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Life Hacks: 

Cardboard theater gives a budget cinema experience

In the long run, it's cheaper than going to the cinema. Just make sure you order the iPad in an oversized box. (Image: TaiHokkeShishamo, YouTube)

Cheaper than the cinema? Just be sure to order the iPad in an oversized box. (Image: YouTube)

Sometimes you want that full cinema experience but trekking to your local multiplex doesn’t appeal. Maybe it’s raining. Maybe you’re more comfortable putting a cardboard box over your head. Maybe the tickets are expensive.

Hang on, wait. What was that middle one, again?

Oh, the cardboard theater.

Yes, Mashable reports on a trend amongst Japanese youth to take the cinema experience into their own bedrooms in a way which we can’t decide is genius or just plain odd. First you get a large cardboard box: maybe order something massive that you really don’t need, or get a pack of batteries from Amazon or something.

Cut a head shamed hole in the box, and a smartphone or tablet shaped hole in the top. Put on Netflix, and you’ve got a handy homemade cinema, with the advantage that you can lie down on a comfy mattress and that nobody will ruin the movie for you. Unless you have an overly inquisitive cat.

You could plug in earphones and loop them into the box with you, or if you’re really into the idea you could set up some in-box surround sound, like this guy has:

When did this cardboard theater trend begin? The earliest signs seem to be in late 2013, and if we were betting types we’d point at this widely shared tweet as the birthplace.

Of course, there are actual physical products that replicate the cinema experience on your head, but for their massive price-tags, they actually don’t look much less silly then the box on the head method. And if Google can make something incredible with a cardboard box, why cant we solitary cinema enthusiasts?

And if you’re caught in your cardboard theater, just follow the example of another Japanese legend:

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