A backyard movie night under the stars makes the best memories for kids and adults alike. But instead of trying to recreate a movie theater, focus on creating the best outdoor DIY move night experience you can.
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Backyard Movie Night Seating
If you don't have enough seats to recreate a movie theatre in your backyard, don't panic! Use whatever you have on hand, whether that is beach chairs or loungers. Grab a few pillows or blankets to create a perfect outdoor movie experience. Wayfair has a great selection of creative seating options if you need more options.
What Are the Best Snacks for a Backyard Movie Night?
Even in your own backyard, movie theatre movie snacks are a must for any movie night party!
Popcorn is an obvious must-have snack for any movie theater experience. Keep it simple and give everyone a cup of popcorn or go all-out and create a popcorn bar complete with mix-ins like chocolate chips and marshmallows. Or, serve something unusual like Moroccan-style popcorn or taco Popcorn to match the theme of the movie. For more substantial snacks, offer your backyard movie night guests hamburgers and hot dogs.
If you have space, set up a canopy for your own backyard movie theater concession stand.
Outdoor Backyard Movie Night Gear
Be sure you have everything you need to set up your backyard theater! It's possible to have anything from a state-of-the-art home theater to a cozy DIY backyard movie theater. No matter what type of backyard movie party you are hosting, you will need the same basic type of gear.
There will likely be a lot of cords involved in your outdoor movie night set-up. So you'll probably need an extension cord to make it work.
A movie screen is a necessity, but it does not have to elaborate. In general, it's best to get the biggest screen your space can handle.
If you are on a tight budget, skip spending a lot of money on a screen. Some outdoor movie nights use nothing more than a large white sheet for a screen. This can be placed on a DIY frame or simply tacked to a garage or available wall. If you can afford it, an inflatable screen is the fastest way to set up a movie night and get your movie party started. Most inflatable movie screens require a blower, but these tend to be quiet and do not interfere with the movie's sound. If you purchase a screen, look for one with black backing. This will stop light from going through the screen, making it possible to host an outdoor movie party before it is completely dark. Whichever screen you choose, make sure that it is an outdoor movie screen!
When it comes to a projector, look for one that is high-definition. This type of projector will provide the best picture quality. The way to tell how bright the picture will be in your backyard is to look at the number of lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the better!
When it comes to watching movies in the backyard, you want to be sure the picture quality is bright enough to be seen by everyone. To ensure a bright picture your projector should have a minimum of 2,000 to 2,500 lumens if you plan to watch in complete darkness. If you plan on starting movies a little before sunset look for a projector with at least 3,000 lumens. This is also a good number to look for if your backyard décor includes ambient lighting, such as tea lights or a campfire. BenQ makes a variety of highly-rated projectors for a variety of budgets and needs.
Some projectors have built-in speakers. However, the sound quality does not tend to be very good. If you are a casual backyard movie watcher with a small crowd, this may be fine. Most backyard movie theatres do include an additional way to amplify sound.
Bluetooth speakers are the perfect solution. Depending on the size of your yard, one may be enough. However, if you get more than one, try to get the same brand so that they can be used together. Also, consider whether you are using an inflatable screen with a blower or if you will be competing with the sounds of neighbors or traffic. A backyard movie theatre in a rural area may not require as powerful speakers as a city set-up. A waterproof option like Lifeproof Aquaphonics is a good choice. They can withstand some dew on the lawn or a light sprinkle. A few can even be paired together to spread out among a crowd. A Sony GTKXB60/B High Power Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker will provide enough amplification for a crowd and provide music for an after-party!
Remember that unless you are sitting very close to the projector with a small crowd, you will need a way to project more sound, such as an amplifier. Do not overlook this part of your backyard movie theatre.
Now that you have your screen, projector, and speakers, the final step is to chose how to play your movie.
To play your movie, you will need to connect a device or Blu-Ray player to your projector. Depending on your gear, this may be with an HDMI cable or Wi-Fi. Some projectors have ports to connect your phone or Firestick for streaming.
All that is left to chose a movie from Netflix or your Blu-Ray collection!
More Backyard Movie Night Ideas
You don't need an excuse to set up a backyard movie theater in your own backyard. But, if you need an excuse, outdoor movies make great birthday parties. If hosting a party for young kids, give them each a large box to sit in to create a Drive-In theater. You can also encourage costumes related to your movie's theme or serve snacks that go along with your movie. If you have outdoor lights you can change them to match the mood of the movie, such as blue lights for a showing of Frozen or yellow lights to match Minions.
Since the idea is to be in the dark and focus on the outdoor movie screen, you don't need much extra décor or additional party ideas. Most outdoor movie guests will be thrilled just to have a novel experience!
However, if your yard is large enough, a campfire will provide warmth (and more fun!) to backyard movie-goers on cool nights.
Gather the kids, grab the popcorn, pull out the blankets, get cozy and settle in for the best backyard movie night ever! Once your friends and family get used to outdoor movie nights, you may never purchase another movie theatre ticket.
Have a great #PartyBackyard and enjoy #NightsOutdoors! Be sure to share your favorite photos and ideas with loved ones on FamilyApp.
Your backyard movie theater will be the hottest and most fun ticket in the neighborhood!