Throwing the ultimate backyard movie night under the stars with family and friends is an exciting and cushy experience. With the perfect set-up, stepping into the back yard for family movie night can be similar, if not more satisfying than going to your local drive-in, or outdoor movie screening. Learn how to throw the ultimate backyard movie night, then grab a big ol' bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!!

Prepping The Backyard

friends watching outdoor movie

Don't jump the gun with your backyard movie night. Some thoughtful planning is required. First, know your weather forecast. Don't let rain or heavy winds put a damper on your movie night. Next, decide where to place a projector and movie screen, preferably in a clear open area away from pet waste, water sprinklers, and other hidden debris that could cause yourself or a guest to fall.

When choosing an outdoor movie screen, there are many options. Your movie screen can be as simple as a thick cream-colored canvas drop cloth positioned on the side of your home or a traditional outdoor projector screen. Some folks even choose to project on their garage doors.

Also, consider your electrical outlet locations and your internet connection strength. Suppose you're planning on streaming video from Netflix or Disney+ to your outdoor projector, and your wifi signal is weak. In that case, a wifi extender could be an excellent option for stabilizing your connection.

With your outdoor projector and movie screen area scoped out, now reflect on how you and your family and friends would like to kick back and relax during the show. Arrange lounge furniture, camping chairs, and other home comforts surrounding the projector screen for a memorable outdoor cinematic experience. Add ambiance with intriguing solar garden lights and outdoor lanterns, or go above and beyond with a DIY fire pit for added warmth and mood.

Everything You Need To Throw The Ultimate Backyard Movie Night

VANKYO Leisure projector

outdoor projector

Realistically the only item you really need to enjoy a movie under the stars is a reliable outdoor movie projector. For those dipping their toes into outdoor movie projection, and wanting an affordable option, the VANKYO Leisure 3 projector is a fantastic choice being Amazon's top-selling projector. With two powerful built-in speakers, the VANKYO Leisure projector supports a watching size from 32” to 170” with the projection distance between 4.9ft to 16.4ft, supporting a 1920x1080 resolution. Easily stream multimedia content with your projector using Amazon Firestick, Roku, video game consoles (PS4/Xbox/Nintendo Switch) with the HDMI input.

Optoma HD26 Projector

optoma projector

If you're ready to invest in a more upscale outdoor projector, the Optoma HD26 is for you! The Optoma HD26 projector has a high-quality built-in 10W speakers and stunning detailed projection with 1920x1080p pixels. With 3200 lumens, the Optoma HD26 couples beautifully with vivid color and DynamicBlack technology. Easily stream multimedia content with your projector using Amazon Firestick, Roku, video game consoles (PS3/PS4/Xbox/NintendoSwitch) with an MHL cable.

Vamvo Outdoor Indoor Projector Screen

outdoor movie screen

Now that you have the perfect outdoor projector for your spectacular backyard movie night, you're going to need an outdoor screen to project your Netflix binge sesh or better yet pull an all-nighter of Animal Crossing New Horizons.

The Vamvo Outdoor Indoor Projector Screen is one of Amazon's top-selling projector screens and for a good reason! The Vamvo takes approximately five minutes to set up, so you and your family can spend more time relaxing and watching the movie instead of arguing over setting up a screen.

The Vamvo's 120 inch (16:9) screen comes foldable and on a lightweight stand, for convenient portability. Watch outdoor movies anywhere! Camping, grilling, or at your next family gathering.

CCS Chicago Canvas & Supply Drop Cloth

canvas drop cloth

If you're feeling thrifty, stop by your local Lowe's or Home Depot, grab a simple cotton canvas drop cloth, or pick one up on Amazon and make an inexpensive DIY movie screen. Just make sure that your budget-friendly movie screen fabric is held taut, so you have the best viewing experience.

Projector Tripod Stand

projector tripod stand

Don't get caught up last minute trying to find something around the house to securely hold your projector at the perfect height and distance. Lightweight yet sturdy, you can rely on the handy projector tripod stand to support your projector at your desired height, offering you and your family the best viewing experience.

Amazon eero Mesh Wifi Router

Amazon eero

If you plan on lounging back and steaming content from Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ using your projector outdoors, you'll need a stable internet connection. Offer your wifi network a helping hand with a wifi extender, and we guarantee your backyard movie night won't buffer. Because we know that can get old, really quick!

We recommend the Amazon eero mesh Wifi router, which easily covers up to 1,500 sq. ft. or can be added to any eero WiFi system to expand coverage so you can say goodbye to dead spots and happily surf the web from anywhere in or around your home.

JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL speaker

Although many movie projectors have built-in stereos, you can enhance your backyard movie experience by purchasing additional speakers for a mind-blowing cinema-like experience. We recommend the JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Waterproof and portable, the JBL Charge 3 delivers undeniably beautiful crystal clear sound, with incredible bass. This is the bluetooth speaker to beat for under $150!

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Couple enjoying movie in backyard

For the easiest entertainment source when it comes to backyard movie night, simply plug in America's most popular media stick, the Amazon Fire TV stick for countless hours of streaming content. Plug your Amazon Fire TV stick directly into the outdoor projector for immediate access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and Disney+

How To Set Up A Outdoor Projector

family watching game outside

One of the most challenging parts of creating an outdoor home movie theater is setting up the projector. If you’re not an IT wizard, it can seem like a daunting challenge. But, once you have the right equipment, setting up a projector becomes a bit less intimidating.

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your screen. There are several options for outdoor screens. See above.
  2. Next, place the projector where you’d like to have it. Common places to set up your projector are a small tripod table.
  3. Hook your projector up to a power source.
  4. Hook up your projector to your media source. This could be via an HDMI cable to a laptop, or, if you have a smart projector, via a wifi connection. Remember, the further away you are from the wireless router, the weaker the signal is going to be. If your setup is too far from a wireless connection, you can discreetly run an ethernet cable from the router or hook up a wi-fi signal booster.
  5. Project an image onto the screen to make sure it’s aligned properly. Adjust the projector lens as needed until you have it just right.
  6. Now, tune other settings such as brightness, contrast, and saturation so you have a crisp and clean picture.
  7. Finally, it’s time to hook your system up to better speakers if you prefer. The output from your media devices such as a phone or laptop just won’t have enough power. Hook up a bluetooth speaker system so the sound is as bold and rich as your new projector theater system.

Getting An Outdoor TV

outdoor tv

If you want to get serious about backyard entertainment, and you had fun with outdoor projectors and movie screens, its time to graduate to an outdoor smartTV and become the hostess with the mostest! If you've invested your time and money into a beautiful outdoor patio, deck, or impressive inground pool, it needs to have an outdoor TV. After all, what's the point of an outdoor oasis if you can't enjoy it to its fullest?

If you love binging Netflix or watching football on Sundays like every other red-blooded American then you're going to love watching it on The Terrace 65" Samsung Outdoor Smart TV!

For under $6000 or in 12 monthly payments with the Amazon Store Card, you can be streaming your favorite content on one of these bad boys while it's sitting pretty on your patio.

The Terrace has spectacular high-quality 4K QLED engineered to look vivid and bright during the daylight, so you are always guaranteed to have the best viewing experience no matter the time of day!

Forgot to check the forecast? No problem! The Terrace is for big boys, never letting harsh weather get in the way! The Samsung Terrace is resistant to extreme weather and is best in class IP55 weather-resistant durability against water and dust.

No matter how you and your family decide to throw your ultimate backyard movie night, we guarantee that you'll have a great time, and want to experience it over and over again.

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