Whether you’re enjoying your favourite film under the stars at a park or in your own backyard, outdoor cinema nights can be fun for the whole family. There are a few things to remember though before you start setting up the big screen and inviting your guests.
From rom-coms perfect for Galentine’s Day to junky retro action starring Maverick and his squad of buff pilots, Moonlight’s line up is sure to have something to please everyone.
1. Creating a Movie Wonderland in Your Backyard
If you’ve been wanting to turn your backyard into an outdoor cinema, now is the time. With a little planning and extra tips, you can create an unforgettable experience for your friends and family.
The first step is setting up a comfortable seating area with plenty of blankets and cushions. If you have deck chairs, that’s even better – but make sure they’re in a sheltered location if it gets windy. You’ll also need a projector and screen (a white bedsheet stretched over two poles works just as well), a sound system, and a media player or streaming device.
Once you’ve got all the equipment set up, test it out well before your guests arrive. There’s nothing worse than getting everything ready and then finding out that the projector doesn’t work! Also, be sure to have some bug repellent on hand for your guests, like citronella candles and coils. They’re easy to use and provide long-lasting insect protection without ruining the ambiance of your backyard movie night.
2. Getting the Lighting Just Right
There’s something magical about outdoor cinema. Maybe it’s the twilight glow or the stars twinkling overhead. Or perhaps it’s the deckchairs, plump bean bags and ’normal’ chairs plopped on the grass or the lush botanical gardens. Or perhaps it’s just seeing a movie on a giant screen with a leafy backdrop.
The good news is, you can recreate this movie-night magic at home. All you need are some key supplies and a little planning, and your backyard will be transformed into the perfect outdoor theater for family movie nights.
The first step is to get the lighting just right. This is important because the lighting can have a big impact on your viewing experience. You want to make sure that the light is bright enough to see the film, but not so bright that it disturbs other guests. To achieve this, you can use a projector or a white bedsheet stretched between two poles. If you don’t have a projector, you can also string Italian lights or other decorative lighting around the area to create an ambience that’s both fun and movie-ready.
3. Creating a Comfortable Seating Area
When planning your movie night, it’s important to have a comfortable seating area. You want your guests to be able to relax and enjoy the film without having to strain to see or hear the screen.
You can hire event seating for your backyard movie theatre, or you can use lounge chairs or outdoor sofas that you already have. You can even set up a few folding chairs around the back of your projector screen to make sure that everyone has a good view of the screen.
To create a cozy atmosphere, add some blankets and cushions to the seating area. This will make your guests feel like they are sitting at a drive-in or theater and will help them stay warm throughout the movie.
Adding some decorations to the seating area can also make the movie night more fun. You can hang string lights or lanterns to add some light to the space, and you can also include décor pieces that match the movie you are watching. For example, if you are watching an action film, you could include props such as a director’s clapboard or a sign that says “Now Showing”. You can find free printable movie tickets on sites like Jotform and Canva to hand out to your guests as they arrive.
4. Creating a Themed Snack Station
Themed movie nights can make for fun, interactive experiences for guests. You might want to offer a candy bar that features popcorn and candy that are themed around the film’s theme, such as pirate-themed cupcakes for a swashbuckling adventure or alien-inspired cookies for a sci-fi flick. You could even offer a variety of finger foods, such as mini sandwiches, vegetable sticks with dip, and fruit skewers.
You might also set up a fire pit that you can use to roast marshmallows or cook hot dogs. However, it’s important to position the fire pit away from your movie screen and seating area so that it doesn’t obstruct or distract from the viewing experience. You might even want to place a couple of citronella candles or insect repellent by the fire pit to ensure that your guests are comfortable and can enjoy the night without worrying about mosquitos.
Creating an outdoor cinema experience is a great way to relax and unwind in the summer sun. Whether you choose to attend one of the many outdoor cinema experiences available this year or host your own backyard movie party, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for all.
5. Having a Backup Plan
With balmy summer nights upon us, it’s time to dust off the picnic blanket and enjoy a night under the stars at your local outdoor cinema. Whether you’re reclining on a comfy deckchair or sprawled across a bean bag in the shade, there are few things better than watching your favourite flick surrounded by friends and family.
Interestingly, one of the hallmarks of outdoor cinema is that line-ups are often eclectic, blending current releases with yesteryear classics. It’s not clear why that is, but it probably has something to do with the fact that a good old-fashioned movie is just as appealing as the latest release.
This week, for example, Moonlight Cinema is hosting a musical-fest withV Saturday Night Fever on Friday,V This Is It on Saturday and Monty Python’s biblical spoofV Life of Brian on Sunday. And, of course, they’re counting down to Valentine’s Day with a full week of romantic flicks like 10 Things I Hate About You, Notting Hill and Pretty Woman. That’s a lot to love!