Setting up a beautiful backyard with timeless landscaping and essential features like a patio offers many new outdoor entertaining opportunities. After all, no summer is complete without at least one backyard movie night where you invite all of your friends and family. You’ll need a few specific pieces of equipment to host an outdoor movie night, but many other accessories serve as general-purpose furnishings for different types of outdoor parties. For instance, that same projector you used for a big backyard outdoor movie party also works indoors over the winter for spectacular, festive displays. There’s also no need to spend a lot to make a major impact, especially with DIY options for larger accessories like movie screens. Make this summer a big one for fun outdoor gatherings with a movie theater in your own backyard.

Entertain Friends With an Outdoor Movie Night Party

A backyard movie screening truly captures the essence of the summer. It takes place at night, giving you a break from the sun and respite from the heat. You can also easily fit a larger number of people in your backyard than you could in your living room. With a few creative outdoor movie night seating ideas, it’s easy to keep everyone comfortable throughout a full-length film. Corral all the patio furniture and outdoor seating from other patios, porches, and outdoor areas to create back row seating. For additional seating for those that prefer to stretch out, try yoga mats, camping pads, and sleeping bags spread out on the grass. Folding chairs and collapsible seating packs away easily after each outdoor movie party.

4K projectors are the cutting edge of technology for your backyard movie parties. However, plenty of more affordable options still provide a quality picture for family gatherings. Projectors that cost as little as $120 can provide the color and image quality needed for animated and live-action movies. In addition, mid-range projectors offer a good balance of quality and price. So if you’re interested in committing to the investment of a 4K projector, make sure you’ll use it indoors as well for year-round enjoyment.

Think about outdoor lighting when planning your first outdoor movie night. While you want the backyard as dark as possible around the screen to maximize the visibility of the image, you’ll also need low-level lighting around the paths and entryways to the home. This helps guests move back and forth from their seats when they need to visit the restroom or refill a drink. String lights are ideal for running along a path, but solar lights on spikes that illuminate the path also work well without being too bright.

Project Your Favorite Movie on Outdoor Screens

The easiest way to get prepared for any outdoor movie night is to order a complete outdoor projector kit from Ashley. But if you’re a big fan of DIY solutions, you can always try making your own large-scale screen instead. All you need is a projector and a matching set of speakers to get started with outdoor displays. There are many popular DIY outdoor movie screen projects, beginning with the simplest method of using a thick white flat sheet stretched tightly across a wall or fence. Every wrinkle will warp the image, so try sewing channels at the top and bottom for thick wood dowels that will provide tension on the fabric. The ideal DIY outdoor movie screen material is a thick-but-not-too-stretchy cotton material that is bright white. AKA avoid cream or off-white. Stick to a maximum diagonal size of around 50 inches to get good image quality from even the most affordable projectors.

You can also try an inflatable movie screen for a quick setup without having to go the DIY route. These screens can be huge, but they quickly deflate to a small package that fits on a garage shelf. In comparison, even the best roll-up screens still take up the whole width of the screen when fully closed. So instead of dedicating that much year-round storage space to a summertime accessory, try a space-saving DIY or inflatable screen option.

Best Outdoor Speakers

Speakers make or break the outdoor movie experience. You need speakers that can provide depth and bass for a realistic theater experience, but you don’t want anything too loud that might disturb the neighbors while you’re enjoying movies after dark. The ideal DIY outdoor movie setup will include weatherproof speakers that can handle a little moisture if rain starts to fall. Look for a set with its own amplifier, so there’s no need for a stereo receiver.

Outdoor speakers that come equipped with a remote make it easy to adjust the sound levels as needed for loud and quiet parts of the movie. Battery-powered speakers may seem convenient, but they may run out of power in the middle of the movie and tend to lack richness and power. Instead, run a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord to power a plug-in set of speakers to ensure steady sound performance even through movie marathons.

DIY Outdoor Entertaining Accessories for 2022

Concessions put the finishing touches on every DIY outdoor movie night. A popcorn maker is a must-have, but that’s just the start. Consider setting up outdoor tables topped with shaved ice machines, packaged chips and candy, bottled drinks, and even homemade ice cream for a movie night everyone will remember. Signs for your DIY outdoor movie theater also help guests determine where to sit and what movie you’re showing each time you gather. Try chalkboard sandwich boards or mini-marquees for decorative flair that makes your movie night outstanding.

Take movie night off the couch and into the backyard with a combination of outdoor entertaining accessories and DIY projects. This kind of relaxing nighttime party is a great way to cap off a birthday celebration or family reunion in a unique way. Here at Ashley, we have all the equipment you need, from projector kits to fun concessions equipment.