Lights, Camera, Action!

Many Angelenos don’t even have to leave the comfort of their own abodes to enjoy a full cinematic experience

Written by Wendy Bowman

In L.A.—where the movie-production business is king—it makes sense that upscale homeowners are clamoring for their own top-of-the-line media rooms and theaters, complete with the latest high-tech equipment and furnishings, and original film props and memorabilia. “Our L.A. customers love to express their individuality and creative nature, as well as customizing their home theaters to fit perfectly into their lifestyle,” says Oscar Galvez, CEO of 4seating.com, which provides home theater seating and custom theater décor. “In the past decade, we’ve consistently seen more and more extravagant home theaters.

“It’s easier than ever for consumers to gain access to high-end equipment and furniture that surpasses traditional movie theaters,” he adds. “Combine that with today’s ease of access to streaming movies and high-end video, and consumers no longer need to leave their home to enjoy blockbuster movies.”

According to Galvez, innovation in the home theater market is at an all-time peak, with sophisticated consumers no longer satisfied with a chair that simply reclines. Instead, they want total comfort from head to toe. On their lists of must-haves, he says, are seats sporting power headrests and power lumbar support from manufacturers such as ComfortView by Seatcraft; 235:1 screens that eliminate black bars above and below the display; SoundShaker amplification systems that vibrate each seat for heart-stopping realism; and Dolby Atmos for a true surround-sound experience.

“Some customers even find truly unique treasures, such as unique-one-of-a-kind movie props and memorabilia for their rooms,” says Galvez. “We’ve had a customer build a room that looks like it was inside of a pirate ship, in a room that might have come out of Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Yet more outstanding home theaters can be found in L.A. at the Hollywood Hills estate of Matthew Perry (now on the market for $13.5 million) and at a Malibu manse (recently sold for $10.65 million), both listed by Greg Holcomb, a partner and estates director at Partners Trust. Below Perry’s home is a premiere-worthy screening room sporting windows that peer directly into the pool. Meanwhile, the modern architectural residence in the prestigious, gated neighborhood of Serra Retreat offers a top-quality cinematic experience via a digital sound system; remote-control theater curtains that open to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean; and custom seating including a cushioned bed in the back and matching sofa and seats in the front. A kitchenette immediately outside the theater door functions like a concession stand with popcorn and select candies and beverages.

“Home theaters and deluxe media rooms are a hot amenity for home buyers across the board, but especially in high-end homes where state-of-the-art systems blend with high style to give VIP homeowners an entertainment experience with bragging rights,” says Holcomb. “Investing in an impressive home theater with advanced wireless and high-definition technology, as well as the streaming entertainment channels that greatly expand the on-demand choices, also is a great feature for future [resale].”

Finally, there’s a 12,000-square-foot gem at 1677 N. Doheny Drive currently listed by Paul Lester of The Agency for $44 million, complete with an expansive lower level that holds a plush theater with an adjacent lobby. Not to mention a temperature and light-controlled, walk-in wine cellar; 24-foot bar; entertainment lounge; and traditional Turkish Hamam with a wet and dry sauna and misting shower with aromatherapy and chromatherapy. Only in Hollywood.

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