A home theater is more than just a living room with a large screen TV. You have to consider a speaker system and how the acoustics will affect the audio performance. To recreate the authenticity of an actual cinema inside your home, you should consider installing special seating and you certainly will want to have easy access to your movies and TV shows.
Dedicate one wall to your television screen. This means placing no objects d’art around it or other furnishing. To get the best result from a home theater screen, you want to make sure that the screen is set all by itself. Besides, having just the TV on a wall gives your room a more theater-like feel. The only items that should be in close proximity to the screen is playing equipment like a DVD or Blu-Ray player.
Consider installing sliding curtains that hide the TV when not in use. This acts like the curtains inside a real movie theater and provides that much more authenticity to the home theater experience.
Curtains hung around the walls will facilitate the transmission of sound so that you get a more surround-sound enhancement of your audio. You could also go the route of covering the walls with corkboard. What you should aim for is the utmost in acoustical clarity.
If your theater is in the basement and your basement has an exposed ceiling, you should install fiberglass batts between the overhead floor joists. An added element of soundproofing would be to install drywall on resilient metal channels that are specifically designed for the utmost in home sound absorption. A simpler way to achieve a less acoustically pleasing effect is to just install acoustical tiles on the ceiling.
Carpeting is much better for a home theater than exposed wood, ceramic tiles or vinyl flooring. Carpeting muffles the sounds that you make when watching a movie, like the squeak of a rocking chair or footsteps crossing over to reach for the popcorn.
An indirect lighting system that provides ambient light will help eliminate the potential for glare on your screen. Ambient lighting can be accomplished with soft-bulb track lighting. An even better choice are recess lights set around the entire perimeter of your home theater.
Get yourself a cabinet to display your growing collection of movies and season-length TV shows. You don’t want to have to leave the home theater in the basement to go upstairs to the living room to retrieve your cherished copy of Lord Love a Duck or to watch Silence of the Lambs because AMC hasn’t aired it in almost two weeks.
Provide a little bit of whimsy by investing in an old-fashioned popcorn maker. The popcorn will taste better than microwave popcorn and you won’t burn as many kernels. Look around the internet and local theaters that are shutting down to invest in authentic flip-back seating for an even greater realism that you are attending the picture show without even leaving the house.