Back when the concept of home theater was really catching on, one of the catchphrases used to help justify the expense was that “a home theater is the swimming pool of the 90s.” I believe I even used it in a column at some point. The idea was, instead of dropping $15-20 grand on a pool, invest that money in a home theater. Great idea, huh?
But now that I’ve had time to think about it – and own both a pool and a home theater – I’ve decided that this is actually a pretty sucky analogy. First, pools are frickin’ expensive. And I’m not talking about crazy, Hugh-Hefner-and-the-swim-in-grotto pools. I’m talking about regular sized, in-ground pools which can easily run well over $50,000. Granted, you can drop that kind of coin on a theater as well, but you can get something really impressive for a good bit less. Second… Well, lots of reasons. As someone who owns both a swimming pool and a home theater, I’d like to tell you why owning a home theater is oh so much better than a pool.
Pools require constant care
Skimming, vacuuming, brushing, backwashing, chemicals, etc. It’s always something, and none of this stuff is fun or cheap. When it’s winter you worry about things freezing. When it’s spring and fall, there is a steady stream of crap that blows into it kamikaze style trying to fulfill its life journey of clogging the filter. When it’s summer, the slightest lapse in chlorine management can cause an algae breakout. The only care my theater requires isr remembering to put the remote on the charging cradle. Even if I forget to do that, I can still use the remote while it is charging.
Everyone enjoys watching movies
There are a lot of people who don’t want to go swimming. Whether it’s body issues, weird scars, totally unnatural body hair, man boobs/no woman boobs, or whatever, some people just won’t publicly embrace the shame which is a putting on a swimming suit and jumping into the pool. Conversely, everyone will sit in the dark, enjoy a libation, and watch a movie.