7 Ideas to Set Up an Outdoor Movie Theater

If you want to set up an outdoor movie theater in your yard or terrace, you can buy a projector or make a homemade one. Keep reading!
7 Ideas to Set Up an Outdoor Movie Theater
Samanta Ruiz

Reviewed and approved by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Written by Samanta Ruiz

Last update: 30 May, 2023

The warmth of summer nights invites us to enjoy the outdoors through different activities. Today, we’ve chosen a very fun one: Setting up an outdoor movie theater in your yard or terrace. Your little ones will be fascinated!

To set up this source of entertainment at home, you need to have the projection elements and also the necessary complements to stay comfortable while watching the chosen film.

We’ve selected some useful ideas to set up your outdoor movie theater and enjoy a family plan in a refreshing and comfortable environment.

Ideas to have an outdoor movie theater in a cozy space

The pandemic was an opportunity to have time to decorate and arrange the house, garden, and terrace, as there were restrictions regarding doing out and spending time away from home. As a result, many families were forced to be creative in order to pass the days and avoid boredom.

Just because the pandemic is over and restrictions have been lifted doesn’t mean we can’t still resort to some of these fantastic ideas! So, organize a family gathering or invite friends and neighbors to enjoy a night at the cinema right in your own yard. To do this, take into account these ideas that we’ll tell you about below.

1. Plan in advance

To organize the outdoor movie theater, you have to make sure that the chosen night is warm and that there’s no wind or rain. It’s best to look at the weather forecast for your city ahead of time to call all the guests in time for the appointed day.

A movie can be a great idea to complete a sleepover for your little ones and their friends!

No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film doesstraight to our emotionsdeep into the twilight of the soul.

-Ingmar Bergman-

A family watching a movie on their terrace.
To set up a movie theater on the terrace you can purchase a projector with WiFi connection or even make a homemade one with the help of the kids.

2. Set up the movie projector

If you don’t already have a projector, there are two options for getting one.

  • Buy a projector with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. There are models that offer features such as Full HD resolution, HDMI connection, USB ports, and a headphone jack.
  • Build a DIY projector. To do this, get the kids together for a craft. They should assemble a box painted or lined in black, make a hole in it, and glue a magnifying glass over the hole. Inside the box, they should make a support and place a cell phone so that it points toward the magnifying glass so that the movie can pass through to the movie screen.

3. Set up a screen to project

In this case, you can also buy a screen with a stand and place it anywhere on the terrace.

Other cheaper options are to use a white wall or hang a sheet from the clothesline or anywhere else. Make sure the sheet is well-taut and project the images there. A good trick is to hem the blanket at the top and bottom and run a wooden slat through it to make it weighted and stretch it taut.

4. Add garden armchairs and cushions

A movie theater seat on the terrace can be a comfortable garden armchair or a folding hammock. For kids, it’s best to sit on cushions on the floor where they’ll be comfortable throughout the show.

If more guests join in, they can each bring their own cushion or beach chair.

5. Keep a light blanket handy

Although summer days are warm, at night, it tends to get cooler, so a soft, light blanket is a must for a movie theater on the terrace to protect the audience from the cold at night.

Two little girls eating snacks while watching a movie in their backyard.
A small table with a bowl of popcorn and a drink is a must for your summer movie theater! Also, if you don’t have a terrace, you can make the most of the garden.

6. Place a small table to serve hors d’oeuvres

There’s nothing more classic than eating while watching a movie at home. Therefore, it’ll be great if you add a table to the decoration where food and drinks can be served.

It’s not about serving elaborate dishes, but simple things to eat with your hands such as sandwiches, fruits, juices, cereals, and, of course, popcorn.

7. Add a touch of freshness

Just being under the stars is relaxing, but we can also add more pleasant sensations to this moment. For example, a while before starting the show, water the plants or you can also wash the patio floor with your favorite scented cleaner. This way, the space will be fresh and perfumed.

The benefits of movies for children

In addition to enjoying the outdoors and a good movie, with this type of activity, you can take advantage of the benefits of movies for children, such as the following:

Setting up an outdoor movie theater is guaranteed fun

One of the most valuable lessons that the pandemic has taught us is to learn to value our time and space. Thanks to this, today we can enjoy activities at home in a different way and activate the imagination to surprise children with entertaining projects, such as setting up an outdoor movie theater in your yard or terrace.

Surely, no one will resist this summer classic, which will leave indelible memories for everyone involved!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.