It's becoming more and more expensive to head to the cinema to see the local films, and with the 3D craze still in full swing, the price tag for more than two people to go and watch a film on the big screen is pretty ridiculous, especially when you take into account the popcorn and drink combos that are such a rip off that our Mum's have been sneaking cheaper alternatives into cinemas via their handbags since you were kids. It may have been embarrassing at the time. These days, it's the smart option.
There is a cycle in play at the moment and it's pretty depressing. The films coming out of the big studios are - for the most part - safe, box office assured affairs. Remakes, comic book franchises and bankable stories that people know and love already. While it is often blamed on a lack of originality and ideas, the most likely reason for it is that the prices for tickets is too much for most people, and the rise of piracy has meant that profit margins for the studios are getting smaller. It begs the question: Would you bank on a completely original idea that is a box office risk or take an existing property and focus on that? Originality loses, right?
It's a sorry state of affairs, and the internet is partly to blame. But before we start getting too depressing and start talking about the end of film as an art form and all that jazz, let's focus on the positive: These days you can turn your home into a cinema at a reasonable cost, making it easier to get the big screen experience at home without the extortionate popcorn and ticket prices. You might not be watching the film when it first hits the screen, but waiting an extra 3-4 months for the Blu-Ray shouldn't be too difficult.
Of course, there's certain films that you just have to see on the big screen, and I'm not advocating boycotting cinemas, that would be insane. But where I used to watch a film a week at the cinema as a teenager, I'm now reduced to one film every two months. Sometimes less. And that is all down to budget, nothing to do with the quality of the films.
With the likes of Netflix and LoveFilm, and awesome HD projectors available for home use at a reasonable price, you can quite easily turn your home into a movie theatre. Blu-Ray's are steadily coming down in price too, meaning that you won't have to bankrupt yourself to get an incredible film-going experience in your own home. You can get a 70 inch flat screen 3D TV for around £2,500-£3,000 if you have the cash going spare, and before you start laughing at that suggestion, consider that a home cinema is an investment. That £3,000 is going to be money well spent for years.
But even if you don't have that kind of cash, you can take the budget option and invest in a HD projector and a pull-down projector screen for around £1,000. It's great that you actually have a choice. Check out this article from last year by Lifehacker.com to help you make up your mind on what you might need to complete your home cinema, and how to put it together.
All of that hardware won't be half as cool without two things: Snacks, drinks and incredible theater seating. Everybody remembers the Friends chair that Joey has in his apartment, and everybody wanted something similar. If you're going to have a home cinema, you definitely need to finish off the arrangement with some reclining leather seats that make the experience all the more comfortable and exciting. Just remember not to drop your popcorn boxes and drinks on the floor when you leave. At home, there's no ushers around to come and pick up your mess afterwards.
Check out the videos below. There are some really amazing home cinemas out there!