, right and centre of the theatre so that you can hear sound from all sides, with an additional subwoofer in the centre - this is where you get that rich, deep bass sound from.
There is something to be said about the unique ambience of being sat in a cinema. You will usually find that walkways are dimly lit and lighting is kept to an absolute minimum with the exception of when the lights gently come on at the end of a film. Ensuring that the lighting is right is also crucial for cinemas as it allows the screen to be the main focus, putting the viewer at the centre of the cinema experience and finally, minimising distractions.
Now that we have gone through the fundamentals of what makes the cinema experience stand out, let’s look into how we can replicate it at home. You might be thinking that you will need fancy equipment and a huge room to be able to set one up, but our easy home cinema guide will show you how to create one with space and budget considerations in mind, too.
If you think that the size of your current television screen isn’t to your liking when it comes to setting up your home cinema, you can use a larger space such as a wall. Providing that the surface is even and a plain colour, you can use a projector and adjust the aspect ratio to your preferences, which could be larger than your TV! Don’t have a plain wall? You could also consider buying a projector screen, or getting a white bedsheet and securing it to a wall. We'd also recommend investing in home cinema stands to improve viewing experience.
As we mentioned previously, cinemas aren’t very brightly lit. You can create that gentle glow with somefestoon lights. These lights are stringed and can easily be secured on walls or shelves - just make sure they don’t get in the way of the screen.
If festoon lights aren’t your thing, then any dimmable light system will work just as well.
Ensure that you minimise the amount of light coming into your home cinema by closing the blinds, or pulling together your curtains. You don’t necessarily have to set up your home cinema somewhere where there are no windows, but you also don’t want there to be too much late which will distract you from your movie experience. Think about it - if cinemas were well-lit, we would be able to see people leaving and coming to their seats, staff inspecting aisles and this could ruin your viewing!
The experience of going to a cinema is more than just about appealing to our sense of sight and sound - it’s about our sense of smell, too! The smell of fresh popcorn is a memory we all know, so why not have a dedicatedtrolley or stand to house all your nibbles and tipples?
If your seating arrangements aren’t as comfortable as you want them to be when you will probably be sat in the same seat for at least a couple of hours, you don’t have to splash out on a new sofa set. Usecushions and throws to make your home cinema as cosy as possible - just try not to fall asleep whilst you are watching your movie!
Whether you are a film fanatic or not, this could be a great way to replicate the aesthetics of a commercial - you can buy some relatively inexpensive film poster prints, just as you’d see in a cinema, and hang them up on your walls. Vintage film prints can easily be framed so they can double up as a permanent feature for your living room or bedroom.
This seems like an obvious tip, but ensuring that you remove things like large plants from around your cinema screen area will ensure you aren’t being distracted by the silhouettes.
You will also want to avoid having reflective surfaces around your screen - things like countertops, mirrors and other shiny surfaces will be visible on your television screen, ensure you have your home cinema in a place where these features are not there, or are easy to cover.
Want to take advantage of the good weather? Providing that there isn’t a lot of wind, you can peg some white bed sheets to your washing line and point your projector onto them. This would work best at night - pair it with some festoon lights and deck chairs, and you will have your very own outdoor cinema. You’ll need to safely prop up your projector at an appropriate height so it projects onto the sheets evenly. Then, using your laptop and speakers, you can enjoy a movie from the comfort of your own back garden or patio area.
The novelty of going to a cinema is that it is in a place that you most likely don’t go to every day, unlike your home. Try to have your home cinema somewhere you can tap into movie-mode easily. You’ll want to avoid kitchens or anywhere that could cause disruptions with people coming in and out. If you have a spare room or a basement, these would be ideal. Your living room should also work fine, but do let people know that you are planning on using it to watch a film in your cosy home cinema to avoid mid-movie disruptions.
Similar to the tip on reflective surfaces, you will find that white ceilings and walls will reflect onto your screen. Glare will impact your viewing experience. However, setting up your home cinema in a room with darker or neutral coloured walls will help you to avoid this.
If you are using a projector instead, then lighter wall colours shouldn’t be a problem.
We hope these tips have helped you to get some inspiration on what you need to have in mind when crafting your ultimate home cinema. Whilst nothing can truly replace going to a proper cinema, there’s no reason why you can’t make it your own at home and have fun designing it yourself, too.
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