It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are? If you have a home theater, the answer is probably a confident “yes.” While home theaters are nothing new up north, where finished basements or spacious family rooms are practically wasted space without a mega screen, the cinema selling point has finally arrived in Florida. Before the pandemic, installing a home theater meant giving up the only extra room or space in what is often a resident’s second (or third) home. But, as people ordered delivery dinners and grew more intimate with the comfy cushions of their couches, the possibility of home theaters no longer seemed like a sacrifice of space. “Suddenly, it became a talking point,” says Chris McLaughlin of Wicked Smart Homes, the full-service custom electronics and design company, which currently has four at-home theater projects underway. Regardless of your available space, Wicked Smart Homes will brainstorm, design and 3-D-render your perfectly personalized home theater, whether it be a vibration-mitigating, renovated downtown condo guest bedroom (with sound control, as not to disturb your neighbors or make them too jealous)—or a complete movie-going experience in larger Lakewood Ranch homes, complete with concessions in the hallway like popcorn makers. When every detail is customizable, that means choices galore, from deciding between an 85-inch TV screen to a 16-by-19-foot projector screen, from jumbotron-like video walls to weatherproof outdoor screens that rise up from a secure compartment, and from the number of stadium seating rows that match your style to customizable chairs. The space can be yours to play with, like a recent all-immersive Avengers project, with murals and recliners that transport you into a Quinjet cockpit so the show starts before the screen is even on. “The best home theater experience is always delivered by the room where the movie is watched,” says McLaughlin. “Sometimes, a few great movie posters, a tabletop popcorn machine or a really cool custom-made carpet in just the right position can make all the difference.” Who needs the mega theaters anymore when mega screens and the ultimate movie-going experience is just a hallway away?

Wicked Smart Homes, 527 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-928-0343,