It’s doom and gloom time for this crazy hobby of ours, folks. We home theater fanatics are dwindling to an ever-shrinking niche. Homeowners these days don’t even want home theater rooms in their houses… Except for the ones who do, of course.
Almost two years ago, I wrote a similar post here about the reported demise of the home theater. An article at that time claimed that professional home theater installers had seen a trend away from the so-called “bat cave” home theater (a dedicated movie-watching space with dark walls and strict light control) in favor of multipurpose Great Rooms that might include home theater gear but could also be used for other forms of lounging or entertaining.
More recently, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey that identified ten once-popular features that are on the decline in modern houses. In today’s tough economic climate, homeowners are prioritizing practical and value-oriented features over luxury or wish-list items such as whirlpool tubs, two-story foyers and, yes, home theaters. According to the article:
Even with all the options in home entertainment today, the media room isn’t high on the list for home builders. You’re much more likely to find a charging station for all your devices hidden away in a kitchen-island cabinet in 2012.
So, is that it? Was the home theater just a fad, like personal saunas and outdoor fireplaces? That depends on whom you ask. Another recent article says that, in fact, home theaters are one of the most desired features for new home buyers.
With home-theater technology evolving and prices lowering over the last decade, the concept has evolved from luxury to near necessity for many households. It’s the place where the family comes together to be entertained, and is the most occupied room in the house after the kitchen and family room.
It’s become the focal point for entertaining and showcasing expansive, crystal clear flatscreens and impressive components. It’s why many homebuyers are looking for houses with home-theater spaces or extra rooms to create one.
Real estate experts agree that home theatres add value to a home. According to the Home Builders Association, most new homes come with a home theater or media room.
The people building new houses believe that no one wants theater rooms anymore, even though the people actually buying houses do still seem to want them.
What does this mean for us? Essentially, if you were planning to move to a new house, you may (or may not) have a hard time finding one with the necessary space to put all your home theater gear and establish the right viewing conditions.