Home Theater Compared To Commercial Theaters

Having been to several commercial theaters on my recent travels I appreciate what can be done in the home more than ever.

The quality of the audio presentations were so poor it was very distracting. In one theater there was a loud hum/buzz that competed with the level of the dialog for at least 50% of the film. Two theaters had sound levels that were at least 7 db below reference. One theater had the surrounds so poorly integrated that it was very distracting.

All of the commercial theaters had images that were no where near what can be done in a home. The images had low contrast and were poorly focused. In one the film was loose in the projector causing the picture to jump up and down. One screen was so dirty it was distracting. The colors were also frequently poor from dim lamps and worn prints.

With the advent of Blu-Ray and quality home theater equipment the commercial theaters need to take more care in their film presentation or those with even decent gear at home will stop going. I would have to say I am close at this time.

W. Jeff Meier

ISF and THX Certified Home Theater Consultant


You didn’t mention some of the other factors like crying babies whose parents don’t have the sense to take out of the theater, cell phone users, and other inconsiderate moviegoers.


And don’t forget popcorn munchers, seat kickers, oily headrests, gummy floors, poor ventilation, previews with commercials that are insanely loud, too cold, too hot, too much light and tall people in front of you who keep shifting positions in their seats.

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