Just about every day someone contacts us about hosting an outdoor movie event in their backyard for a birthday or graduation party, an Oscar viewing party or a Sunday night football game. At Fresh Air Flicks our focus is on big, professional events in large parks or iconic locations. Our services can cost thousands of dollars. Cost prohibitive for a backyard party. However, we won't deny the how much fun a backyard movie can be, so we've compiled this list of information to save you the hassle of scouring the internet.
There are a number of methods and levels of difficulty in pulling off an event like this. The easiest way to do it is to hire a professional. If you live in or around New York City, the links below will direct you to a few companies that provide an excellent full-service backyard outdoor cinema for under $1,000.
If you're planning on making your backyard movie night a weekly event, it may be most cost effective to simply purchase a home system for your own use. Some of the articles below will refer you to specific equipment manufacturers, but we recommend the Cinebox Home Backyard Theater System from Open Air Cinema.
For the hard core DIY'er, there are a number of articles and message boards filled with instructions on crafting, painting, or constructing your own backyard movie screen. To make your search a little easier, we've compiled a list of articles below.
Please reply back to this post about the success you've had with your backyard movie and by all means, send us a photo of your set-up.
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You can start with a used LCD or DLP projector and a bed sheet and have a blast! You may already have enough retired home theater gear lying around to get a good start! Eventually you might run full surround sound with several speakers and subwoofers. Learn by browsing our forums, find great projector and screen deals in the Backyard Theater Marketplace, sprinkle in some "do it yourself", mix well with a popcorn machine, munchies, refreshments and some friends. Watch movies, sporting events, or use your PS3, Wii, Xbox system with your outdoor movie screen. Before you can say "Down in front!" -- you've got a Backyard Theater and fun for the whole family. - DLP Projectors - LCD Projectors - Inflatable Screens - Projection Screens - Surround Receivers - Outdoor Speakers - Powered PA Speakers - Popcorn Machines
Backyard Home Theater - Enjoy The Home Theater Experience Outdoors - How To Use a Video Projector Outside - Using a Video Projector Outside
With high gasoline prices, more expensive air-fares, and high theme park ticket prices, getting away for the summer is certainly more difficult these days, especially if you have a family. If you are facing discontent on the homefront because of your inability to take your clan on summer vacation, why not add a little adventure and excitement at home on those warm Summer nights with an outdoor home theater?
Lights … Cameras … Insect Repellent? How To Build Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater | GeekDad | Wired.com
Last month, I was sorting through the mail after work. Amid the plastic windowed envelopes offering lower interest rates on credit cards and thick glossy catalogs touting everything from a ladder to help an arthritic dog climb onto your bed to a $6,000 coyote skin throw rug, I found an item that really grabbed my attention, a Backyard Outdoor Theater System. The combination consisted of a projector/dvd combo, two speakers and a 12′ x 6′ screen.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to replicate the novelty of the drive-in, right in your own backyard. And as the saying goes, if you build it, they will come: All you need is some basic equipment and refreshments, and you’ll have would-be moviegoers peering over the fence, hoping for an invitation.
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First, you need to have a wide white-colored tarps. Maybe 10x15-feet, 15x20-feet or any size or more bigger as you like. It's look like a billboard vinyl tarps wide as you have seen in the city street or downtown area.
Ever go to the drive-in movies when you were a kid? Fun wasn't it? Well, drive-ins have pretty much gone the way of the dodo, but with a few (relatively) inexpensive pieces and parts, you can create your own outdoor theater.
