Back in 2000, a family of four could go to see a movie for less than $35. Movie tickets cost just $8.39 on average at the turn of the century.
Today, that same family would have to fork over more than $55 to take a trip to the movie theatre. The average movie ticket price has soared to right around $14 in this day and age.
Rather than spending that kind of money to see movies on a regular basis, why not create a cosy and comfortable backyard movie theatre for your family? You can watch whatever movies you want and invite other family members, friends, and neighbours to join you.
You will have to make at least a small investment to build a backyard movie theatre for your family. But it’ll be well worth it in the end once you start saving money on movie tickets.
Check out the steps you should take to turn your backyard into your own personal movie theatre today.
Start by Purchasing a Projector
First things first: If you’re going to build a great backyard movie theatre, you’re going to need to invest in a projector. This will likely be the most expensive item that you’re going to have to buy for your outdoor theatre.
As you’ll find out almost right away, there are projectors available in a wide range of prices. There are some lower-end projectors that sell for well under $1,000 and some high-end projectors that go for over $10,000.
Chances are, a high-end projector is going to be well out of your price range. It’s also going to be unnecessary for those shopping for projectors that they’re going to use outside.
But you should invest in something sturdy that is known to deliver a decent picture when it’s used to show movies outside. Read through lots of online reviews for different projectors before you find the one that’ll work best for you.
Outside of providing you with a good picture, the projector that you buy should also have inputs that allow you to hook it up to your various electronics. The last thing you want to do is purchase a projector only to find that you can’t connect it to the computers and tablets you already own.
Find a Screen and Search for the Right Place to Put It
Once you’ve secured a projector for your backyard movie theatre, the next order of business will be to track down a screen that you can project movies on. In some cases, you might be able to use something that you already have in your home as a screen. In others, you may have to go out and buy a screen for your projector.
If you’re trying to create a backyard movie theatre without spending a small fortune, you can get away with using a bedsheet as a screen. As long as you iron it beforehand, it should be able to provide a pretty good picture for you when you turn your projector on.
If you don’t mind spending some money on your screen setup, you can also run out and get a projection screen that is specifically designed to project movies outside. There are inflatable outdoor projection screens as well as fixed frame ones.
Regardless of which type of screen you decide to use, picking the right spot for it will be of the utmost importance. You want to find a large, open area where you can set up seating (more on that later!) and allow everyone to gather around your screen to watch a movie.
Select a Sound System and Set It Up
You can spend a lot of money investing in the best projector and projection screen that money can buy for your backyard movie theatre. But if you don’t have a sound system to go along with it, it’ll all be for naught.
Much like with a projector, you can go in any number of directions as far as your sound system is concerned. You can get a system that has multiple speakers and create a surround sound setup. Or you can buy a single Bluetooth speaker that is loud enough for everyone to hear.
Whatever you do, though, try not to skimp on the sound system that you’re going to use when you play movies. If you do, it’s going to affect the audio of your movies and make people lose interest in watching movies in your backyard real fast.
It’s smart to spend a sizable percentage of your backyard movie theatre budget on a sound system. It’ll make watching movies outside more enjoyable, and as an added bonus, you can also use it outside when you’re having cookouts and taking part in other activities.
Make Sure You Have Lots of Long Extension Cords Handy
When you’re in the process of trying to put together a backyard movie theatre, you’re going to move your electronic equipment around a lot. From your projector and your laptop to your projection screen and your speakers, you’re going to have to tinker with where everything goes until you get it just right.
To make sure you’re able to power all these items up, you need to have lots of long extension cords on hand at all times. This will give you an opportunity to reposition your electronic equipment without having to worry about how you’re going to power it up when you do.
It never hurts to have a few extra extension cords on hand. Even if you don’t end up using them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Pick Up Plenty of Comfy Chairs and Position Them Strategically
What are people going to sit down on when you host a movie night in your backyard?
You might be thinking about throwing down a bunch of blankets all over the place and allowing people to stretch out on the ground. You might also be thinking about pulling out the chairs that are a part of your patio furniture set and using them.
But why not go above and beyond to ensure that you, your family, and any guests you might have are all comfortable? There are outdoor bean bag chairs that will more than do the trick.
