How-To Host an Outdoor Movie Night
It has been a decade-long dream of mine to host an Outdoor movie night and I’m thrilled to let you know: it happened! We have hosted a few times now and always end up having such a blast. We get a few bottles of wine, pizza, and a bunch of movie-candy. It’s easiest to host in September and October when it gets darker earlier. We have everyone bring a blanket and chair (and movie snack if they were particular) and always set out a few extra chairs. The main reason that prevented me from hosting sooner was always cost. Our church subsidized the event with us (so they own the equipment), but to buy it yourselves it would be around $660. You can also try to borrow certain elements, such as the speaker.
If you are going to buy a projector, it’s important to find one that is specifically for outdoors as the lumen are different (don’t ask me what a lumen is but you need it to be higher than typical indoor projectors). Epson VS250 3200-Lumen SVGA 3LCD Projector ($249, we purchased ‘renewed’ which means it was handled by another customer and they tested it to make sure it is still in perfect condition).
We got tired of borrowing a speaker and eventually purchased the Marshall Stanmore Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and use it for both movie night as well as our kitchen/house speaker. It is really darling and provides plenty of volume ($261)
Here is another option that is a few less shekels: Gemini AS-15P Loudspeaker ($169.95 from Guitar Center, not available on Amazon).
You could also ask your local church/school to borrow for your event!
Screen: I found this 14 foot inflatable screen on Amazon and it’s great! It is super easy to set up including a motor to keep it inflated and is HUGE. The only thing I don’t LOVE about it is that the motor has to keep running through the movie, but it’s not very loud ($134.71 at time of article). If you want to have a Taylor Swift moment and invite over everyone cool and have a huge backyard, there is an 18 feet screen for $189 (but the 14 feet is plenty big in my opinion).
Random Cords and Accessories you will need if you do not already own them:
Lastly, we went and met our back-side neighbors and gave them our movie night information written down, along with my cell phone number so they could call/text if it ever got too loud. This is important! You don’t want to start a feud with the neighbors or (God forbid) have the police called for a noise complaint. It was nice meeting them too!
We will definitely be hosting more movie nights in our future! It’s a great event to host that people can come to and are able to relax without having to socialize the whole time. It would also be super fun for a much anticipated TV show premiere or finale (we used Roku). Here’s some of our favorite movies to play outdoors:
Heavyweights (such a summer classic)
What About Bob
The Breakfast Club
Now and Then
The Wedding Planner
Sleepless in Seattle
You’ve got Mail
Father of The Bride
A Quiet Place (neighbors will love this one!)
Hocus Pocus (around Halloween time)
Kids: Moana, Frozen, Finding Nemo