The quest to build a great home theater is one of our recurring themes for Engadget's How-To Tuesdays. And as anyone home theater buff will tell you, any HDTV worth its weight in salt will present its viewer with a 16:9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio display, or in some cases, project a 1.8:1 ratio. For todays How-To, though, we're building one of the holy grails of the home theater: a 2.35:1 widescreen. Yep, that's movie theater widescreen, alright. The most important component is the screen material. Mom's old bed-sheet just isn't good enough (and is actually quite nast). Most fabric stores carry rolls of material called curtain backing or black-out cloth. It's a light, opaque white material used to make curtains actually block light. Made from cotton and polyester, one side looks like woven cotton while the other looks like it's plastic coated. At our local fabric store it was about $5 per yard and 54-inches wide. When buying your fabric, we suggest buying at least 4-inches wider and longer than your planned screen dimensions to allow room for construction. If you want to build a MECHA-screen, it's available even wider.Shopping list:(3) 1 x 4 x 96-inch Douglas Fir boards(1) 2 x 2-foot x 13/64 piece of plywood1-1/8th-inch fine thread drywall screwsStaples(3) yards of white curtain blackout cloth Tools:Drill with Phillips screwdriver bitSawStaple GunHammerUtility knife or scissors Our 2.35:1 screen is designed to maximize the materials we purchased. We decided to aim for a 104-inch wide, 44-inch tall screen. By placing 1 x 4 boards at the ends of our 8-foot (96-inch) boards, we achieved 103.5-inches of real estate. The frame is constructed using theater set 'Flat' construction techniques. 1 x 4-inch boards, some plywood and drywall screws will make a very strong frame. We used Douglas Fir because it was easier to find nice straight boards, and it costs about the same as the more brittle (and bent) select pine. (To visually check the board, hold the end and look down the board lengthwise like a gun barrel. Avoid twisted and curving boards.) To get started, the 1 x 4-inch boards need to be cut to length. Don't forget that 1 x 4-inch wood is actually .75 x 3.5 by the time it gets to you! Our trick for getting them even is to screw the two boards together and cut both ends at once. Screw two of your 8-foot long boards together and just trim the ends so they're perfectly even. Unscrew them and set them aside. Cut around 45 inches off your last board. Screw the two pieces together and trim one end even. Now cut the two boards down to 44 inches at the same time. (Don't hit the screws with your saw!) You'll need to cut some 1-foot triangles out of the plywood for each corner. If you don't have a saw, you could just have the hardware store cut out 1-foot squares and use a square on each corner. We cut our triangles on a table-saw. Lay out your wooden frame on a flat surface. The edges of the 44-inch pieces will be against the ends of the 8-foot pieces. To get the frame square, get a helper and a tape measure. Measure diagonally corner to corner. If the two measurements match, it's square. Place your plywood triangles on the corners. We uses a scrap piece of 1 x 4-inch to place the triangle evenly off the edges. Use your screw-driving drill to put the drywall screws in a pattern similar to the picture. (It's generally 3 screws in each corner and a couple along the areas the boards join.) You might want to double check the squareness of the frame as you work just to be safe. When your frame is done, it'll look something like this. Theater flats usually have a cross bar, but for our light wearing application, it's just not needed. Now you need a CLEAN surface to work on. Lock the dog in another room and lay your blackout material down on the floor. Carpet or a large clean blanket is important to use. Place your new frame (triangles up) on the middle of the material. Starting in the middle of one of the long sides, wrap the cloth over the frame. Apply a gentle tension to the edge of the cloth and staple the cloth about 3/4 of an inch from the outer edge of the frame. Work your way completely to one end. Return to the middle and work the other direction. Repeat for the opposite side. Do the same with the short sides. As you work around, evenly tension the cloth so that there will be no wrinkles. Take your time and it should be fine. In the corners fold the material over itself and staple everything down. If the fabric came out nice and even, go ahead and tap all the staples snugly into the wood with a light hammer. Don't hammer so hard that you cut the fabric in the process, you just want the spread the tension of the staple across the fabric. When you're done, trim the extra material with a utility knife or scissors. Be careful and don't slip and cut your new screen. Now that the screen is built, mounting depends on you. I used two brass shelf mounting tabs and drywall screws. Just locate some studs (our are part of a cloth covered frame behind the screen). and screw the tab to the back of the frame, and run a drywall screw through the mounting hole. Voila! Total bill of materials: about $35 US.
If you are trying to put together your home theater on a budget and you are do-it-yourselfer, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you build your own projection screen. You will likely lose some display quality with a homemade screen compared to a high-end projection screen, but unless you evaluate them side-by-side you may never notice the difference.
One of the more popular options for a homemade screen involves a simple white sheet. Get some painter's tape (it won't peel off your paint) to secure a plain white sheet to the wall. Tape down the top and the two sides of the sheet to prevent movement from drafts or people movement.
Build your own outdoor movie theater screen. These 8x10 or 10x20 white movie screens are ideal for showing movies and slide shows outdoors. Kits include fittings, optional 8x10 or 10X20 white tarp, and ball ties for constructing your own outdoor theater screen. Tubing is not include due to high shipping costs but can be purchased at either home building centers or electrical suppliers. (EMT is electrical conduit). Individual fittings and tarps can be purchased if you wish to build a custom size movie theater screen.