What is so good about going to the cinema? Yes, we get to watch the latest hits on the biggest screen possible, but we have to sit in silence next to our dates, on uncomfortable seats while being disturbed by children crying around you and being kneed in the back by the people behind you. And worst of all, the price. Its extortionate! How can they get away with charging £15 for a ticket and another £15 for some popcorn and a drink.
Why go through all this when you can create your own home cinema and be in comfort the whole time, and be free to go to the bathroom whenever you like because you can just pause the film. So what do you need?
This part depends on your budget, you can either go high end and get all the fancy equipment and spend a small fortune but have amazing quality, or do it on the cheap and have a good system in place but simple.
For those on a budget, which I imagine most of you are, all you need is a projector and a blank wall. You can add on surround sound speakers if you wish, but most projectors have decent speakers built in them.
I have this little projector from Amazon that cost about £59.99 (on sale) and is doing the job just wonderfully. You just need to hook it up to your laptop or iPad using a HDMI cable and you’ve got your film or TV series being projected in wide screen.
Of course you can just use a big wide screen TV as well if you have a bigger budget but part of the cinema experience is that is a projection, just depends what you prefer. It’s your house, your rules now.
For the best cinema experience you will want to have a dark room, a projection isn’t going to work as well if the room is full of sunlight. So make sure you have curtains or blinds that block out the outside world. For even better results you should chose a room that has dark walls, or you can paint them black yourself, let out your inner-goth.
Setting the mood like this will make the home cinema experience better, it won’t just feel like you’ve got a projection on the wall, but a full-on experience.
Lighting wise you can have dimmer lights if you want to be fancy, or you can just get yourself a load of fairy lights. A lot of people like to border the screen with fairy lights, I’m not sure if this is to highlight where the projection should be lined up to or they just like fairy lights. But mess around and see where you like your lighting best.
If you can’t afford much in terms of lighting, you could just use the torch on your phone to light your path out of the room so you don’t trip over anything.
Your seating depends on how much you are willing to spend or have available to you, and how many people you are catering to.
Recliner chairs and those big comfy sofas look amazing and make a great home cinema vibe, but of course this is on the expensive side of the budget. If you can do your cinema room like this then congratulations and I would like to be invited round, but for those looking for a cheaper option, here are some ideas.
A cinema’s seats are raised so if you are at the back of the cinema you feel like the King and Queen, if you want to stay true to the cinema experience in this way then I would suggest getting some wooden pallets like in the image. You can get these on the cheap, and with a bit of sanding and cushions on top you have yourself a rustic seating area.
Or if you are fine with everyone being on one level you can just accommodate everyone with cushions, pillows and blankets. This makes for a cosier atmosphere and obviously costs a lot less. You could even get your mattress down from your room to give yourself a bit more cushioning against the floor.
The great thing about using cushions is that they are transportable, meaning you can turn your home cinema into an outdoor cinema! Take your projector outside, stick a drape over your washing line or against your house wall and put all your cushions down for a great summer experience. You’ll be the coolest out of all your friends and you’ll be creating some amazing memories. Set up a BBQ and have fun!
One of the best parts about having a home cinema is that you are no longer paying the cinema prices for their food and the food will actually be good! You are no longer limited to salty or sweet popcorn, you can have anything you want.
Pizza, KFC, fudge cake, vegan ice-cream. You can cater to the foods you like. Even carrot and cucumber sticks if you want to be healthy, which you should probably throw in their from time to time saying you’re going to be locking yourself away in a dark room for hours on end. Need to get some nutrients in our bodies somehow.
Snacks can also be mean drinks, you can take in a bottle of wine and no one is going to judge you for it. Build yourself a bar or just take the bottles from the fridge downstairs, you’ve got yourself an unlimited supply of drinks at a much cheaper price.
I know you think you’re spending a lot creating your home cinema, but you could probably make all your money back just on the food you’re going to save.