30 Amazing Home Theaters from the Cozy to the Collossal

You won't believe these are "home" theaters!
Odin Odin (181)

Before the birth of the television age, in the latter half of the 1920s, the trend of majestic “movie palaces” (or “picture palaces” in the United Kingdom) caught the delighted imaginations of the masses. There were elaborate, beautiful, complicated constructs; movie palaces were designed to capture a sense of opulent splendor and truly transport the viewer into a new reality once they crossed the theater’s threshold. They were so popular between 1925 and 1930 that hundreds of new movie palaces were opening each year.

Now, we may not live in the age of public movie palaces anymore, but the idea of being transported out of normal life and into the magic of the silver screen has never left our minds. For those with the time and resources, the construction of private movie palaces is a realizable dream, and the designs that these individuals create are oftentimes simply out of this world.

We love finding new designs for home theaters, from the quirky to the comfortable, the geeky to the bizarre, not only because they’re completely awesome, but because they can give us hints about what we want when we design our own home theaters to capture our own family’s heart and mind.

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The Ziegfeld

This incredible home theater is a pure letter of love to the cinema experience, and we could not be more thrilled to show off every piece of this amazing theater in a full photo walk-through. While other theaters on our list have outdone themselves for interior opulence, this theater goes even further by making the very experience of walking up to the theater doors a trip into the magic of movie palaces past.

This home theater is over 3,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the world.

This home theater is over 3,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the world.

Oh yes, not only is there a marquee with a full ticket booth, on the inside, you have a classic theater lobby, complete with a concession bar.

Oh yes, not only is there a marquee with a full ticket booth, on the inside you have a classic theater lobby, complete with concession bar.

But of course, it’s the movie theater itself that we’re here for, and it does not disappoint.

But of course, it’s the movie theater itself that we’re here for, and it does not disappoint.

Now, if that doesn't whet your appetite for getting a head start on your own home theater, we don't know what will.

comfortable home theater

Kicking off our list, we have an impressively sleek and yet relaxed home theater. We especially love the giant stuffed moose behind the couch. Really, though, everything about this theater speaks to us — it’s the sort of space that the whole family could gather to relax at the end of the day, but it would also cater to larger movie parties. We think that the best touches are the artistic lighting and the movie posters on the walls (which help lend a certain gravitas to the whole room, bringing it together).

According to the builder, this all cost them around $7,000, but for the ultimate home movie den, that sounds about right to us.

You gussed it right - that's a hidden hatch

We’ve reached the final two theaters on our list now, and we’ve made sure to keep some of the best for last. That’s why we’re going all-out: you get to see every detail of these theaters and bask in the magnificence of true shrines to the silver screen.

This is probably our all-time personal favorite because we are ultimately total geeks, and this room speaks to the geek in us more than we can say with words, which is why we’ll use pictures.

And before you ask: why yes, this theater is accessed via a secret room. And yes, the door does open at a vocal command.

It’s hard to believe that this isn’t actually a view out the window of a spaceship.
We were pleased to see that the airlock functions perfectly in case of space-based emergencies.
And, oh, right, there’s a screen as well. And a bar, just in case you literally never wanted to leave this den of magic and joy.
everyday simplicity

Here we have another impressive home theater, exactly the sort of thing that it would be possible to fit into an average home. If you’re a true film geek, having your own home theater is basically a requirement, so giving up that spare bedroom is a pretty easy concession to make. We like this theater's everyday simplicity because it feels like the sort of place we could easily relax in after a long day of work. But what makes it really pop are the movie posters and the elegant black paint, which will help keep the reflected light down to a manageable level.

A home theater with a crazy origin story

This home theater has a story. Though it now resides in Los Angeles in its owner's home, it did not start its life there. The whole room was actually built in Florida, then disassembled and moved in pieces across the country to where it now sits installed in its new home. We’ve mentioned “movie palaces” before, but this theater takes that classic idea to a whole different level of luxury, where just looking at it makes you feel like you’re under-dressed. Back in the day, this would be the sort of place where liveried attendants waited on you hand and foot as you looked up in awe at the grand stars of the age.

