How to Turn your Back Yard into a DIY Outdoor Movie Theater

backyard movie

How to Host the Perfect Backyard Movie Night

Now that summer is almost here, you might be looking for some outdoor fun for your family.  One awesome idea that is on the rise is turning your back yard into an outdoor movie theater.  Who doesn’t love a night at the movies?  But by the time you’ve paid for movie tickets and snacks, a night at the movies can turn into a nightmare!  Turning your backyard into a movie theater is a fun, inexpensive way to make sure that your family has some great times together this summer. Here are five steps to building a DIY Outdoor Movie Theater in your own backyard.

screenSetting up the Screen

The first thing you will need to do is hang up a screen.  Before you go and throw up any old bed sheet, keep in mind that whatever screen you end up using will have an effect on the quality of your movie.  Because of this, you definitely don’t want to cut corners when it comes to finding a quality screen.  Fortunately, professional-quality outdoor screens are pretty inexpensive.  Here are a few websites where you can pick up an outdoor movie theater screen to fit any budget.

If your screen doesn’t already come with a frame, you will need to hang it somewhere along a flat surface.  Be sure to put some thought into where the best place for your screen would be.  Flat surfaces along your house or garage work great, but make sure that you leave plenty of room so that all of your friends and family can easily see the screen.

projectorSetting up a Projector

The next thing you will need is a projector.  If you will be playing the movie from your laptop, you will need a projector with an HDMI port.  If you’re going to be playing a movie from a DVD Player, you will need a projector with VGA plugins.  Here are a few inexpensive projectors online, or check out this guide for choosing the right outdoor projector:

Viewsonic: Starting at $299.00

VVME: Starting at $179.99

Don’t forget about cables!  Depending on your projector, you will need some sort of cable that runs from your DVD Player to the projector.  Typically, an HDMI cord or VGA Cable works.  Do some research to find out which cable you will need.

speakerSetting up the Sound System

The third essential item you will need is a sound system.  If you don’t already have some speakers that you can hook up to your laptop (or DVD Player), here are a few suggestions for speaker systems that you will need.

Cyber Acoustics: Starting at: $46.39.

Arion Legacy:  Starting at $64.99.

Whichever sound system you decide to use, make sure that its one with a subwoofer.  Depending on how big your yard is, and how many people you are expecting to host, you will need some speakers with a bit of power.  Most likely, standard computer speakers won’t be loud enough to give you a high quality “movie theater sound.”

lawn chairLawn Chairs

Once your audio and video equipment is all set up and ready to go, you need to start thinking about where your guests are going to sit.  There’s always the option of supplying blankets for your guests to lay or sit on, but lawn chairs can be a more comfortable option.  Go through your garage and gather all of your lawn chairs.  If you still need more, here are some inexpensive options online:

Caravan Infinity Gravity Chair: Starting at $59.00

Coleman Folding Quad Chair: Starting at $16.00

popcornPopcorn Machine

The last essential item that you will need for your movie night is a popcorn machine.  While this is not absolutely necessary, a popcorn machine can be exactly what you need to take your movie night to the next level.  If you’re going to have a movie theater quality sound system and projector system, it only makes sense to serve up some movie theater quality snacks.  Here are a few popcorn machines online that won’t break the bank.

Great Northern Popcorn Machine: $48.00

Nostalgia Electrics Kettle Popcorn Popper:  Starting at $67.

After your equipment is all set up, and the popcorn is popped, all that’s left to do is invite the neighbors over.  And now you’re ready to enjoy a night at the movies in your own backyard!

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