In-Home Luxury: The Cost To Add a Home Theater

Majestic Mountain Retreat in Edwards, Colorado in-home movie theater
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If you’re a movie lover or sports enthusiast, you might dream of having a home theater. What could be better than enjoying all of the thrills of the big screen or the big game without having to leave your house?

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Your dream could become a reality — if you have a few thousand dollars to spare. Here’s how much it actually costs to add a theater to your home.

Overall Costs To Add a Home Theater

The national average range for a home theater installation is $2,000 to $33,000, according to Thumbtack. That figure includes all of the necessary equipment — including a sound system, TV and wiring — plus seating, lighting and installation costs.

Your actual cost will depend on the quality of equipment you purchase, how much equipment you need, how much needs to be installed, the extent of the remodel necessary and local installation costs.

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What Does a $33,000-Plus Home Theater Include?

On the higher end of that spectrum, you can get a home theater that features advanced audio technology.

John Young of Smart Home Systems in Lakewood, Colorado, gave an example to Thumbtack of a home he worked on that utilized $30,000 worth of equipment, including a Dolby Atmos surround sound system ($3,544), a 2.40:1 projector and screen combination ($2,837), a motorized anamorphic lens kit for the projector and a 130-inch Innovations Black Diamond screen ($5,581). The installation cost for this project was $3,500.

Key Components of a Home Theater

There are several essential components of a home theater that you will need to invest in, and the level of luxury you desire from each of these can have a great impact on the overall price of the project.

Speakers and Sound System

One of the biggest differences between watching a movie at home and in a theater is typically the audio experience. If you want the best of the best, expect to pay around $10,000 for a high-quality sound system. For example, the Focal Chora 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos Home Theater System goes for $9,982. stated, “as far as best speaker systems go, this system defines best. One premiere French speaker manufacturer plus one energetic subwoofer company equals one fantastic listening experience.”

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While you can mount an HDTV, for a true movie theater experience, you’re going to want to splurge for a high-end projector, which can cost around $3,000. CNET recommends the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB, which sells for $2,999.98. The site rated it the best all-around home projector. “Take an excellent contrast ratio, paired with impressive brightness and accurate color, all with better detail than what’s possible with a 1080p native resolution projector, and you’ve got all the pieces for a fantastic image,” the review states.


Seating is also a critical part of a home theater — after all, you want to be comfortable while you watch your favorite films or host your friends to watch the game. On the high-end, seating can cost upwards of $1,000 per seat. For example, Cavallo Seating’s Haven power recliner retails for $1,947 per seat and comes with top-of-the-line amenities including LED-rimmed cupholders, a powered headrest and lumbar, USB charging stations, memory foam cushioning and baselights.

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There are a number of lighting options you can choose for your home theater. HGTV recommends recessed lighting, wall sconces, ambient lighting, LED or fiber optic lighting strips in the floor or baseboards, and/or task lamps next to your seating. The costs will depend on your personal preferences and the quality of the lighting you choose.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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