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How to Project a Movie Outside

DIY Your Own Backyard Movie Theater in 3 Steps

The next time you crave a movie night, skip the local cinema and step into your backyard instead. With minimal supplies and a simple, straightforward setup, you can create an outdoor theater for you and your friends. Hoping to soak up the warm evenings this season? Pop some popcorn, grab a few blankets, and follow these tips to watch your favorite flick right in your own backyard.

1. Choose the Space

  • You can't have a movie without power, so be sure to find a spot outdoors with access to outlets.
  • Design your setup with lighting in mind. Make sure that nearby house lights, street lights, or passing car headlights won't reflect against your movie screen.

2. Build a Screen

  • Can't afford a retractable projector screen? Not to worry: there are plenty of DIY options. Opt for a plain, white wall or crisp, white sheets, either tautly taped or sewn together, to act as the display.
  • For a clear, crisp image, create a makeshift blackout cloth by attaching dark fabric to the back of your white screen.
  • If you're worried that your sheet will wrinkle or shift in the wind, then you can secure it with a thin frame made of wood or lightweight piping.

3. Set Up the Technology

  • The gist: connect the video signal from your DVD player into the projector, then connect the audio signal from your DVD player into the speakers.
  • Sure, you can go all out with surround sound, but a pair of basic computer speakers is a perfectly fine, easy-to-set-up alternative.
  • Adjusting the size of your projection is as simple as moving the projector itself either closer to or farther from the screen.

Image Source: Flickr user plural
Join The Conversation
Grace-Hitchcock Grace-Hitchcock 5 years
I love this! Can we do this?
Kelly-Schwarze Kelly-Schwarze 5 years
If I had a backyard I'd be setting up an outdoor theater immediately!
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 5 years
Hey Starla Homsey and Jonas Wright , let's make this happen.
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