Home cinema

Now, this is just an absolute beauty. We’ve been missing going out to the movies lately, but with this incredible home theater, you’d always have the perfect cinema within your reach. The builder put a lot of thought into this one, with the classic movie theater aesthetic carefully applied to every design choice. The main speakers are even directly behind the screen, just like in a real movie theater, so that the sounds and the images are melded into one perfect union.

But get this, the owner has ended up moving to a new home since they completed this theater, and they promise that next time they’re going to go even bigger and better. That means that somewhere out there, this beauty is probably up for sale. We’re going to be on the lookout, how about you?

High-tech UK theater

For those looking to go the middle-approach to home theater construction, rather than designing a whole wing of the building for the theater or going the DIY approach, having specialty designers come in and do the work for you can be a real pleasure. That's the approach that footballer Jeremy Lynch took when he decided that his home needed its own private theater.

Lynch's UK home theater features high-tech LED lighting that can shift colors, create patterns, and dim to appropriate levels, and the seating design here is likewise truly inspired. Rather than go for something that restricts the ability to lounge, this design is made for nothing but lounging—and we think it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen.

Superhero colors

We adore the color combinations of this home theater—the red and blue give us that warm superhero feeling as well as a sense of pure luxury. We would definitely describe this theater as “epic” when telling our friends about it. The designer clearly went to great lengths to create this basement theater, which sits just off from a great basement play area featuring gaming tables and an old-fashioned arcade. This is the place we all dreamed about as kids.

LotR Aesthetic Cinema

We cannot imagine a better way to watch our favorite film series (Lord of the Rings, obviously) than by kicking back in this incredible home theater. Plush carpets, deliciously matte walls, elegant lighting, and the perfect movie posters to complement the mood. The seats are tiered, too, so everyone has a clear view of the screen, and at the front the designer’s included a selection of all their gaming technology, allowing them and their guests to geek out with everything from retro SNES setups to the latest Cyberpunk 2077 madness. They said that this was their third attempt at creating a home theater since their military career kept them moving and, by golly, we think that the third time sure is the charm!

A bit boxy but cleverly designed

The fun thing about designing a home theater from scratch is anything is possible. This home theater started as an oddly-shaped 20x20 room (audio principles make a space like this not so great for acoustics), but the designer worked his magic to turn it into a real private cinema experience by narrowing the room and using some of that then-extra space to put in a little kitchenette complete with snack station (we approve). Notice how the world-class projector is housed, too, which will eliminate almost all noise, giving the audio system free rein to fill the air.

Plush red velvet home theater

If you live in the United Kingdom and want your home theater done right, well, these guys are clearly the people to call. Every piece of this home theater speaks to our nerdy souls — especially the starry sky that awaits you when you turn off all the lights. The plush red velvet seating and carpeting might remind us a little of Emperor Palpatine's chambers...

...but if the Dark Side is the price we need to pay to have this theater in our homes then it’s a price we’re willing to pay.

swanky little home theater

This swanky little home theater apparently took ten years to plan and build, and that care and dedication show. What sticks out to us is that this theater's aural environment clearly took the focus, with a full surround sound experience and behind-the-screen speakers certain to immerse the viewers in an audio ocean. We really dig the media server room's design, too, which sits in its own space just off the main theater and allows for easy rear access through a side door. It always makes us happy to see designers who think about every aspect of their home theater before setting to work.

A 1920s movie palace

Okay, the realistic DIY stuff that anyone can do is cool, but what happens when you have the budget to turn a whole wing of your house into a proper movie theater? Well, it turns out that someone decided to find out. This home theater reminds us of a 1920s movie palace, complete with the shaded lighting and minimalist elegance of the whole aesthetic. We’d probably want to get dressed up in our evening wear for a visit to this home theater, but we’d likely skip on the formal dinner in favor of watching two films in a row.

lights and carpet

We love those lights. As in: we need them in our own home theater STAT. Something about the conical glow and the hyperactive carpet gives off the instant vibe of being in a real theater, and those seats look just the right amount of firm. There’s a dedicated popcorn machine in the theater foyer, too, which we’re certain gets plenty of use. This might be an example of a home theater at the upper end of the average budget, but we think every penny is worth it for such a sleek design.

