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Home Theater Curtains

Your selection of home theater curtains can add to or detract from the home theater you create in your home. They not only frame the screen but also cover the windows so you can enjoy movies any time you want.

A growing number of entertainment enthusiasts are creating home theaters complete with big screens, theater seats, and even popcorn machines. Home theater curtains are an indispensable part of home theater decor.

Home theater may serve utilitarian or purely aesthetic purposes. On one hand, home theater curtains give a home theater a more theater-like feel and look, enhancing the illusion that one is enjoying a "night out". But home theater curtains also serve important purposes such as light exclusion, acoustical shaping, and simply to hide that huge, staring screen when it isn't needed.

Home theater curtains are broadly classified as blackout-lined or unlined. Unlined home theater curtains are typically used to frame and/or hide a big screen, and as accents in a home theater room. Blackout-lined home theater curtains are designed for windows and even doorways to completely exclude light that might otherwise glare annoyingly on the big screen. Blackout-lined home theater curtains are made of a velvet-like microweave material that effectively shuts out all light, but is much lighter in weight than regular velvet. Such curtains are available at home improvement stores as well as home theater dealers.

Home theater curtains may be one-draw or two-draw types. In a one-draw home theater curtain, all of the curtain material moves to one side when the curtain is opened. In a two-draw home theater curtain, the two halves of the curtain draw apart to either side of the screen or opening, and overlap in the middle when the curtain is closed.

Special attention must be paid to measuring the length and width of materials for home theater curtains. The curtain rod must be longer than the screen is wide by an amount called the "stackback" of home theater curtains. Stackback is the horizontal space occupied by home theater curtains when they are fully open. The stackback varies depending upon the screen's width, the thickness and stiffness of the curtain material and whether the curtain is one- or two-draw. One-draw curtains of average thickness and stiffness require about seven inches less rod than two-draw home theater curtains.

The following chart provides a guideline to how long a rod should be for various screen widths using curtain materials of average thickness and stiffness.

Screen Width (horizontal)  The stackback should be  Rod width and drapery coverage should be
20"20"40"
26"22"48"
32"24"56"
38"26"64"
44"28"72"
50"30"80"
56"32"88"
62"34"96"
68"36"104"
75"37"112"
81"39"120"
87"41"128"
94"42"136"
100"44"144"
106"46"152"
112"48"160"
119"49"168"
125"51"176"
131"53"184"
137"55"192"
144"56"200"
150"58"208"
156"60"216"
162"62"224"
169"63"232"
175"65"240"
181"67"248"
187"69"256"
194"70"264"
200"72"272"

Home theater curtains over windows and doorways do more than cut glare and make a room look more like a movie theater. By plunging the room into near total darkness, home theater curtains vastly increase contrast, screen brightness, and the vividness of colors. If you are going to spend thousands on home theater electronics, home theater curtains are definitely worth a few hundred more.

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