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So this weekend we failed miserably at watching a movie outside. Maybe failing miserably is putting a bit harshly. The plan was to set up a backyard movie theater and watch Bambi with some fun movie snacks. Here’s the thing. It’s summer in Seattle. Which means it REALLY doesn’t get dark enough to watch a movie under the starts until around 9:30. A good two hours past bedtime in these parts.
But we gave it a go. The kids helped me figure out the cables and speaker, and we set up a makeshift movie theater. It wasn’t really dark enough though, so the end result was a little square on a BIG screen and about 20 minutes of Bambi. BUT, they loved it! So this summer, when bedtimes are more loosely goosey, we’ll be staying up late for movie night.
Side note: My daughter, Quincy, was thrilled that she could log into Disney Movies Anywhere on her iPad and start watching Bambi right were we left off when we realized that it wasn’t dark enough to watch it outside. Unbelievably thrilled.
Here’s what we used to set up the best outdoor theater for watching a movie outside.
The movie: The best thing about Disney Movies Anywhere is we can stream any Disney movie we have (and that’s a lot of them) through our iPhone, iPad or laptop. Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Cars, even The Force Awakens – they are all there for easy viewing! I have the feeling we’ll be watching movies outside all summer long!
The sound: A good rechargeable portable speaker is a must for movie night. Sure, the speaker on my iPhone has good sound, but for that full movie effect, get a speaker with some punch. Bonus? Get a bluetooth rechargeable speaker so there are less wires to deal with. You can also play Disney music while waiting to start your movie.
The picture: A small, portable projector is your BFF when it comes to outdoor movie screenings. Word to the wise: Many of them won’t last the entire movie (our mini projector lasts about 60 minutes, so I highly suggest a backup source, whether it’s a spare battery, or an extension cord. For our trial run, I used the tripod that came with the projector for our movie viewing. For future screenings, I’ll use my full camera tripod to secure the projector for more stability. (You’ll notice in this photo the picture is VERY SMALL, it’s because it was still really light out, when it’s darker and setup properly, the image will be bigger.)
The screen: We used a queen size flat sheet and attached it to our trampoline. Binder clips work great. I need to figure out a way to secure the bottom of the screen to keep the kids from running back and forth behind the screen. Trust me, it will happen. I may look at hanging a screen on our fence on the north side of our yard too. Since our trampoline screen is west, we get the sun going down behind it. Pretty, but not optimum for movie watching.
The seating: When your movie screen is mounted to the INSIDE of the trampoline, you can grab your sleeping bag and enjoy movies under the stars. Perfection.
The mood: Watching a movie outside isn’t complete without a fire pit! Best part? Our duraflame® Campfire Roasting Logs are safe for cooking, which means s’mores too! Perfection, right? Plus, the fire logs have a nice burn time, so after the movie is over, and the kids have gone to bed, the grownups can watch something of their own and enjoy the fire.
The snacks: Movie themed snacks are always fun right? The Internet is full of fun Disney snack ideas. The kids really liked an easy Bambi inspired snack mix that can be made in minutes.
Want to build your own backyard movie theater?
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