Sleek home theater

Okay, can we just say “wow”? The sleek lines of this home theater all seem to radiate toward that central screen; the electric blue lighting hints at a space filled with magic, and that beast of a projector is certain to deliver only the crispest visual experience. What’s more, the seating looks thick enough to keep an audience comfy even through an epic Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon.

Rustic black box-style home theater

The owner wants to preface this by letting us know that they’re not professional at woodworking, but we absolutely adore the rustic design on this home theater and its custom rear riser. It has a black box theater vibe that we imagine makes it feel like stepping into a whole new world. Plus, just outside in the entrance, there’s a perfectly-placed rolling popcorn machine that no-doubt fills this whole space with mouth-watering buttery goodness. Where do we sign up for a tour?!

Starry cinema with 15-foot screen

This home theater is basically a fully-fledged cinema to our eyes, and the epic starry ceiling with the classic LED lights pulls this together in the perfect way to remind us that seeing a movie on the silver screen should be an experience to remember. Those real leather seats look incredible, too. We’re willing to bet, though, that with those comfy seats the whopping fifteen-foot screen, we’d be hard-pressed ever to leave. We would definitely have to line up careers as film reviewers because that room would be our new live-in location.

DIY media room

After the last couple of home theaters, we wanted to bring ourselves back to Earth for a moment and consider something a bit more doable for the average film enthusiast. Luckily, the folks at CraftedWorkshop had us covered with this cheerful and intimate media room. To turn it into a home theater, all you need to do is turn on the projector and dim the lights—a colorful living room becomes, suddenly, a perfectly immersive home theater. We love this not only because it’s cute and incredibly well-designed but because it’s 100% a doable project for any ordinary home.

Homey home theater

This home theater feels like the ideal hangout room for a properly geeky family, and we adore it. We dig the well-loved look of those seats and the great artwork on those back panels, but we also see the clear care put into the design of this fantastic little space. What’s not pictured here, near the screen, is the beautiful homage to tech gone by in the form of glorious wood-housed speakers, a vinyl turntable, and a classic DVD player. We admire the home theater owner who takes good enough care of their DVD collection to still use them in this, the age of the streaming wars.

Dolby Atmos home theater with rumble seats

You can’t tell… but those seats move. That’s right, once you kick back, you’re going to be quite literally immersed in the cinema experience. This incredible Dolby Atmos Home Theater is probably one of the most high-tech theaters on our list, and it likely blows away the competition when it comes to an immerse audio experience. Everything about this home theater is as sleek as polished leather—which, incidentally, also happens to be what those seats are upholstered with.

Streamlined and unique

There are whole companies out there dedicated to one purpose… bring the theater-going dreams of their clients to life.

This installation is by Cinematech, one such specialty company, and the work they do is frankly gorgeous. Streamlined and unique to each space's needs, we spent far too long ogling their impressive display collection. What we love most about this theater is how open the main front seating is. For a casual film, it makes sense to kick back on a comfy couch and bask in the screen’s glow, but the tiered seating means that there’s more than enough space for the whole family and a few distant relations to boot.

We also love how the clean lighting lines of this space pull the viewer’s attention toward the screen (and, speaking of lights, that projector must be the real deal to get that crisp with that much ambient lighting going on). Theaters like this seem to hover at around the $500,000 mark, so it’s probably a good idea to start saving up early.

well-loved and lived-in

We see this as our chance to curate a selection of the coolest, the craziest, the most elegant, and the most practical home theaters out there. Just like with a good mix-tape (does anyone still do those?), we like to go from the completely out of this world back to the realm that most of us live in.

This gorgeous home theater feels well-loved and lived-in, exactly the sort of place we’d want to visit and watch a film or ten. Care with the painting choice around the walls, the sleek lighting design, and the insanely comfortable-looking couch (which the owner verifies is still comfy even after four years of use) make this impressive space a real winner in our eyes. Notice the careful positioning of the sound system, too. The designer really knows their stuff when it comes to proper surround sound.

