How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night in Your Backyard
It’s time to bring the big screen to your own backyard! An outdoor movie night is a great way to make the most of the summer weather. It combines entertaining al fresco with enjoying your favorite films and is a great way to host friends and family in a hassle-free way that everyone will enjoy. The good news is that creating your own backyard theatre is much easier than you probably think it is and can be done on just about any budget. In fact, your biggest problem will be deciding which film to show! Here’s everything you’ll need to host a successful outdoor movie night at home.
Set up your equipment
When it comes to outdoor movie nights, a projector is a must. There are a number of good projectors available at a variety of price points that will connect to WiFi, streaming services, your laptop or streaming stick, or even download content to use offline. Be sure you have enough extension cords available for the projector, devices, and any speakers or sound systems you may be adding as well.
For the screen, you can purchase a fancy foldable projector screen or create your own using a white sheet hung from a fence or siding, or using a rope and drapery hooks. You could also use a white wall. Another option is to rent an inflatable screen from your local party supply store.
Arrange comfy seating
You don’t need to buy extra seating for your outdoor movie night. In fact, there’s something extra cozy about bringing some of your indoor furniture outside. You can use everything from couches and chairs to blankets and pillows or even hammocks, providing guests with a choice of lounging options. Of course, camping chairs and patio furniture will also work well. Make sure that you have some extra blankets, throws, or sleeping bags for people to snuggle up in if it gets a bit chilly, as well as other summer necessities like bug spray and citronella candles.
Snack in style
You can have a lot of fun creating the snacks for your outdoor movie night by putting your own twist on movie theatre classics. For example, create a popcorn bar where guests can add their own toppings to freshly popped corn to create their ideal salty/sweet combo. Hiring a popcorn machine is also a fun touch. Provide guests with colorful paper cones to scoop up their popcorn. You can also put out a selection of candies (Sour Patch Kids and Red Vines, anyone?), as well as nuts, fruit, cheese and crackers. If you want to serve a more substantial meal, burgers and hot dogs always go down well. Provide a selection of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Set the scene
You don’t have to go all-out in terms of decor for your outdoor movie night, but a few touches can help to create the right atmosphere. For example, you could outline the perimeter of your ‘theatre’ with tiki torches or hang outdoor lights. You don’t want bright light, but if the seating area is completely dark, it’ll make it difficuit for anyone trying to get up to go to the restroom, etc. Another fun idea is to create a ‘now showing’ sign at the entrance to your outdoor theatre so guests know what they’ll be viewing.
Pick the right movie
Which brings us to the choice of movie. The key here is to pick something that most of your guests will like. Cinema classics are always a good idea, or you could pick a theme or an actor/director to link your choices. Or, if there’s a new release you and your friends can’t wait to see, this is a great way to celebrate and watch it together.
There you have it – everything you need for a movie night under the stars!