Features — 09 April 2021
The best seat in the house now may be in the home theater

By Robyn A. Friedman

City & Shore HOME Issue

We’re all spending more time at home these days – living, working and learning. So, it should come as no surprise that we’re entertaining ourselves at home more as well. In fact, a May 2020 survey by event-analytics firm Performance Research found that anxiety about health and safety in public places is outweighing our desire to leave home, causing a whopping 70 percent of survey respondents to say they’d rather see a first-run movie as a digital rental at home than go out to a local theater.

The desire to escape in the comfort of our own homes is translating into a demand for home theaters, or media rooms. But there are some interesting generational differences in that demand. Although 58 percent of millennials consider a media room to be essential or desirable, just 26 percent of baby boomers do, according to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Home Builders. The preference for home theaters varies by house price point as well, with 58 percent of those paying $500,000 or more for a home wanting a home theater, while only 34 percent of those paying less than $150,000 do.

Real estate agents are noticing the trend as well. “I’ve seen a huge demand for home theaters, as they have been wildly popular over the last year,” says Jeff Miller, a real estate agent with One Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami Beach.

Home theaters vary widely, as they’re often custom-designed. Although many evoke the movie-theater experience, with tiered theater seating, huge screens, professional AV equipment and, often, starfields on the ceiling, the trend lately has been toward more casual rooms, with comfortable couches, rather than individual seats.

Here are five South Florida theaters likely to entice residents to stay home.

classic cinema 2


classic cinema

Photos courtesy BEX Realty.

Classic Cinema

From the outside, this 8,211-square-foot estate at 3815 Coventry Lane in Boca Raton’s Woodfield Country Club looks like other South Florida homes. But from the inside, Villa Museo boasts authentic architectural details and a sense of history. With five bedrooms and a hybrid of Spanish, Italian and Moroccan design, the $8.995 million home is being sold fully furnished, including the artwork, and features furnishings from Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses. And, with a state-of-the-art movie theater with concession stand and ticket counter, there’s no reason to leave home to enjoy a movie. Contact: Bonnie Heatzig, BEX Realty, 561-251-0321, heatzig.com.

cozy and comfortable

Photo courtesy Charles Josset

Cozy and Comfortable

Located on Palm Island in Miami Beach, this 11,058-square-foot contemporary residence at 135 Palm Ave. is listed for $34 million. It has eight bedrooms, both chef and prep kitchens, formal and informal dining rooms, a custom glass staircase, elevator, infinity-edge marble pool and 100 feet of water frontage. The home theater may look casual, but it boasts a BenQ 4K HD projection TV, KEF speakers, a fully equipped candy bar and a popcorn machine. The red stilettos on the side tables hide remote controls and represent old Hollywood style. “Traditional home theaters can be stuffy,” said Jeff Miller, the listing agent. “This space brings an atmosphere of coziness and intimacy. It’s the perfect mix of all the perks that come with a traditional theater, along with a warm ambience.” Contact: Jeff Miller, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, 305-610-4509, onesothebysrealty.com.

balinese resort

Photo courtesy Compass Florida

Balinese Retreat

This 10,436-square-foot home at 141 Bay Colony Drive in Fort Lauderdale has six bedrooms, 800 linear feet of water frontage, a kitchen with Calacatta Gold countertops, a 50-foot lap pool, a putting green and is listed for $24.995 million. It also has a spacious Balinese-inspired “club room,” a home-entertainment space complete with a backlit gray agate-front bar, a full wall fish tank and a comfortable viewing area, with a drop-down projection screen, for your favorite flick or TV show. The elegant lounging area overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.

Contact: Tim Elmes, Compass Florida, 954-557-0411, compass.com.

tuscan paradise

Photo courtesy Blue Ocean Photography, Inc.

Tuscan Paradise

This 10,874-square-foot home at 13000 SW 63rd Ave. in Pinecrest has six bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, wine cellar, elevator, playroom, office and soaring 28-foot ceilings. There’s also a home theater in the $4.25 million home, decked out with sumptuous leather seating for eight, as well as a wet bar. Contact: Josie Wang, Brown Harris Stevens Miami, 305-666-9759, bhsmiami.com.

marquis residences

Photo courtesy Natalia Purisaca/DouglasElliman Photography

Marquis Residences Marquee

No expense was spared in creating this 7,000-square-foot residence at 1100 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. A total of three combined units, the $7.25 million condominium in Marquis Residences features six bedrooms, eight baths, an office, two laundry rooms, an oversized terrace and a home theater with comfortable leather seating. Contact: Justin Rubin and Natalia Purisaca, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 305-677-5000, elliman.com.

Main photo courtesy BEX Realty.

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