Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Originally Published on May 7, 2014. Last Updated on November 21, 2023.

Take advantage of a clear, mild evening and gather up your family and friends for an outdoor movie night under the stars instead of under your roof. Here’s what you’ll need to make sure it goes off without a hitch.


Don’t let the tech gadgets scare you away from an awesome outdoor movie night. It’s actually quite simple to set up. All you need is a laptop or streaming device, projector, speakers, and a source of electricity. Wirecutter has a great article that walks you through how to set it all up.


When it comes to the screen you use to project your movie on, there’s no need to buy anything fancy — or anything at all. You can simply hang a white sheet or even just use the side of your house or garage if you have a large, plain white wall. Make sure you choose an area that’s away from street lights and other bright lights that might reflect on your screen.


Choosing the right movie for your guests is the most important of the evening. Check out the Rotten Tomatoes lists Top 100 Movies of All Time and Top 100 Kids & Family Movies for some great crowd-pleasing flicks. Have a few options on hand and let your guests vote for their top pick.


It’s not a true movie night without popcorn. Kick it up a notch by setting up a popcorn bar with an assortment of popcorn flavors, seasonings, candies, and nuts for your guests to create their own mixture.

Cozy Seating

Be sure to set up a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy the movie. You can set up lawn chairs or simply create a giant bed of blankets and pillows on the ground. Nothing says cozy more than POLYWOOD deep seating pieces and sets.

Remember to be courteous to your neighbors and keep your sound level low — or invite them to join! Did you use the suggestions in this blog post to create an outdoor theater in your backyard? Let us know how it went in the comments below!



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