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Home Theaters Are on the Rise in the Hamptons

Forget tennis courts and wine cellars. Private screening rooms have become the new must-have amenity in luxury Hamptons homes.

Photo by: Zillow The 10-seat home theater in this 12-bedroom Bridgehampton mansion offers 4-D seats that react to on-screen audio.

We love a home with a private screening room — and apparently, so do Hamptons homeowners. According to the New York Times, home theaters are all the rage in the Hamptons, eclipsing wine cellars and tennis courts as the latest must-have amenity. "These days every spec house on the market has got to have a home theater," broker Christopher Burnside told the Times. "And if it doesn't, the buyers ask why not, with the implication being the builder cheaped out." The rising interest in home theaters is partially attributed to the increased popularity of streaming media.

The article provides a juicy glimpse into what some of these home theaters look like. The theater at a $17.5 million Amagansett home, once owned by Barry Sonnenfeld (who reportedly edited parts of Men in Black at the home), has a fireplace, neon exit sign and a snack bar with a professional popcorn maker. Producer Brian Bantry is selling his Wainscott mansion for $11.95 million, and it includes a whopping 110-seat theater with a green interior inspired by the Ziegfeld Theater. Then there's the home theater at 612 Halsey Lane in Bridgehampton. At 10 seats, it's modestly sized — but these are not just any seats. They're 4-D seats that react to rumbles on the screen.

Not only are Hamptons homeowners requiring private theaters, they're also screening first-run films. The Times talks to art dealer Larry Gagosian, who calls on his personal projectionist, George Gottschalk, to screen first-run films in the $250,000 movie theater at his East Hampton estate. Gottschalk, who runs High Tech Digital Technologies, typically screens around 30 films per weekend in people's private Hamptons theaters. One recent screening was a yet-to-be-released film by Alexander Payne. "Everybody wants to see first-run movies that haven't hit the theaters yet," Gottschalk told the Times.

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