I don’t think I could ever run out of reasons why home theater is better than movie theaters —at least when it’s done right—but here are ten of my favorites. You may pay particular attention to the ones that directly address the practicality of going to the movies in today’s society, but overall, everything on the list will likely find it’s way into the heart of someone who loves film. When you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment below letting us know which is your favorite reason. And leave us a comment if you completely disagree with the entire premise. We want to know.
10. Bass is Punchier
If you’ve done your home theater right, bass can be a lot more “in-your-chest” than it is at the local cineplex. This is because you have a lot less room to fill, and you can direct your efforts in bass production to fill the smaller room. When factoring in home theater subwoofers, a couple small or medium-sized subs will often deliver the bone-crunching bass you may never experience in a movie theater. If you don’t currently have this in your home theater, you may need to upgrade your sub to something with a larger driver (12″ or more) and additional output. (No one with a cube-based system will experience that type of bass—it’s not possible from a bass module that only has a 6″ or smaller driver.) A true subwoofer can hit you in the chest with bass that leaves you feeling like you really are on the battlefield, or experiencing an earthquake, or being attacked by an alien monster. You get the idea.
9. You can Optimize the Sound for Fewer Seats
One of the chief reasons home theater is better than movie theaters is that you can worry about less seats than the typical movie theater. There are more seats in a movie theater, but at home you can concentrate on getting good sound to the few seats you have in your room. I typically try to sit in the re-recording engineer’s mixing position each time I see a movie (two-thirds back, center of the room), but that isn’t always possible. At home you can always have the best seat in the house—and you can make sure your guests have excellent seats as well…and footrests.
8. Frequency Matters
I’m not talking about frequency range here, but rather the number of movies you can watch and the number of times you can use your theater. Given the prices of today’s movies, a trip to the theater is going to be fairly infrequent (either that, or you’re made of money). Your home theater, on the other hand, can be used several times a week to enjoy the movies and TV shows you like the watch. And with the production value being put into new television shows (particularly those produced by hollywood stars like J.J. Abrams, Joss Wedon, Jerry Bruckheimer, and others) you’re going to want an incredibly robust sound system to get the most you can out of all that action and drama.