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Outdoor movie night with palm trees
Source: Via Pexels

7 Essentials You Need For An Outdoor Movie Night

An outdoor movie night is one of the best ways to enjoy an evening under the stars with your loved ones. However, there are a few things that you need before you can host this fun-filled evening for all your friends and family.

Before curling up with a blanket and some popcorn, there are a few things that need to be put in place to ensure a successful and fun evening. Here are 7 essentials for an outdoor movie night.

Projector and Screen

The first and most important thing to consider is the projector. Make sure you have a projector so everyone can see the screen clearly. There are a wide variety of projectors available ranging from cheap to expensive. Doing a little research can help find the perfect projector within your budget.

Now that you have a projector you will need something to project on. While the back of the house or the side of a garage will work in a pinch, springing for a proper screen can make all the difference to your outdoor movie experience. Make sure the screen you choose is large enough for everyone to see the movie comfortably. There are a number of inexpensive options to choose from such as inflatable screens.

Sound System

DJ mixing
Source: Pixabay


Trying to watch a movie without any sound would just be awkward so make sure you have some sort of sound system in place. It doesn't have to be fancy, a simple outdoor speaker will do the trick. It is important to consider the distance of your speakers from where you will be sitting so the sound doesn't become distorted or too loud for those watching.

If you live in a residential area, you may want to consider an alternative to a loudspeaker system. Individual headphones offer the same sound as a speaker but do it more quietly allowing your neighbors to still enjoy peace and quiet.

Comfortable Seating

Be sure to have enough comfortable seating for everyone. Depending on the space you may need a variety of chairs, recliners and even a few bean bags. Outdoor furniture is also a great option for those who want a more permanent fixture in their backyard. If you are looking for an easy way to get cozy for your movie night, blankets and pillows can do the trick. Try blowing up an air mattress and have everyone lie down on the ground to watch the movie, it's a great way to really kick back and relax.

Depending on the age and mobility level of your intended guests, having structured chairs may be a necessity. A few outdoor chairs and maybe a small bench might be called for in this situation. Just make sure to place them behind any blankets or air mattresses so as to not obstruct the view for others.

Blankets Galore

No one wants to be shivering while trying to enjoy a movie so make sure you have plenty of blankets. Depending on the season and time of year, you may want several heavy or light options to accommodate everyone's needs.

If temperatures do dip drastically in the evening in your area, you may want to consider a heat source such as a propane heater or even a campfire. Encourage guests to dress accordingly and make sure the seating area is far enough away from the heat source so everyone can enjoy a comfortable night.

Outdoor Lighting

Fall outside
Via Pixabay


Good outdoor lighting is a necessity. Your viewers will thank you if they can "see" the movie rather than watch a dark screen with only the image projected from the projector. There are many inexpensive options for outdoor lighting such as solar pathway lights or even tea lights in jars or cans. The great thing about these light sources is that they can be placed in the grass or on side tables to make sure everyone has enough light to see.

Lighting is also a great safety feature in case anything happens in the middle of your movie. Whether someone requires a bathroom break or needs to move around, having good lighting will help your guests get to where they need to go without tripping over chairs or blankets.

All the Snacks

Popcorn in bag
Source: Pixabay


Planning a movie night isn't complete without food! Make sure you have plenty of snacks laid out for your viewers. It is always nice to have some yummy treats available while watching their favorite movies. The best part about this essential? It can be as simple or extravagant as you want – homemade snacks, take out or even a concession stand. From popcorn machines to cotton candy makers, having fun snacks can easily make or break a movie night!

Don't forget the drinks! Having a cooler filled with soft drinks, water and other refreshments is always helpful. Some people may even want to have alcoholic beverages so be sure to have a few non-alcoholic options available for those who don't drink or are underage.

Alternative Location

While there are many things one can control during the planning of an outdoor movie night, the weather is not one of them. Make sure to have multiple backup plans just in case you need your guests to stay indoors. For example, an indoor home theater room may not have all the comforts of being outdoors but it can certainly provide a fun and enjoyable atmosphere for watching a movie. If you have a garage or large shed, setting up in there can still offer a fun movie experience without having to worry about the weather.

In Conclusion

Movie night is a perfect opportunity for families and friends to come together. It can be as simple or extravagant as you want! From solar lights to cotton candy makers, consider your guest’s needs when planning an outdoor movie night so they’ll enjoy themselves all the way through the credits. All of this may sound intimidating if you don't have any experience hosting these events, however, with a little planning and a great attitude, your outdoor movie night is sure to be a hit!

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