Originally appeared in Washington Spaces
Whether you’re a fan of the romantic comedy or get a thrill from the latest action-adventure flick, any movie buff worth the salt in his popcorn relishes the silver-screen experience. So why not recreate it with all the creature comforts of home? “The home theater is a dedicated room that when someone sits down to watch a movie, the picture and sound quality rival the movie theater,” explains Thom Barrett, president of Chantilly, VA-based MovieRoomS.com More and more homeowners are opting for this cinematic amenity. “In the last five years, I’ve seen a great increase in the number of people getting home theaters,” says Kasey Kumaran, chief operations officer at Mt. Airy, MD-based Absolute Custom. If you are ready to say goodbye to the Cineplex’s long lines and minimal legroom, here is some blockbuster advice from local experts to help you design your own state-of- the-art home theater. The latest must-have toy for theater techies is the media server. “These are a big trend right now,” says Tom Wells, owner of Integrated Media Systems in Sterling, VA. The device allows you to download movies to the digital hard drive and then access them via remote. Although start-up systems generally hold around 300 movies, they are modular so you can expand to hold thousands of your favorites DVDs. The interior design of the home theatre has also evolved to include more than just movie posters and old-fashioned popcorn machines. “People really want the look of an authentic movie theatre,” says Kumaran, whose clients have incorporated everything from a ticket booth to a personalized marquee into the design. “Fiber optic ceilings to replicate the night sky are also big right now,” she says. Parents are even adding snack bars for the kids, complete with soda machines and candy counters, as well as elaborate bars with antique built-ins for the adults. “The space should be configured to transition, with some sort of lobby area or snack bar,” Wells says. “Create the feeling that you are walking into someplace special.”
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