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The Cinema Connoisseur

by Sam Cavitt |

So, I am writing a blog.  Not my favorite term but possibly close to the word some think of when I speak (blah, blah, blah…).  I’ve never written one before.  I’ve written columns, articles, even a couple of songs (in the 70’s, don’t look, they are long gone!)  I am told this is important and that I need to be doing this.  That alone would not necessarily motivate me, but the chosen subject does.  I believe it is an important one.

We’re calling our blog The Cinema Connoisseur.  Our desire is to continuously improve the standards of excellence found in private cinema and build a community of enthusiasts who share their appreciation of their own private cinemas and the arts these rooms so fabulously showcase.

Why is it important?  If truly magnificent cinema experiences are to continue, the kind that has distinguished “the movies” as a beloved form of entertainment and art, a way into the future must be mapped out.  No one can be sure of what the future will hold but some outcomes look better than others. 

If truly magnificent cinema experiences are to continue, the kind that has distinguished “the movies” as a beloved form of entertainment and art, a way into the future must be mapped out.

One less than optimistic outlook follows the law of entropy.  Without energy applied to counteract that law, home theaters, movies, and cinema experiences, in general, will decline.  Our goal is to energize and stimulate ideas so that instead, film as an art form and popular source of entertainment will thrive alongside a growing appreciation of Private Cinema.

The following is a preview of some of the topics we will explore.  More will be added as the discussion and community of The Cinema Connoisseur grows. 

New and Improved Normal

Times, they are a-changin!  COVID-19 has been, undeniably, a pivotal event.  One result is that people will spend more time in their homes and will increasingly value the quality of those times.   At the same time, in something of a “Perfect Storm”, the film industry and commercial theaters are battling over when and where the rest of us get to watch movies.  It is a pretty safe bet that more content is going to be made available directly to the home.  Some will unfortunately experience these releases in compromised settings. 

Cinema connoisseurs however will experience the latest blockbuster, and even beloved movies from the past in their own private cinemas and experience them better than ever before.  It can be an exciting time for the film industry and movie lovers alike!  Cinema Connoisseur hopes to be part of a groundswell of change that will benefit movie lovers and the industry alike!


The pursuit generally recognized as connoisseurship originated with fine art.  Experts, connoisseurs served to evaluate works for authenticity and quality, establishing value and facilitating investment in works with confidence.  How apt for Private Cinema!  Over time the term, connoisseur, has evolved to include lovers of a particular pursuit.  Connoisseurship in fact serves to enhance enjoyment through appreciation of the qualities of what makes something superb.  Again, how apt.  It is one of the rare times when appreciation enhances value, increasing appreciation, increasing value.  For Private Cinema it is essential for professionals and consumers alike to be connoisseurs.  

Film, an artform at risk

Moviemaking is the most complete, truly contemporary art form,” emotes, Renzo Piano, the architect of the Academy Museum of Film. “It brings narrative, acting, scenery, lighting, sound, and music together into the most marvelous machine for emotion.”  However, now, more than ever the future of film is uncertain.  Questions of theatricality, declining auditorium quality, waning appreciation for the cinematic experience have created a Hollywood-worthy irony causing many to wonder what the future would hold.

Renzo Piano

Moviemaking is the most complete, truly contemporary art form. It brings narrative, acting, scenery, lighting, sound, and music together into the most marvelous machine for emotion.

Renzo Piano

Academy Museum of Film

Suddenly, in a plot twist worthy of Hitchcock, comes Covid-19.  It is up to us to write the rest of the story but one ending has Private Cinema coming to the rescue!

Identity Crisis

Home theater means too little to too many – The industry and public perception of what is possible, what is desirable and what is good have devolved into something that is even less than the derogatory term “theater in a box”.  Sadly, this generic meaning serves to uninspire a public that misses out on some really great experiences.  Private Cinema is a pleasure unexploited!

Why Private Cinema

Options abound for how we design, outfit, and live in our homes.  We have many choices of how we spend our time.  Much is determined by what is trending, what has been done in the past, or, in the case of our time, what we can squeeze in.  This last should inform the rest.  Time, our most priceless possession, spent poorly cannot be redeemed.  Private Cinema is a singularly honorable way to enjoy times with loved ones.  

These topics and more will share space with case studies of private cinema projects (including interviews with owners), interviews with influencers (film industry, architecture, design, audio video engineering, manufacturing and more) as well as contributions from other thought leaders sharing relevant and surprising topics.  We hope you will find no end to interesting and compelling reads at The Cinema Connoisseur. 

Private Cinema is such a rich topic to explore.  Art, sound, design, relationships, recreation, wellbeing, technology.  There is something for everyone to discover and experience.  Our hope at The Cinema Connoisseur is that many more will come to appreciate what private cinema has to offer and that private cinema will continue to flourish and thus, become a pleasure well esteemed.  


Sam is the founder and CEO of Paradise Theater, a company that provides comprehensive private cinema design, engineering, and project management. Sam focuses his efforts on maintaining the highest standard of excellence and sharing the pleasures of fine private cinema with the industry and the world.

Sam also spearheads Cinema Connoisseur, the name of our blog but more importantly, an initiative to build a community of enthusiasts - “cinema connoisseurs” - both professional and public to embrace and enhance the world of private cinema and film.