Home Theater Popcorn Machines
If you're looking to install a home theater or refurbish an existing one and want to give guests an authentic movie-house experience, you may want to explore the options for home theater popcorn machines. Apart from the action on screen, freshly popped popcorn may be the most essential element required for an enjoyable movie-going experience—so offering it to guests in your home theater can be a blockbuster idea.
A wide range of popcorn machines can be found for use in a home theater; some machines are specifically designed to replicate a cinema-like feel, and others will feel just as welcome in the kitchen or kids' playroom as the home theater. Which type you choose will ultimately be determined by the style of home theater you're planning, as well as considerations like the available space and your budget.
If you're looking to create a truly authentic, cinema-like experience for your guests, you may want to consider an at-the-movies style popcorn maker. These can be purchased from online or brick-and-mortar restaurant supply or specialty stores; they also are available from some home theater specialty retailers. These are industrial-level machines that can churn out barrels of popcorn for as many guests as you can accommodate—so while they will definitely give you the most pop for your buck, they may be overkill if your home theater is a small space that can only accommodate a few guests. They're also quite expensive, generally falling in the $1,000 - $2,000 range, and they can be quite large as well—generally either taking up a large swath of countertop or resting on a wheeled cart.
One tier down from the movie-house machines, you'll find a range of relatively inexpensive but still quite powerful countertop popcorn makers. These generally fall in the $100 - $300 range and can be purchased from many big box stores and just about any home theater specialty store. In general, these will suit the needs of most home theaters—only the largest and most elaborate designs, with the need to regularly serve large numbers of popcorn-hungry guests, will require more output from their machines.
Finally, for a more low-profile but still delicious option, there are small countertop machines, in the $25 - $50 range, also available from big box stores or home theater specialty retailers. They can rest comfortably on a counter or be situated in a vacant corner of the home theater; they can easily serve a small number of guests with the equivalent of a bag or two of popcorn per sitting.
See Also: Planning Your Own Home Theater