Pick up about half a dozen of these outdoor bean bag chairs so that everyone has someplace to sit. Many of them are large enough to fit two adults or several children at a time.
Look for Ways to Incorporate Low Lighting Into the Mix
When you’re watching a movie in your backyard, you don’t want to have any spotlights turned on. It’ll make it difficult to see the picture on your projection screen, and it’ll ruin your movie experience.
But it shouldn’t be pitch black in your backyard, either. If someone needs to get up to use the bathroom, they should be able to do it safely without having to worry about tripping over something on the ground.
With this in mind, you should look for small ways to incorporate low lighting in your backyard. That might mean lighting a few tiki torches and letting them burn throughout a movie, or it might mean putting down some string lights on the ground to help guide the way for people.
You don’t need anything too extreme. But a little lighting will go a long way towards keeping everyone in your backyard safe while you’re all watching a movie.
Put Out a Popcorn Machine and Provide Other Snacks
No trip to a movie is complete without some popcorn. People have been chowing down on popcorn as a snack for almost 200 years now—and they especially enjoy eating it when it’s served up during a movie.
If you’re going to be showing movies in your backyard all the time, it’s a good idea to purchase a popcorn machine and put it out. It’ll prevent you from having to make individual bags of popcorn in the microwave in your house.
You can also make sure you have plenty of other movie snacks on hand for movie nights in your backyard. You should offer a wide selection of different candies and other treats that are found in movie theatres.
Don’t forget soda, water, and other beverages, too! People are going to need to quench their thirst after they go through an entire bag of popcorn by themselves before your movie is over.
Buy Some Reliable Bug Repellent
Did you know that there are more than 300 species of mosquitoes in Australia?
That’s great news if you’re an entomologist who spends all day studying mosquitoes and other types of insects. But it’s not good news if you’re someone who is trying to build the best backyard movie theatre.
There are certain times of the year when mosquitoes won’t be a huge concern in your backyard. But there are also others when you’re going to spend all your time shooing away mosquitoes while you’re trying to watch a movie in your backyard.
Make it your mission to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away by buying bottles of bug repellent that really work. Learn some of the other tricks for keeping mosquitoes away from your backyard, too.
In an effort to do this, you can:
- Light citronella candles
- Plant mint leaves in your backyard
- Take advantage of the power of tea tree oil
Nothing will bring a backyard movie night to a halt quite like a bunch of mosquitoes flying around and biting everyone. Do whatever you have to do to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs at bay while your family watches a movie in peace.
Figure Out What Movie to Watch First
If you’ve worked your way through all the steps listed here, your backyard home theatre should pretty much be all ready to go. The only thing left to do will be to pick out a movie that you want to watch and press play.
This might be the biggest challenge of all! There are so many different video streaming services available in Australia right now, and they’re all filled with so many movies that you and your family will want to watch.
You’re free to watch whatever you and your family want. But if you’re looking for some family-friendly options, here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Finding Dory
- How to Train a Dragon
- Big Hero 6
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Lilo & Stitch
Just make sure that you’re extra courteous to your neighbours when you’re having a movie night in your backyard.
You should, of course, extend an invitation to them. But you should also limit the amount of unnecessary noise that you and your family make, especially once it starts to get later in the night.
You want your backyard movie theatre to be the talk of the neighbourhood when you finish it. But you want people to be talking about it for the right reasons and not because your family is keeping everyone up until all hours of the night by being too noisy.
Begin Creating the Best Backyard Movie Theatre Today
Stop blowing your family’s budget every month by taking trips to the movies. Bring the movies to your backyard instead by creating the best backyard movie theatre possible.
You’re welcome to spend as much money as you want in your backyard theatre while you’re setting it up. But you can also build an outdoor theatre on a budget and still enjoy movie nights outside with your family. It’s all up to you!
You’ll be sitting back on a cosy and comfortable outdoor bean bag chair in no time having the time of your life. You’ll wonder why you didn’t create a backyard movie theatre much sooner for you and your family to enjoy.
Would you like to locate the perfect outdoor bean bag chairs for your first outdoor movie night? Contact us today to learn more about the bean bag chairs that you can use out in your backyard.