Have you ever wanted to set up an outdoor movie screen in your backyard to enjoy a great movie night with friends and family? If you have never experienced the magic of an outdoor movie, you should be glad to know setting up a movie night in your backyard does not require much effort. When you use the right materials, equipment and sitting arrangement, everybody is guaranteed to enjoy a great movie night out. All you require for this is a screen, a projector and some snacks to munch away during the movie.
An outdoor theater system can be set up for less than $1,000, with the most expensive part of the project being the projector, which can be rented or bought. There are several well known and reasonably priced, portable projectors that are ideal for an outdoor theater. Let’s explore what you need for a spectacular outdoor movie experience with your family:
Undeniably, the most important part of an outdoor movie is the projector. You may wish to use a projector that is as bright as possible. Choose a projector that features an image brightness of at least 1500 lumens to outshine the moon and neighboring houses. Look for DVI or VGA port, as well as regular connectors (video and audio) for a DVD player, for connecting a laptop. This comes useful while using DVD drive in your laptop and benefit from streaming or downloading videos.
While the most basic screen can be made out of a big enough white bed sheet, there are several types of screens available for screening your outdoor movie. A screen made out of PVC piping or wood may be time-consuming but the entertainment it delivers is matchless. You can build the outer frame of your screen using a stand from PVC piping, allowing it to stand on its own. These are not too difficult to build and there are several ways available on YouTube to do it right. Apart from that, you could choose an inflatable outdoor movie screen, for a more enjoyable experience and superior image quality.
Once you decide to use an inflatable screen, it is important you have enough space around the screen to tie it down. Inflatable screens can withstand a maximum wind speed of around 15 to 20 mph. An inflatable screen comes with everything you require: tethers, a blower, stakes, and a storage bag. Used both for front and rear projection, they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are ideal for large audiences. The setup is convenient as all you need is a pump for inflating and a hammer for stabilizing stakes into the ground. Being portable, they are convenient to use.
Several projectors comprise of built-in speaker, but they are quite basic. By using portable outdoor speakers that or a pair of powered speakers along with a sub-woofer can also be an inexpensive way to get great quality sound. If you do not want to buy expensive audio gear, old and used audio gear sounds next to great. You can also use an old stereo that has been abandoned in the garage. Pair its receiver with the projector or the Blu-Ray player, and then connect to any speakers that are available. You may need to spring for longer speaker wires for positioning them near the screen.
If it is chilly out there, it is practical to offer blankets for children and some warm clothes for adults. In case of summer, you can use lawn chairs or rugs. For a spacious yard, separate areas for children and adults can be set up so that the older lot can chat, drink and enjoy the movie.
Choose a Relevant Movie
Most importantly, choose a movie that everybody will enjoy. It is good to do this before the movie night so you know exactly what mood to create for the movie ambiance. If it is a horror flick, the setup can be dark and spooky. If it is a movie for children, make it a fun experience for them. Here are some of the top family movies that guarantee an exciting movie night out.
- The BFG – This is an entertaining adventure aiming to capture the evil giants who have been attacking the human world
- Greater – The inspiring story of Brandon Burlsworth, the greatest walk-on in the college football history
- Alice Through the Looking Glass – An amazing adventure, Disney’s Alice through the Looking Glass features the most memorable characters from Lewis Carroll’s best stories
- Pete’s Dragon – Depicts the story of an orphan looking to escape his abusive adoptive parents with the help of a couple living in a lighthouse a pet dragon
- Earth to Echo – A wonderful movie about a group of friends investigates a series of unusual text messages they get after a construction project initiates in the neighborhood.
- Pan – Pan discovers new magic in its prequel featuring classic characters
Don’t Bend the Laws
Even though you will not be arrested for screening a movie in your backyard, beware of the copyright laws that prohibit people to charge for movie screenings at your home. Public advertising can also get you into trouble. Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors but do not make it public with a flyer.
Rent the Movie Equipment
If you do not intend to buy the equipment for your backyard movie night out, several rental services provide just the right gear for a memorable outdoor movie. A giant sized movie screen can also be rented or fun stuff, such as a photo booth rental for taking pictures and videos can be made available for uploading onto the screen. Other equipment, such as seating options, inflatable cushions and popcorn vending machines can also be rented.
What is a movie without popcorn? If you want to go an extra mile, buy old-fashioned popcorn containers from Amazon. Get some popcorn butter and seasoning salt and create your own popcorn at home. Nuts, drinks, crisps and chocolate are some of the few snacks that can be easily arranged for your outdoor movie.
No matter how small your budget is, there is a lot that can be done to decorate your backyard or driveway to build an impressive home theater. Buy the most affordable projector with good functionality. Get a PVC or inflatable screen for good viewing, a nice surround sound system and comfortable seating arrangement to let the viewers enjoy the movie while munching on snacks.