Television came next, and with advances in Internet, having a home theater in New Orleans makes more sense in some ways than shelling out $50 for the family to sit around for 2 hours in the dark.

The Drawing Room

In high society, people would get together and show off their prowess at playing music, singing, and engaging in word games. While this practice has died out, it can still be seen in movies that depict the era. Albert Finney’s Scrooge gets treated to a game of forfeits when he visits his nephew’s home.

Marconi Comes Home

Radio invaded the American home in the 1930s. They were large, and the sound quality was poor, but they were a hit. Classic radio plays, like The Shadow and Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine still hold up well for those who have the patience to listen without pictures. Perhaps the greatest sensation to come out of the era was Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds. This radio play sounded so realistic that people really believed there was a Martian invasion. One man even shot his water tower.

The Box

Television came to American homes in the 1950s. Many movie studios did their best to keep movies off the TV screen, but Walt Disney saw an opportunity and jumped at the chance to finance and advertise his new park with ABC. Starting in 1954, Disney was in every home with a television, and versions of that show lasted well through the 1980s.

The Rumpus Room

The 1970s saw the advent of the rumpus room. Usually someplace in the basement, the rumpus room contained games including billiards and foosball. It may have also contained darts and other games that parents deemed too dangerous or large for any other room in the house.

The Rumpus Room Remade

With Atari’s rise to prominence, videos began to dominate the home entertainment options in American homes. Television was still popular, but radios were relegated to the car and places where a TV couldn’t fit or was impractical, like the shower.

Movie Experience at Home

As the home movie entertainment business advanced technologically, people began to see a way to save money. VCRs were relatively poor quality and cathode ray tubes were too heavy to make very large. Rear projection screens didn’t have the ability to realistically recreate the movie experience, and projectors were too expensive. When the first DVD was released, the home theater business was revolutionized. At the same time, prices for projectors came down, and computers with Internet became standard.

All of these advances meant that the home theater in New Orleans could be as good as the real thing, especially when hooked up to a sound system designed for the space. Some would argue that the experience is even better since the advent of Blu-ray technology. The best thing may be that movies in a home theater are flexible. Computers and Internet can now handle high-definition downloads. People can pause the movie when they need a bathroom break or need to care for a child, and there is no one sitting in front of the audience that they don’t know, which means that the atmosphere can be controlled to deliver the best movie experience.

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