With the arrival of warm, delightful weather, it becomes tempting to do everything outdoors. Whether it’s relaxing by the poolside or barbecuing with family, your backyard is perfect for any daytime activity, and the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. This is the perfect opportunity for a starry movie night!
Setting up your outdoor movie theater is fast, simple, and can easily be scaled to fit your budget. Your movie will be up and running before the popcorn is done. Here’s how you can make everything work together and bring the glory of cinema to your backyard.
Make a Guest List
A makeshift movie night is one of the finest ways to spend a memorable Friday evening with your friends and family. You can keep your guest list tight if you want to spend quality time with loved ones.
If you want to include more people, consider making movie night a weekly affair so that you will get to see all your neighbors and extended family members on different nights.
Choose a Movie
Before you host the big night, you must decide the perfect movie to put up on the big screen. Besides helping with decorations and planning, this will prevent any last-minute disagreements between guests who want to watch something else. If you plan to invite families with kids, select a movie appropriate for all ages. Here are some suggestions.
- Star Wars. Tell your kids about “a galaxy far, far away” while sitting under the stars, wrapped up under cozy blankets.
- Disney. You can select a light-hearted movie like Ratatouille or Beauty and the Beast that both kids and parents will enjoy.
- A Classic. Consider bringing back a movie from your golden childhood days like The Goonies, E.T., or The Wizard of Oz.
Before picking a movie, ensure you have the means to watch it. This means renting a hard copy, purchasing one, or streaming it on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming platform.
Set up your Theater
Bringing the theater to life in your own backyard requires essential equipment. Here are certain things you must have handy:
- Screen: Based on how your yard is positioned, you can project the movie either at the side of your house or garage. If those screens are made of siding or brick or are too textured, you may want to think about installing a portable screen. Lately, many screens in the market are available with 160° viewing angles and an adjustable height.
- Projector: A projector is a must-have for an outdoor movie night. Remember to select a projector that can be controlled remotely and provides a clear picture. Additionally, look for one compatible with laptops, SD cards, and Amazon Fire Sticks.
- Speakers: If your projector does not have built-in speakers, make sure that you plug in an external speaker so your guests can hear the audio. You can also choose a portable speaker, an excellent option, as it connects with devices over Bluetooth.
- Extension Cords: If you do not have battery-operated speakers and projector, keep a few extension cords handy, so you don’t have to worry about plugging in your equipment when required. These cords can be a tripping hazard, so cover them with custom tarps.
Keep it Comfortable
Make sure you can sit back and watch the movie comfortably with these items:
- Plenty of pillows and blankets to create a cozy vibe and picnic environment in your backyard. Ensure your outdoor cushion & pillow covers are neat and clean before placing them.
- If you’re hosting a movie night on your driveway, the ground may be too hard for your guests to sit on. You can use patio folding chairs instead. Before the movie begins, keep your chairs protected using chair covers, so they don’t get dusty as you set up.
- Keep bugs and mosquitoes away with bug spray or citronella candles. In your backyard or driveway, you can also place bug-repellent plants like rosemary, mint, lavender, or basil.
- Place inexpensive flashlights or walkway lights. This will prevent your guests from accidentally stepping on your equipment or a fellow attendee.
- If you must have your movie event in the sunlight, put up solar shades to deflect the rays.
Shelter Your Cinema Set Up
If you live in an area prone to unexpected showers, consider hosting your movie night under a shelter. You can also use custom tarps to keep your movie area protected from inclement weather. This way, your evening can continue no matter what the weather is outside.