In a city that is ubiquitous with the silver screen and glamour and comfort, it is no surprise that one of the biggest trends making a comeback following the recession is that of the home theater. Los Angeles home owners and other luxury home owners throughout the country are now opting for the comfort of their very own homes when it comes to viewing the latest blockbuster or their favorite classic movies.
During the recession and for a few years after, home theater construction, like almost everything else in the American economy, took a huge hit. According to reports from the American Institute of Architects, in 2007 approximately 23.8 percent of residential architects cited home theaters as the most popular special function room requested from their clients. In the years following that particular report, popularity in home theaters diminished drastically, coming to a low point in 2013 of 4.1 percent.
Although home renovators haven’t reported any staggering growth, there has been an uptick in the popularity of home theaters. This year saw an increase from last, the first increase since 2007, to 6.2 percent of architects ranking home theaters as most important.
“On net people say that’s declining in popularity,” says Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist. “But there’s a subset who say ‘For my audience, that’s really critical: Number one on the list.’”
Los Angeles Homes Lead The Trend
The movie industry has always been important in Los Angeles, but now as recovery is becoming more apparent again the real estate world is finding a place for it in the home once again. Throughout the last 18 to 24 months many more requests for home theaters have been coming in from trend-setting cities like New York and Los Angeles, according to Boca Raton-based theater designer and outfitter Acoustic Innovations.
In many of Los Angeles’ most high-luxe mansions, the home theater is almost as mandatory as a kitchen or a bathroom. Director Michael Bay outfitted his Hollywood home with Dolby Atmos technology, which is the same 64-speaker sound system he uses in his movies.
Actor, writer and creator Seth MacFarlane wanted to emulate the theater experience so much in his home that he had the very first IMAX home theater installed in his home. The theater seats 44 and features a 23.5-foot-by-18-foot screen.
In Los Angeles, where space is ample in the region’s most exclusive luxury properties, the option to install an IMAX theater is viable, however smaller spaces in New York have had trouble accommodating the desires of their high-end clientele. The trick, according to president of worldwide sales at IMAX Larry O’Reilly, is not the screen size, but being able to place seats so as to allow for optimal viewing experience.
“We can design a room with a significantly smaller screen and the experience will be the same,” O’Reilly said to Forbes.
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