How to Create a Magical Combined Home Theatre and Planetarium
If you're creating a home theatre then why not go one step further, and integrate your very own planetarium? A home planetarium is an amazing way to teach your kids, relax before bed, or enjoy a romantic evening under the stars. You'll enjoy a full view of all the amazing constellations the night sky has to offer, without having to drive to the science museum or freeze to death outside!
With a few clever tricks, your home theatre and planetarium will fit seamlessly together, creating a magical, multi-purpose entertainment room. You don't need to wish upon a star to bring this project to life - just follow the instructions below.
Find a suitable space
You don't need a huge space for a home theatre, and a smaller room can actually be cozier. You should choose a room that has space for a projector, a large flat wall for the image to be projected onto, room for speakers to be installed, and space for seating. The ceiling should be appropriate for projecting starts onto - a flat surface works best, as any texturing can distort the projected image.
You should also consider the location of the room in your house, and ensure that any sound won't disturb the rest of the household while the theatre is in use. Soundproofing can help, but is expensive and often tricky to install, so picking the right location saves time and money.
Choose home theatre equipment
Installing your home theatre equipment before you put the planetarium in place makes sense, as it takes up more room and is less moveable. You should install speakers for surround sound - one middle, left and right are the bare minimum, while side and rear speakers will create the most immersive experience. Install your screen or projector next, then add lighting. Lights that can be dimmed are the best option, as too much light will diminish your view of the screen and planetarium. Choose comfortable seating that you'll be happy to sit in for long periods of time, and make sure that every seat has a good view of the screen. Picking chairs that can recline will make viewing your planetarium easier on the neck!
Purchase planetarium equipment
Investing in a high-end star projector with changeable discs is the best option for a versatile night sky experience. You can choose slides that project a simple starry sky, perfect for relaxing under, or switching on at the same time as a film. A slide projecting a realistic night sky overlaid with constellation information is great for learning, and can be combined with a documentary or audio guide for a real museum-style experience. You can also choose planets, moons, and nebulas for a truly out-of-this world adventure. Locate your projector in the center of the room for the best ceiling coverage, and take time to focus it properly for the sharpest picture.