Attic home theater

Here’s another true home theater, built this time in the attic! Rather than a projector, this designer opted for an impressive 120” television but brought in a darling model of a classic projector to tie in the classic film aesthetic. This space feels like just the right mixture of homey and production. Entering this attic theater is certain to take you out of the world but where comfort is still clearly key. We also love the classic popcorn posters and the dedicated popcorn machine, elements that we strongly believe need to exist in every home theater.

Home theater by a true aficionado

You can tell a true home theater aficionado by their sound set-up, and this theater is a perfect example. With a full 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos speaker system, the audio environment in this home theater is sure to be something out of this world. Going deeper, those absorbent sound panels will soften the speakers' reflections, making every line of dialog seem warm and intimate to the ear. Going beyond the sound design, however, we have to say that we also love the solid wooden frame that the 150” screen is housed within, just the sort of subtle luxury that makes it feel like a special occasion every time you sit down for a film (and, judging by the well-worn leather seating, this room has seen a lot of film-watching love).

We would never leave this home theater

As we’ve said before, we are all about the comfort level when it comes to home theaters. We dig the grand and the outrageous, but what we really love the most at the end of the day is the sort of place that feels intimate and cozy. This wonderful theater design is a mixture of purchased tech and solid DIY construction and is clearly a labor of love. We also spent a long time admiring that impressive DVD collection and the extra comfortable seating arrangement that provides space for intimate family gatherings and larger friend-circle events as well.

Big screen and lots of bobbleheads

All the little touches are what really make this theater shine. Nifty lighting, solid 7.1 surround sound, carpeted tiered seating, and a great bobble-head collection. Something about this room speaks to us, and it says… “start the film already!” Of course, we generally prefer to go with projectors when it comes to home theaters, for that special flickery effect and the immense screen size they provide, but we have the feeling that once you’re nestled into one of those big chairs, you’ll feel right at home.

Sleek and and gorgeous DIY home theater

These folks realized that their extra storage room possessed a far greater destiny. By the end of 2020, they were missing the experience of venturing forth to the theater, so they decided to solve that problem with a bit of DIY… and we think they are our new favorite people. The sleek design, retro-style bulbs, classy framed posters, huge projector screen, and excellent reclining seating all come together to make this one of our absolute top home theaters. This is just the sort of magic that pretty much anyone with a spare room can accomplish if they set their mind to it.

Dual-purpose DIY home theater anyone can learn from

Not everybody has a whole room they can dedicate to their home theater, but the good news is that a great home theater doesn’t need one! This clever and compact home theater features all the elements needed for an immersive cinema experience, including the great aesthetic lights and the “cinema” movie ticket poster, all while sharing the space with the kitchen and living room! Clearly, this is the sort of space where long hangout sessions can be had and where both cinema and intensive video game marathons are the order of the day.

A DIY basement theater

We love seeing what ordinary folk get up to when they decide to build themselves a home theater because the DIY approach always brings with it the designer's personality. We think the simplicity of this space is perfect and are honestly hard-pressed to consider any better way to use an empty basement room. With the lights down and the smell of hot buttered popcorn in the air, this little home theater would be the ideal place to marathon all our favorite films.

This Holomax is a labor of love

Nobody looking at this home theater could see anything but a true labor of love. With just four seats and a DVD collection numbering in the hundreds-of-hundreds, the builder of this “Holomax” theater is a cinephile after our own hearts. The care and attention to detail, the well-placed lighting, the extra-large screen, and the fully carpeted risers give us the impression of being transported into a special theater-pod. Something about that great red leather seating thrills us, too, and makes the whole room look majestic.

Horror films of the 1920s were so twisted and intense that you’ll be amazed and afraid.
Odin Odin (181)

Horror has been a part of the human storytelling psyche for as long as humans have told stories, but the modern genre as we know it arrived on the back of World War One.