There’s something about watching a movie outdoors, under the stars.
I have so many fond memories of going to the drive-in as a kid and watching movies on the side of a barn at camp. Sitting out in the fresh air, crickets chirping, nobody caring if you spilled some popcorn or your drink…
Movies are better outside. That creaking door is soooooo much spookier when you are outside in the vast dark. Also, there is something so safe and cozy about watching movies outdoors, wrapped in a comforter, snuggled up with your sister or brother.
Somehow the popcorn tastes better, the candy is sweeter and the film more epic when you watch it in the fresh air. Plus nobody cares if you spill a little soda.
We’ve had a tradition of outdoor movie nights in our driveway for almost ten years. This past year I got tired of dangling a wavy sheet from the balcony. It wasn’t placed quite where I wanted it, it was wrinkly and the evening breeze wasn’t helping matters much either. Plus we couldn’t take it with us camping, or to the beach or a friend’s cabin – all places we might want to host another outdoor screening.
I set out to create a portable, cheap, DIY movie screen that set up in half an hour or less. I’m so pleased with how our design came out! I bought all the supplies for this project at Home Depot. It was less than $70 in materials and required no sewing or special skills. The hardest part might have been putting in the grommets.
I’ve got a slide show detailing the set-up and parts. I’m also sharing a gallery with all the individual images. If you can forgive my art skills, the list/diagram might be all you need if you’re one of those impatient “just give me the plan, stan!” types. Like me.
I’m thrilled to share this project with you and hope you’ll have as much fun watching movies outdoors as we do. If you build one, tell us what you watched, share a photo and link to us please!
Some additional pointers:
- It’s a good idea to use a few sandbags to weigh down the struts in case or wind. Or rowdy wrestlers. Or both.
- If your canvas is not super sturdy, consider reinforcing it with small squares of white duck tape before you place the grommets. We had one grommet pull out and this is how we repaired it. In retrospect I wish we’d done them all this way.
- Feel free to use a bigger canvas than we did. you could use a 66 or 68 in square just as easily. We chose the 5 ft square because it was pre-hemmed and I didn’t feel like sewing. It seemed plenty big for our area and worked out just fine!
- Get all your pieces cut at Home Depot. They will help you and that will make your life so much easier!
- I am absolutely, totally in love with Brookstone’s new Pocket Projector. I’ve just reviewed it here. You might want to check it out if outdoor movies become your thing too. It really makes it easier than ever to watch movies anywhere, anytime, in full HD. Bravo!