Hosting an Outdoor Movie Party

• 20 July 2011






















I thought the ditty on backyard movies, in recently-created online design magazine Covet Garden, was short, sweet, and just the right amount of inspiration. The article outlined what you'd need and where to find it and now all I can think about is setting up something like this for my kids this summer.

What about you, have you ever set up an outdoor movie? Do you have any logistical tips or pointers you'd like to share with those of us who've never set up this type of activity? I bet Craigslist would be a great place to pick up a projector for a reasonable price. I think I'll go check on that...

images via Covet Garden

12 comments:

Jessica said...

So glad you liked the story! Thanks for spreading the word!

Jennefer said...

It isn't cheep, but Frontgate sells an indoor/outdoor theater system with screen, speakers and projector, for that purpose. However, Craigslist is probably a good way to go. My sister-in-law got her's at a garage sale for a steal. During the summer (in Pennsylvania), they have movie night in their backyard every Friday and all of the neighborhood comes to join in. The children of the neighborhood look forward to it with anticipation each week and I think it has actually helped make the neighborhood a stronger one.

dandee said...

We did this for the first time with our children last summer and everyone loved it so much, we decided to make it a tradition. We have a friend we borrow a projector from. I wonder if someone you know has one to borrow too? It's always hard to spend money on something that's used only once or twice a year, regardless of the price. Or perhaps there is a family you could split the cost of the projector with?

This year our biggest dilemma is choosing a movie. xo.

The Best Family said...

we do this several times each summer and sell themed foods to raise money for a charity in guatemala that we support. last friday we showed "bee movie" and my nine year old made tiny chocolate cupcakes with yellow stripes. it's a ton of fun and the kids love it. it's best for older children though - or little ones who had a nice long nap that afternoon - as the movies don't start until it's dark, around 9:30ish here in michigan. luckily for us, my husband does a lot of tech work with schools, so we have a screen and projector and just run the movies off a laptop in front of the garage. we call it our driveway drive-in . . . a great summer tradition and one we all look forward to! we also use the projector/screen to show movies in the living room during the winter when the girls have big sleepovers and the projector alone to show them on my daughters' bedroom walls if they are having just one or two friends spend the night. it's a good investment in fun! :)

Ana Degenaar said...

I need to ass this to my bucket list.

Angela said...

We gathered in the garden on le 14 juillet for an evening of French film and food. We showed aerial footage of French with French music during dinner and after dinner we watched the 1946, B&W "La belle et la bĂȘte" It was magical.We had a projector and used the rear projection feature so we didn't have to worry about people walking in front of the camera. The projector and speakers were in the house, the french doors were opened and an old dust ruffle was our screen. Folding over the ruffles I sewed long "pockets" open at each end and we slide PVC pipe through to give us a nice taut screen. (We've learned from experience that simply hanging a sheet doesn't work too well). Sorry I don't have pictures to share, I'll work on that.

Stephanie said...

Wow. Jennefer, Danyelle, Angela, The Best Family, you all have the best ideas! I'm sold on this idea but need to come up with a cost-effective solution. You've provided great tips and I appreciate you taking the time to share! So Frontgate, a friend, or C-list it is.

Merci!!!

CMN said...

Yep, we did it for our crowd of nieces & nephews ... and it was the HUGEST hit! We simply hooked a projector to the laptop, inserted a classic dvd ("The Apple Dumpling Gang"), and projected on to white butcher paper taped to an outside wall - easy. The kids. Loved. it! I think they enjoyed the movie so much more because of the memorable viewing experience too.

Speakers on the other hand were a surprising obstacle. Since we don't normally have external speakers hooked in to the laptop. But I'll bet the addressed all that in the article, right?

Well, definitely make it happen, Steph. You'll be thrilled you did!

Angela said...

We used an old quitar amp for our speaker ... helps to know a geek that's good at adapting things. Many work places and churches have projectors that attach to laptops and some are willing to share. A good rental company will have a projector too that you can hook up to your laptop.

Brooke Reynolds said...

I think if you asked around you can find a projector to borrow.. you also might be able to rent one for the night. We borrow my brothers and set up our screen in the backyard. My husband made a simple frame from spare wood and we staple gun a queen sized sheet to it. Speakers are a must, since you're outside the speakers on your laptop will be way too quiet. We use two sets of speakers and we make sure to warn the neighbors so they don't wonder what on earth we're doing! Picking a movie that pleases adults and kids can be tricky, last year we did Night at the Museum, we're thinking Toy Story 3 for this year. The kids love our outdoor movie night!

Sam said...

our neighborhood has movie nights for the kids every summer. the kids all hang out on sleeping bags in the front and the adults pull out lawn chairs. you can usually find a teacher who has a projector to borrow...

PaperCourt said...

We're doing this tomorrow night with a projector borrowed from my husband's office. Looking forward to starting a new tradition!

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