Whether you’re chillin’ at the drive-in or sprawled out on a picnic blanket at a local park, there’s something truly magical about watching an outdoor movie. So why not bring that experience a bit closer to home—say, right in your own backyard?
With just a few key purchases and a little prep work, you can cozy up at home and watch an outdoor movie with your loved ones.
To help you build an excellent outdoor movie theater for your backyard here’s our list of some of the things you’ll need.
Prepare your backdrop
There are a few different options you can use for your movie’s backdrop:
- A large flat white wall of your home or garage
- A king-sized white bed sheet
- A durable outdoor movie screen or an inflatable screen.
For the best picture quality, you’ll want to opt for an actual outdoor or inflatable screen. Some of the inflatable screen products include speakers and a bunch of other great features—but remember the more features, the larger the price tag.
Buy a projector
When looking for a projector for your outdoor movie, you’ll want to find one with the following specs:
- At least 2,000 lumens (so it can properly project in the darkness)
- HD (for those who want crisp picture quality)
- An HDMI connection (so you can hook it up to your laptop to play the movie)
Finding the right projector doesn’t necessarily need to break the bank, either. For those who want to save on costs, try searching Craigslist or eBay for gently used models.
Set up the sound
While some projectors come with a built-in sound system, it’s hard to beat the effects of a cool surround sound system.
For this, you’ll need at least two speakers to set up on either side of the audience. These speakers should be at least “ear level” for guests to get the full impact.
Tip: To ward off any unwanted conflict, we highly recommend either inviting or warning the neighbors about the movie night.
Create the atmosphere
Since your guests will be sitting for a while, set up a few rows of comfy seats like foldable camping or beach chairs, or some cushy patio loungers. You should also give each guest a blanket in case the air starts to get chilly.
You’ll also want to minimize light pollution around the screen to switch off all the outside lights. At the same time, you can’t have it so dark that no one can see. For a happy medium solution, try lining your backyard pathways with non-evasive light like glowsticks.
Bored of the blockbusters?
Instead of a Hollywood movie, why not make you and your loved ones the stars of the show? Have a special outdoor movie night that only consists of home videos and photos. You and your loved ones can all walk down memory lane together out under the stars.