What could be better than a cool summer night under the light of the moon and stars alongside a crackling campfire? How about adding an outdoor movie? So call all your family, friends, and neighbors for a fun evening sure to please. Of course, setting up for a outdoor movie night takes a little prep work but it is easier than you might think thanks to modern technology. You could even theme the whole night around your selected movie. I mean who doesn’t love a themed party?? Your backyard movie night could be epic and one that everyone will talk about long after the closing credits.
So let’s get started with the basics! One thing you will for sure need is a movie screen. There are so many ways that you can set up an outdoor screen from rolled projection screen fabric to an inflatable movie screen. You could even use white blackout cloth. For our movie night we used a huge white tarp. We choose this option because the grommets made it easy to hang and tie down. To hang the tarp, we added cup hooks to the top rail of our deck. Then used string and tent stakes to hold the bottom in place especially if there is any wind. And voila, you have a screen!
Now my husband is the genius behind all the electronic stuff in our household. So I leave that part up to him. You will of course need a projector. We bought an Epson projector a few years back and use it for movies and video games in our basement. Without getting too technical and loosing you on this, you will want to pick one with over 3,000 lumens, a resolution of 1080p, and HDMI ports. You will also need a media player for the movie like a blue ray player, laptop, or game console. Our old school speakers are from the 1980s, literally. My husband owned these speakers back in high school and has managed to keep them all these years. But I got to hand it to him, they still actually work well. Once you have everything connected then you are ready to rock and roll!
In the past we have done the outdoor movie night in the fall. Straw bales make great seating and go with any outdoor fall theme. However if you have spent anytime in Indiana than you know that the weather is so unpredictable. Too many times the weather has spoiled our fun so we decided to host this year’s outdoor movie night in the summer. Yep, never going back now. It was perfect weather! So instead of straw bales, we just asked everyone to bring lawn chairs or blankets. I have seen some pretty amazing seating ideas on Pinterest lately that has my mind spinning for next year.
The final necessary detail to a perfect move night experience is…you guessed it…POPCORN! Seriously now, what is movie night without popcorn. So make or buy as much popcorn as you can. My favorite set up is with a popcorn bar. Some toppings to add to your popcorn bar are marshmallows, chocolate chips, gummi bears, sprinkles, nerds, mini pretzels, or even nuts. But why stop there? Since I already had a campfire going, I decided on a s’mores bar too. If you know me at all then you know that I have taken s’mores to a whole new level. I have found different flavored marshmallows, special chocolate, and even other options to the traditional graham crackers to create the ultimate gourmet s’mores bar. Go ahead and wipe the drool that is dripping from your mouth.
Did someone say theme? Okay let’s be real honest here…I have failed more times than I can count when I say to myself, ‘Let’s just do minimal decorations this time and scale it down a bit’. Then I decide to add just one more cutesy themed item that I found on Pinterest. Then Two….Then three and before I know it is a full blown vomit of the theme everywhere. So if you can’t tell from my pictures, the theme of this movie night was Incrediables. Since Incrediables 2 came out this summer, we thought it was fitting to play the original. After all it has only been 14 years since the last movie. My goal with the decorations was to keep the theme classic. Everything from the Incrediables logo banner to the Jack Jack cookies was all meticulously planned out. We even had super hero masks for each kid to transform into their superhero alter-ego. Plus dollar store glow sticks, necklaces, and swords provided endless fun in the dark.
So maybe just maybe, I inspired you to go out and set up your own outdoor movie night. I promise the memories you make will be worth it.