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Enjoy Your Own Backyard Movie Theater

At Mosquito Hunters, we love ideas for having fun in the backyard with friends and family. Have you ever tried setting up a backyard movie theater?  After the mosquitoes and ticks have been kicked out, avoid a trip to the movie theater and invite your friends to watch a flick outdoors instead.

This easy four-step party plan turns your yard into the best seats in the house (without even being in the house).

Step One: SET THE SCENE

Without breaking the bank, it’s surprisingly easy to turn your yard into an outdoor movie theater.

Projector and Speakers

  • Option A. Rent your projector and speakers (resources below).
  • Option B. Most home stereo speakers can easily work outdoors with some minor changes to the wiring or wi-fi settings.
  • Option C. A basic projector can be bought online from sites like Amazon for as little as $50.
  • Option D. Most schools and libraries will lend out their A/V equipment for a small fee, or sometimes even no fee at all.

The Screen

  • Option A. If the exterior of your home is white or light-colored, consider projecting the image onto a side of your house.
  • Option B. If your home has a white garage door, try projecting directly onto the door.
  • Option C. Just use a big white bed sheet (at least queen or king size) and hang it from a couple of trees or poles and project the images directly onto the sheet.
  • Option D. If you don’t mind splurging a little, try Carl’s Blackout Cloth for a Projector Screen (see below), which has special fabric that gives an ultra-clear picture. The added bonus with this option is that this kind of screen can be used and re-used for years to come.

Step Two: GET COZY

These days, the best theaters all have stadium seating. With a little simple planning, there won’t be a bad seat in the house (errr, yard…you know what we mean).

Go the Distance

Measure your screen diagonally and divide the number of inches by 0.6. That answer is the ideal distance that you should have between the screen and the front row of your seats. For example, if your screen is 150 inches diagonally, your first row should be 250 inches (about 21 feet) away from the screen.

  • Front row: Use blankets to create the first row. Be sure to leave a center aisle for the projector to shine through.
  • Middle row: Create a second graduated row with low-seated beach chairs, leaving some elbow room.
  • Back row: Make your third and final row out of taller patio or kitchen chairs.

Extra Credit: the “Dive-In” theater – if you have a pool that’s near your setup, float some rafts in it for extra seating.

Step Three: SNACK TIME!

Remember the old song “Let’s all go to the lobby?” Who doesn’t love a trip to the concession stand! Here are some great treats to include on outdoor movie night.

  • Popcorn: What’s a movie without popcorn? Microwave popcorn surely won’t disappoint (with movie theater butter, of course). For an extra, retro touch, individual popcorn serving bags/boxes can be purchased online. Or if you’re ready to go over the top, rent a movie theater style popcorn machine and watch the jaws drop in amazement.
  • Candy: Neatly arrange rows of your favorite sweets on a tray. Then, bring out your sweet side and walk around with the tray before the movie begins.
  • Drinks: Pour bottles of pop into cups on ice so that guests can grab a cup on their way to their seats.

Step Four: ENJOY THE SHOW!

With your snacks in tow, it’s now time to sit back, relax and enjoy the show, free from mosquitoes and ticks!

Resources (for the record, Mosquito Hunters is not affiliated with or paid by any of these companies or websites, but they may be a good reference for setting up your legendary outdoor cinematic experience):

  • FunFlicks.com – reps will to come to your house to handle set-up and tear-down for pricing that starts at $300.
  • ATSRentals.com – a charge of $94 plus shipping, they will send the screen and speakers to you.
  • Amazon.com – of course, they have everything, but go here to buy a projector and some popcorn serving bags/boxes.
  • Carl’s Place – “Your DIY Projector Screen Headquarters”
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