george to the rescue

3 Ways to Make Your Living Room Feel Like a Movie Theater

Sure, going to the movies is fun. But if you're planning a night in, here are some ways to bring the movie theater magic to your living room.

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There’s nothing like going to the movies. From the endless snack options and surround sound to the previews leading up to the main event, it’s an experience that can be hard to replicate at home. 

In this season of "George to the Rescue," we met Lauren and Adam Popelkas and their three young children. James, 6, and Rose, 9, both live with congenital muscular dystrophy, a condition that affects muscle movement. 

In partnership with Make-A-Wish New Jersey, the “George to the Rescue” team granted James’ wish by transforming a room in the family home into the ultimate movie and entertainment center. 

After the renovation, the room was fitted with a concession counter, a vintage popcorn machine and comfy seats that might rival your local movie theater. The home theater was also equipped with voice recognition technology, a sound system, projector and a 120-inch television.

Renovations like this one might require a little extra help and a bigger budget. With inspiration from the “George to the Rescue” crew, we’ve compiled some ways to make your living room feel like a movie theater without breaking the bank. 

1. Stock Up On Sweet and Salty Snacks

What’s a movie without popcorn and your favorite sweet treat? The first step to a perfect at-home movie night is gathering the snacks. If you’re hosting a family movie night, you can turn your kitchen into a concession stand, making for a more interactive experience. The more sweet and salty snacks, the better! If you’re really committed to the at-home theater vibe, consider a popcorn machine. 

For the Popelkas Family, an empty counter space with a sink was crafted into the perfect concession stand.

2. Comfort is Key

It’s hard to replicate those comfy chairs at the movie theater, fitted with foot rests, tables and cup holders. But the good thing about watching a movie at home is that you're not limited to sitting in a single seat. The living room becomes your personal theater. To enhance the at-home experience, throw in some pillows and blankets for optimal comfort. And if you’re really missing the trays and cup holders from the movie theater, consider a folding breakfast tray. That way your snacks and drinks will remain steady as you watch the movie.

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3. Limit Lighting

Nothing beats the darkness of a movie theater – it’s light enough to line up your snacks before the movie but when the lights turn off, you’re immersed in the cinema magic. If your living room has windows, consider curtains or sheets to limit the natural light.  And when the movie has started, make sure to put away the cell phones and laptops. Even though you’re at home, light from a smartphone can really ruin the ambiance. The same goes for any digital clocks or night lights — make sure to unplug before the movie begins. 

Check out other home and interior design hacks and watch full episodes “George to the Rescue” below.

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