What’s the Cost of a Home Theater? How to Build One on Any Budget

Who doesn’t love going to the movies? Sitting in the dark with a big bag of buttered popcorn and candy while the latest Hollywood fantasy plays out on the big, silver screen?

Going to the movies is a magical experience enjoyed by many generations now. Cue the Covid-19 pandemic and for many in 2020, going to the movies is now less than magical.

You may now consider building a home theater so you can enjoy cinema safely, but aren’t sure of the cost of home theater electronics.

Read on for tips on how to build a home theater on any budget.

The Silver Screen

Let’s talk about the most important facet of your home movie theater, the screen.

You have two options available that depend on the space available and your budget. You can invest in a big-screen television or a projector.

If your movie theater at home will reside in a smaller space, a television may be the best option. These modern TVs are lightweight, wall-mountable, and offer crystal clear 4K resolution.

If you have a larger dedicated space and a big budget, a projector could meet your needs. Projectors offer a viewing size of over 100 inches and can pair with a drop-down screen that is both efficient and classy.

Which Player

If you’re building a home theater, you’re going to need to upgrade your Blu-Ray system. While streaming services are easy and convenient, the highest quality viewing experience still comes from a Blu-ray player.

After you’ve invested in a television or projector, you need to purchase a player capable of 3D and 4K for the best possible theater experience.

These Blu-ray players can cost up to 1,000 dollars for the top of the line. Many places offer great deals during Christmas sales blitzes like Black Friday.

Big Sound

While the screen is important, so is the sound quality. The cost of home theater sound equipment varies on your needs and the system itself.

For a smaller room, a more traditional surround sound system can work. These are available at most big-box electronics stores and online.

Many of these 5.1 surround sound systems are now wireless so you don’t have to worry about those long wires for the rear speakers, and can often be purchased on sale.

If you’re investing in a larger home theater and want to achieve that all-encompassing movie theater sound, investment in a larger 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound system might be your best option.


When building your home theater, you need to consider how you will optimize your new sound system.

If you’re willing to bust the piggy bank, consider soundproofing and acoustic tile. Lightweight acoustic ceiling tiles combined with carpet panels for the walls help absorb sound rather than reflect it.

This results in a much richer sound that contains no harshness or tinniness. Consider installing a thick carpet on the floor for even better sound absorption.

If you’re building a budget home theater, you need to pick the right room. Any room without windows is a good pick. Sound can escape through your windows and reflect off of those hard surfaces. Any finished basement is a great spot.

Comfortable Seating

If you’re building a home theater, you’re a movie buff. More than likely, your home theater will be a place where you spend a lot of time. You should be as comfortable as possible.

Comfortable seating options are available at any budget.

Less pricey seating could involve a new sofa, or perhaps one or two new recliners. For a pricier option, consider custom-made home theater seats.

For the best home theater seating, custom-made home theater seating companies like Elite HTS offer superior craftsmanship and comfort.


For those building a home theater on a budget, think about how you want to use your space.

In a smaller home, you don’t need to dedicate your theater room to only movie watching. You can remodel or update your living room, den, or basement as a space that receives as much use as possible.

Think of it in the same way people think about “man-caves” or “she-sheds.”

On a budget or in a smaller home, these theaters can be places where the whole family congregates not only for movie night, but for sporting events, television shows, or game nights.

Other Home Theater Room Ideas

Once you’ve purchased the equipment and considered the design, think about some other ideas for your movie room to bring that theater experience home.

If you have space and plan to entertain your friends and extended family, a bar is a great option.

A bar in your theater room allows you to mix drinks for your friends and family before, during, and after the film. And if you and your friends are movie buffs, offers a safe and relaxing space to congregate and discuss the movie.

If you’re building a home theater mostly for you and your children to enjoy, popcorn machines are a way to bring the theater experience to your home no matter your space or budget.

Nothing says movie time quite like the smell of freshly popping corn. Don’t forget the butter.

Total Cost of Home Theater

The cost of home theater screens, sound systems, and seatings depend on your budget. With a small investment in a new sound system and a new television, you can turn your living room into a small theater space.

Should you have the money, a large-scale remodel may be what you want. This means thousands of dollars spent on electronic equipment, soundproofing, seating, and other creature comforts that bring the movie theater home.

The truth is, a home movie theater can be built on any budget and may be a wise investment for the crazy times we live in.

Are you interested in other home improvement ideas? Check out our other posts for helpful tips and guides.