For many of us, watching movies is one of our favourite pastimes. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as settling down on the couch after a long day at work, putting on an old favourite and enjoying some snacks while you watch.
Most of us have also been to the drive-in theatre at least once in our lives, and I’m sure we can agree that the experience is entirely different to watching at home. There’s something magical about watching a movie in the open air while lying on a bed of pillows in the boot of your car. It’s somehow both nostalgic and novel at the same time.
A backyard cinema is a great idea if you’re looking to shake up your usual viewing habits and plan a romantic night with a loved one or arrange a gathering with some friends. It might require more planning than simply turning on the TV, but will undoubtedly result in more memories.
Before beginning any DIY projects at home, it’s always a good idea to check that your insurance is up to date, just in case you have an accident. Click here to make sure you’re appropriately covered by your home insurance.
A backyard cinema is a great idea if you’re looking to shake up your usual viewing habits and plan a romantic night with a loved one or arrange a gathering with some friends. [You might also consider leveling up your backyard by adding or changing the design of your fence. To do that, you can ask help from Illinois Fence and hear their recommendation to perfectly execute your movie night in the backyard.
It might require more planning than simply turning on the TV, but will undoubtedly result in more memories.
The most essential item for the DIY outdoor cinema, without which the entire evening would be lost, is the projector. There are a few things you need to consider when purchasing a projector that can make a huge difference to the viewing experience.
First of all, you want to look at the lumens. Lumens refers to the brightness of the projection, and you’ll want at least 2000 to be able to see the movie properly. Projectors with more than 2000 lumens are even better because they’ll be able to cut through ambient light, and you might even be able to start the movie before it gets dark. You should consider how much surrounding light there will be in the area when deciding whether or not it’s worth it to go for a brighter projector.
Another important feature of your potential projector is the throw distance. This refers to how big the projection will be and how far away the projector needs to be to achieve this size. You’ll need to consider how big your backyard is and whether you have the appropriate resources to set your projector up at this distance.
You will also want to think about what you’re planning to play the movie on so that you know what ports you require the projector to have and whether or not you need to buy an adapter. In some cases, you may also need an extension cord or two. You may not need any ports at all if you’re planning to use Google Chromecast or something similar, but you’ll need to check that the projector has this functionality and how easy it is to set up – you don’t want to be having technical difficulties once you’ve invited your guests over.
Ideally, the projector should have a 1080 HD resolution and an aspect ratio (the proportion between width and height) of 16:9, because these are the features most commonly used in movie releases. Some older projectors may have a different aspect ratio which just means that you might have light leaks around the sides.
You might be able to find a used projector towards the end of the year, around the time when schools and offices are being cleaned out. Some of these might be projectors designed more for business and education purposes – used for lectures and presentations – but they will still do the job.
Screen & Sound System
A screen is less essential, because you can project against the side of a building or a plain sheet if you like. Most people probably won’t be too worried if the screen is slightly wrinkled or faded, especially if you’re planning on serving drinks. However, if you want to step it up and provide an exceptional viewing experience, a screen can really make all the difference. If you’re worried about having to set it up, you could go for an inflatable one to make it a bit easier.
One thing to consider when looking into buying a screen is whether you would prefer front or rear projection. Movie theaters use front projection, meaning the projector sits behind the audience, because this allows for the best use of space. In your outdoor movie theatre however, rear projection (the projector sits on the opposite side of the screen to the audience), may help to limit shadows from people moving around and obstacles like cords will be out of the way. Click here if you want to learn more about the features and benefits of front vs rear projection.
It’s generally more important to ensure that you’ve got a good sound system than a screen, because your audience will lose interest quickly if they can’t hear or understand what’s going on. You might want to invest in some outdoor speakers so that the sound is crisp and clear.
Of course there are a number of other less technical aspects of organising an outdoor movie night that are just as important for creating the right atmosphere.
The most convenient lighting arrangement is probably to throw up some fairy lights and hang them across a fence – twinkling lights are always perfect for setting the mood. If that’s not your style, you could invest in some tiki torches or lanterns and stick to a specific theme.
One thing that many people overlook is the temperature – if you’re planning on heading out to the backyard in winter, blankets may not be enough. Hiring an outdoor heater will help to create the perfect environment and ensure that your audience is comfortable.
In terms of the snack situation, there are so many great options that could really elevate your evening. You could set up a table and provide a number of home cooked options, or set up a picnic blanket with a charcuterie board. Of course, if all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is just order a pizza.