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Make Your Own Outdoor Movie Theatre

25th February 2021

As we leave the coldness of winter and head towards warmer months, we absolutely cannot wait to get back outside more. There's nothing better than the feeling of a warm evening and being able to sit outdoors while the sky gets dark. Picture the scene: stars shining, popcorn in hand, a cosy blanket and your favourite movie. Sound good? Well, we can't think of a better way to spend those warm nights than cosying up and putting together your own outdoor movie theatre! 

There's no doubting that outdoor movie screenings were a huge trend over the last couple of years, however thanks to lockdown many of us will have missed out on the opportunity, and who knows when they'll be open again. Luckily, with the help of some equipment and garden space, setting up your own outdoor movie experience is easier than you think!

Setting the scene

Whether you're setting up in the back garden on the lawn, or on your patio, it's important to consider a few things before you get started. Wind will play absolute havoc with your 'screen', so you want to choose an area that is relatively covered from wind, such as against a wall. Sitting on the grass? Use a large picnic blanket or old duvet cover to place underneath you. You want to be comfy, of course, so get those cushions out (or your favourite garden chairs), and a cosy blanket on hand in case it gets a bit chilly. For when it gets dark, string some lights around your seating area, or purchase some outdoor wall lighting to set an ambient mood.

Getting the right equipment

When you hear the word projector, you probably think of those bulky types your teachers used to wheel out in lessons. Thankfully, projectors are much trendier nowadays and feature a whole lot of useful features (yes, even voice control!). A Home Cinema type projector is the perfect choice and there plenty to choose from for any budget. From HD to 4K resolutions, you're sure to find a projector just perfect for what you need. Consider how often you'll be using the projector, and the size of the screen you'll be using. Who knows, it might be something you end up using indoors too or for watching sport on!

Consider where you'll be streaming your movie from, as you will be outdoors don't forget. Depending on your setup, you may get away with using your home PC if you have a long enough HDMI cable to reach outdoors. If you're planning on sitting a little further away from your house, we'd recommend using something lightweight such as a Chromebook or light laptop with a long battery life. Make sure to check the connections on your laptop and projector, in case you need an adapter. To eliminate cables, consider a HDMI sender and receiver to stream content from your device to your projector.

While most projectors have built-in audio, to really achieve a surround-sound feel, you may want to consider purchasing additional speakers for your setup. If your projector supports it, wireless or Bluetooth speakers are perfect for portability. Alternatively, keep the volume on the down-low by using wireless headphones for that 'silent disco' feel - your neighbours will thank you.

For your 'screen', you can keep it cheap by using a white bedsheet, or a large piece of white fabric (if you have any lying around in the garage somewhere!). If the wind is on your side, you could attach the sheet to a washing line using pegs, or alternatively place the sheet on a wall or fence, using pegs or strong double-sided sticky tape. For optimal picture quality, however, we'd recommend using a projector screen! A portable screen is so easy to prop up and gives you an instant, cinema feel. 


No movie night is complete without snacks! Grab yourself some of your favourite sweet treats, or prepare something savoury like healthy air-fried chicken. For drinks, prepare some yummy smoothies outdoors with a portable blender, or grab a bottle of something nice, sit back and relax!

We hope our tips have given you some inspiration for those warm nights at home. Have a fantastic outdoor cinema experience!

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