So many things have changed since the pandemic, but one thing remains constant—a love of movie nights. However, the venue has changed significantly. While people are starting to finally frequent movie theaters again, one magical thing became a constant for families: backyard movie night.
Whether you plan a one-time event or hope to make every flick a backyard movie extravaganza, we have you covered. We pulled together some incredible tips to make every move night you host cozy.
How Do You Set Up an Amazing Backyard Movie Night?
Are you ready to take movie night to the next level? Setting up the ultimate backyard movie night is simpler than you may think. Let’s start with some of the basic must-haves, and work our way through more details, so nothing is missing from your soiree.
If you want your guests to be cozy all night long, make sure you provide ample seating that is warm, soft, and snuggle-worthy. Create seating arrangements throughout your yard by setting up blankets for each guest or family attending.
On your blankets, use an array of large and small throw pillows. Provide extra blankets, sleeping bags, and some comfortable bean bag chairs that your guests can sink into for ultimate relaxation.
Keep your seating tight-knit and intimate for a social gathering to remember. You can even create dimensional seating in your yard by adding a hammock or two towards the back for the adults while the kids hang out in front on their cozy blankets and pillows.
Bring on the Snacks
Every good movie deserves an equally good concession stand. During your next backyard movie night, give your guests something to talk about with a fully stocked concession stand.
Fill yours with all movie-goer favorites, including:
- Candy bar
- Popcorn machine
- Cotton candy maker
- Sliders and hotdogs
- Fizzy beverages
- A root beer float station
Don't forget the toppings: Present all the fixings for your main course and some fun toppings for your popcorn, such as extra butter, kettle corn, or cinnamon sugar toppings.
With plenty of snacks ready to go, your backyard movie night will be binge-worthy both on and off the screen.
You’ll Need a Movie Screen
Don’t worry; you do not have to get super fancy to enjoy your movie night outdoors. There are several affordable and DIY options when it comes to making a movie screen for your backyard movie night.
One of the best DIY screen ideas is to use a bedsheet. With just a few simple tools and a place to hang your creation, you will have a movie screen in no time that costs next to nothing.
Another affordable screen option is to create a frame with PVC piping. Then, use a tarp, sheet, or drop cloth over the PVC frame. The best thing about this option? It is portable and can be taken apart and stored for your next backyard event.
And yet, an even simpler option for your backyard movie night is to use rope or a sturdy string between two trees or a tree and a fence and drape a sheet over it.
We love DIY ideas because we can build them quickly and easily. Furthermore, something homemade always gives the space a cozier feel. Wouldn’t you agree?
Don’t Forget the Tech
No outdoor movie theater night is complete without the right technology to pull it off. Investing in the proper speakers and projector will make all the difference in the experience, so you will want to take time to scope out the right equipment for your space.
When selecting your projector, consider investing in a wireless one where you can stream movies directly from your smart devices. You will also want to make sure your projector supports audio functions.
When it comes to speakers, investing in good, quality ones will make a giant impact on the deliverance of your film. A set of outdoor speakers will help ensure everyone in your yard can hear what is happening during the movie. When selecting your speakers, try to opt for wireless and waterproof ones.
Choose the Right Film
If you are throwing an event for multiple families or friends, you will want to select a film everyone will watch. For the ultimate outdoor movie night, choose a movie that is big-screen worthy.
We’ve got some incredible options for your backyard movie night:
- Jurassic Park
- The Goonies
- Back to the Future
- National Treasure
- Hocus Pocus
- The Greatest Showman
- Harry Potter
How To Throw a Backyard Movie Night Party
Sure, your family may enjoy endless backyard movie nights privately, but have you considered hosting one as a party and making an event out of it? Backyard movie nights are a hit for social gatherings and birthday parties—especially with your kiddos.
Your party will take your regular movie night to a whole new level, and boy, do we have some fun ideas you can incorporate into your big event.
Fun Seating for the Kids
Okay, blankets, pillows, and hammocks may make the ultimate cozy movie experience but, kids may want something a little more creative. We get it—if it is their birthday, then it is time to go all out!
Try the DIY route with cardboard boxes. Transform each box into a vehicle—suddenly, you are at a backyard drive-in movie. You can cozy these up further with some blankets and pillows. Let their friends bring their favorite ones with them to personalize their vehicles.
Create a Theme
Get everyone in the spirit for movie night by creating a theme around your film! Send out invitations printed like movie tickets for each guest with the film highlighted on it. Fill your space with movie-themed decorations, such as a movie ticket centerpiece or concession stand tickets for each guest to use for their goodies.
You can take your theme further by incorporating bits of your film into the decorations instead of making it a general film theme. For this experience, the sky's the limit!
Make an Entrance
It is not a backyard movie night premier without a red carpet. Greet your guests with VIP treatment as they walk the red carpet to your backyard oasis. Your red carpet will make your guests feel special and get them excited for the experience to come.
Plus, who doesn’t want to walk a red carpet at least once in their life?
Set the Scene
As the sun goes down, you don’t want your guests plunged into darkness. Consider twinkling string lights near the concession stand and around the perimeter of your yard for a soft, safe glow. Lights such as these will not compete with the film and offer your guests an easy way to see as they restock their snacks throughout the night.
Tiki torches are an ingenious way to light the area while providing a fun, exotic vibe during backyard movie night. Furthermore, tiki torches bring warmth to the space while also repelling those pesky mosquitoes that may show up as the sun goes down.
Make It Fun for the Whole Family
Why sit inside and watch a movie when a little effort goes a long way to create the ultimate backyard movie night. Everyone in your household can indulge in this event--even your favorite furry friend, with the help of their cozy pet bed, can come outdoors for an evening of film and fun.
How can you include even the smallest of members in your big night?
Try some of these ideas:
- Incorporate a favorite food of each family member in your concession stand.
- Take turns picking out the film of the night.
- Let everyone help set up their spots using their favorite blankets, pillows, and stuffies.
- Make it a pajama party.
- Extend bedtime and make movie night a ‘special treat’ for the littlest members of your family.
At CordaRoy’s, We Know Cozy
Our well-made, lifetime warrantied products are the perfect addition to your next backyard movie night. With an array of fabrics, colors, and sizes to choose from, you can indulge in comfort for the whole family.
Whether you want to cozy up in a chair or spread out on a mattress, movie night will never be as comfortable as it is on our range of must-haves from CordaRoy’s. Just be sure that your chair, or CordaRoy’s bed, isn’t placed directly on the ground. We recommend putting a clean tarp under it to protect it from dirt and moisture from the ground. We also recommend a bed protector for added protection. As you plan your outdoor movie soiree, consider what level of comfort you plan on offering your guests. Next to a full belly, comfort is the ultimate goal of hosting your own event.
We hope our tips and suggestions for the ultimate backyard movie night bring your family, friends, and guests closer together.
Have a Backyard Family Movie Night | Better Homes & Gardens
15 Backyard Movie Night Ideas | The Spruce
Everything You Need For The Ultimate Backyard Movie Night | Forbes