Even the most dedicated cinephile knows that watching movies at the theater isn’t always the way to go. While it is certainly worth your while to head down to the mall whenever a big blockbuster is rolled out, sometimes you just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie at home.
Of course, if you have tried this before, you may be aware that most times it can feel like something is missing. Well, there’s good news for you – if you are looking to greatly improve your viewing experience at home, then you have come to the right place.
Below, you will be able to see a number of tips and tricks that will help you transform your humble abode into a world-class cinema? So, without any further delay, here is what you will need to do.
Set Up a Specialized Space
Let’s face it, watching a film in your living room can feel a little lackluster. This is because it can be tough to create the right atmosphere in just any old space in your house. To really create the right mood, you may want to consider setting up a home movie theater.
Now, you may be imagining a fancy room in a mansion and are probably thinking to yourself – I can’t afford this. Well, you don’t actually need a large house to be able to pull this off. If you have an unused basement or attic, these will work just as well.
It is just about carving out space where you can set up all of your gear and equipment. Another perk of doing this is that a designated area will also make it a lot easier to watch flicks at your place. Rather than having to set everything up each time you want to be entertained, this room will simply be waiting for you at all times.
Prep the Room for Sound
Getting the right sound system or soundbar is a step in the right direction. However, you will need to do a little bit more to make sure that this area is properly prepped for a surround sound experience.
Do you notice that the sound seems rather echo-y when you watch a film? This is probably because there are too many hard, flat surfaces here. When this occurs, the sound will bounce off of these surfaces, resulting in an echo.
Don’t worry though because this can be fixed relatively easily. The first thing you will need to do is to cover up the bare spaces. So, if you are still relying on old school DVDs, set up a bookcase to store these items. Or, hang up fabric posters (or any posters, really) on the walls. Add rugs and carpets to the bare floor to soften these areas as well.
Go For Cozy
One of the downsides of real cinemas is that they can be a tad bit uncomfortable. Therefore, it is not unusual to find yourself shifting around throughout the entire film. Well, when setting up your own spot at home, you have the opportunity to change this.
So, consider what furniture would be best for this particular room. While the most obvious option would be a couch, this isn’t always the optimal piece of furniture. This is especially true if you are planning on inviting a lot of people over on a regular basis.
Of course, it is hard to go wrong with bean bags. These are soft, cozy, and great if you don’t want to share space with someone else. Not to mention, they are easy to move around as well. If you aren’t willing to splurge on them, then blankets are always a good alternative.
Arrange Your Furniture Well
Think about when it is time to book your movie tickets. If you are like most people, then you probably spend quite a bit of time agonizing over the right place to sit. Either that or you have a favorite spot that you are partial to.
Well, it shouldn’t be any different in your own, personal cinema. Rather than just plopping your furniture in any old spot, do a little bit of investigating. Move the furniture around and see what the best spot is.
Now, you should be mindful that certain TVs do have just the right viewing angle. So, what might work with a cinema screen or a projector may not be suitable for these devices. However, with a little bit of experimenting, you should be able to figure it out.
Play Around With The Settings
Be honest: do you even know what the controls on your TV or projector actually do? The answer to this question is probably no. Well, this is too bad because you are actually missing out.
As you are aware, no two films are shot exactly the same. Due to this, you will often find that different resolutions and color settings are required. This is particularly true when you are watching older movies that haven’t been properly restored.
So, the next time that you pop a movie in, adjust the settings to see if you can improve the image in any way. Even making a small change could really help take your viewing experience to the next level.
Download, Don’t Stream
With so many online streaming services available, it is only natural to want to stream the film you would like to watch. While this can be easier in many instances, it can also come with a disadvantage. If your internet connection isn’t all that great, the film could end up buffering.
This is why it is a good idea to download the movie whenever possible. Sure, it may end up taking some space on your device but at least, it will load without any issue at all. You should definitely take this step when you are inviting people over. It will reduce the chance of them becoming restless.
Select The Right Movie
Now, this may seem like the most obvious point in the world but your viewing experience can be ruined by selecting a bad film. If you are watching on your own, this might be a forgivable offense. However, if others are involved, this may not be tolerated. So, how do you make sure that you get the right one?
To start with, make sure that the film is age and audience-appropriate. If you have children or older family members with you, then you are going to have to be careful about the content. Otherwise, you will have some rather uncomfortable people on your hands.
Also, pick a genre that you are sure people will enjoy. If you aren’t certain what your group will like, go with a popular category. For instance, comedy, action, and adventure are usually a better pick than drama, if you are with a diverse group of people.
Pick the Right Audience
That’s right, the audience matters when watching a film at home. After all, if you are sharing the experience with the wrong people, it isn’t going to be all that fun. Therefore, make your selection carefully.
Make sure that everyone has the kind of attention span that will keep them in their seats until the credit is rolling. Also, if you are someone who likes to watch films silently, pick a quiet group. In case you are a talker, select a couple of enthusiastic film critics instead.
At the end of the day, there is no shame in curling up and watching a film by yourself. While this may be a bit intimidating to do in a cinema, at home there is no issue at all. So, feel free to have a solo movie day, if this is what you want.
Setup a Snack Bar
What is a film without popcorn? Sure, it is a film, but there is no denying that popcorn really adds to the whole experience. Of course, when you head to the cinema snack bar, you don’t just stop there. You may also indulge in drinks, popcorn, candy, and more.
This is why it is a good idea to set up a snack bar in your home cinema as well. You can then have easy access to your favorite goodies instead of having to head to the kitchen every few minutes. What’s more, it is a great way to keep people in their seats as well.
Have An Intermission
Speaking of keeping people in their seats, are you tired of people moving around during the film? To reduce the risk of this happening, schedule an intermission. Discuss it with the group and decide when the best time to do this is. You can even have two or more if the movie is long.
If people know that a break is coming up soon, they will be more likely to stay put. This way, you will not have to bob your head around them as they get up to leave. Problem solved.
Ways To Improve Your Movie At Home Viewing Experience
There is so much you can do to improve your overall movie night viewing experience. Even trying out a handful of these tactics will be enough to really step things up a notch. So, all that is left for you to do is to go ahead and give them a try.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.