How To Build The Ultimate Movie Room

Pre covid, going to the movie theaters was something I always looked forward to. Unfortunately, a lot has changed and I can’t imagine the next time I’ll be sitting in a theater and feeling safe about it too. I’m sure many of you can relate! However, covid should not be the reason you stop having the ultimate movie experience. Why not bring the theater to you and build your own movie room? Building a movie room will not only enhance your experience of watching movies, shows, and live tv but will also add value to your home, and make for the best social gatherings with your friends and family.

But how do we build it and where do we start?!

Step 1:
Locate the space

Photo taken from Shutter Stock’s website

The first step to building a movie room is establishing a space. You cannot pick your furniture, decor, television or projector, sound system, lighting, etc., until you have located a space and know the dimensions of the room. It is only after you’ve done that that you’ll know what you can and can’t accommodate. So, before you get all these wonderful ideas in your head and get all excited about them, make sure you have taken the time to measure the space in order to build your dream movie room. Additionally, I recommend making this strictly a movie room and not both a game room/movie room. The cinematic experience is degraded when there are other activities going on in the room. Lastly, avoid rooms with windows! I would recommend your movie room be a room without windows so you can soundproof the room without having to worry about finding thick curtains for the windows.

Step 2:
Wire the surround sound in advance

Photo taken from Family Handyman’s Pinterest

The average home theater uses the 7.1 surround sound system which means seven channel speakers and one subwoofer. To wire in advance, know where your left, center, right, side, and rear speakers will go. Next, you need to pick a spot that’s going to hold your receiver and equipment. If you have a closet in the room or a cabinet somewhere, I’d recommend storing the receiver and equipment there. Lastly, you’re going to need to make sure that your audio cables run from the receiver to each speaker.

Step 3:
Install a video projector

modern projector built in ceiling
Photo by hrisimir on

To install a video projector, you’ll need an HDMI cable and a CAT5 control wire so that you have high definition and don’t have to worry about pointing the remote at the projector each time you want to use the remote.

Step 4:
Wire the lighting in advance

Photo taken from Sound and Visions website

The ultimate movie experience relies heavily on the right lighting! Because this is a room where natural light is not preferred, you want to be sure that outdoor light is not coming in. Beyond that, you want to install a lighting system that’s easy to switch on/off and to dim so that you get the full cinematic experience. Recessed lights, rope lights, soffits, and dimmers are what most home theater experts recommend. Connecting the light to a radio frequency dimmer will allow you to control the light with the same radio frequency remote you utilize for the projector.

Step 5:
Sound system

7.1 surround sound system by Electronic Circuit’s Pinterest

Your movie room needs to be sound proofed for the ultimate experience! The last thing you want to be hearing are outdoor noises in the middle of a movie. Therefore, you can soundproof the room by adding an extra layer of drywall or by adding a sound reducing wall board. I have attached an option here. A third option would be to install solid doors instead of hollow ones and to add wall-to-wall carpets so that the sound doesn’t bounce off the hard floors. Thick carpets are better than thin ones. I’ve attached some here and here.

Step 6:
Paint the walls a dark color

Photo taken from Houzz’s website

Your movie experience will benefit from dark colored walls because it will reduce screen glare and keep the focus on the screen. Colors such as grey, black, and dark brown are good choices.

Step 7:
Set up video system

Photo taken from AVS forum’s website

After you’ve soundproofed the room, you can bring in your projector, speakers, and screen. Depending on the size of the room, the average home theater screen size is about 110 to 165 inches. If you’re going for the classic cinema look, you can install the proscenium arch. I’ve attached a photo above of what that looks like.

Step 8:
Install your movie seats

Photo taken from Elite HTS website

If you’re looking for the traditional reclining movie seats, I’ve attached them here. Otherwise, you can pick any chair you’d like. Some popular options are loveseats, comfy couches, etc.

Step 9:
Add your décor

Photo taken from David Roman’s Pinterest

Don’t forget to impress the guest! Throw blankets, star lit up ceilings, popcorn boxes, candy options, slushy machines, the list goes on and on! It’s up to you and your creative mind to take your movie room to the next level.

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