5 Ideas for an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night

There’s something magical about watching a movie on a warm summer night under the stars with friends. If you’re not close to one of the few drive-in theaters still in existence, no worries – you can easily transform your backyard into an outdoor home theater. Here are five tips for turning your backyard into a pop-up movie theater.

Via Camille Styles

  1. Projector and Screen: If you want to capture the essence of the drive-in theater, there’s no substitute for a good projector.  An outdoor projector should be at least 1,200 lumens – a measurement of how much light a device emits. Another must-have feature are HDMI ports, so you can connect items such as Blu-ray DVD players. If you don’t want to invest in a projector, bring your TV and DVD player outside.

Via The Sweetest Occasion

  1. Comfy Seating: Provide your guests with a range of comfortable seating options, including patio furniture, lounge chairs, blankets and outdoor pillows. Or if you have a pool, even better. Host a raft-up party and invite guests to bring their own pool float to relax on while the movie plays.

Via Pen + Paper Flowers

  1. Snackage: Step up your game by creating a popcorn bar for guests. Fill small decorative bags with popcorn and offer an assortment of candy treats, marshmallows and other sweet mix-ins. And, of course, a movie night wouldn’t be complete without offering some classic movie-theater candy like Raisinets, Jujubes and the perennial favorite- Junior Mints!

Via Christmas Lights Etc

  1. Soft Lights: While your yard needs to be dark enough to see the movie, you also will need a little light so guests don’t trip over each other on the way to the snack bar. String lights and luminaries are a nice inexpensive option, casting a glow over your yard without distracting from the movie.

Via Sparkles to Sprinkles

  1. De-Bugging: Spray the backyard before guests arrive, or, if your backyard isn’t generally buggy, offer them insect repellent. There is quite an array of natural bug-repelling options available to keep the swatting to a minimum.


Hosting a backyard film fest isn’t as challenging as you might think.  With just a little planning ahead and some creativity, you can bring the drive-in movie theater experience to your backyard…possibly even better!