How To Create the Outdoor Theater of Your Dreams

Ready, Set, Action!

What’s better than the great outdoors? Here in SoCal, we’re blessed with some of the best weather around, so don’t limit yourself to movie nights spent inside! It’s easier than you know to create the outdoor theater of your dreams. So pop that popcorn, grab a Coke, and find out how your backyard can become the center hub for film fun with family and friends.

The DIY Approach vs. Ready Made

There are a few different ways to go about creating your personalized outdoor movie theater, so let’s starts with the basics:


Believe it or not, as far as the screen goes, you can make do with using a white ironed bed-sheet. Sounds pretty simple, I know, but it does the job and helps cut down on cost. Another inexpensive alternative would be to purchase blackout cloth. If you’re more of a hands on type person, check out this step-by-step guide here, showcasing how to construct an outdoor movie screen for under 40 dollars!

If you’re looking for a ready made movie screen, there are countless options available to you, just depending on the budget you set. A popular brand is AIRSCREEN®. They have four different styles including: Aeropro ($4,595), Classic ($25,260), Airtight ($5,195) and Nano ($2,995). These do soar in price comparison to the DIY approach, but they are the real deal and come with a limited warranty. But, it’s understandable that not everyone is going to want to spend thousands of dollars on a movie screen. Target sells an Airblown Inflatable Widescreen Movie Screen* for a mere $129.99.

*Note: If you do decide to go with an air blown screen, keep in mind that these do make a bit of noise.


ConsumerTop published a list of the Top 10 Best Outdoor Projectors for 2017. To view the full list, click the link above. My personal favorite is the Victsing LCD Video Projector Mini Portable HD. This projector gives you excellent quality without the big price. With high resolution and high brightness (1200 lumens), this provides the perfect way to screen your favorite film.

Important Tips to Remember:

  • Be considerate and let neighbors know that you will be screening a movie and excess noise may be made. Perhaps consider extending an invitation their way!
  • It’s against the law to charge admission without permission of the movie distributor.
  • Check the weather report to ensure the weather is appropriate for an outdoor screening. The last thing you’d want is unplanned for rain ruining all your equipment.
  • Keep electronics away from anything that may damage them (i.e. pools, BBQ’s, animals, small children, etc.)
  • Turn off sprinkler system before setup (if it will be in the way of your screen, seating or projectors).
  • Grab some snacks & enjoy an outdoor movie in the privacy of your home!

Alternative Ways to Enjoy the Outdoor Movie Experience

  1. Los Angeles Rooftop Cinema Club | |213.798.4409
  2. Beachfront Cinema| | 888.496.6070
  3. Van Buren Drive In Theater | |951.688.2360

Venues like the Segerstrom Center for the Arts have also held free Movie Mondays in previous years; it’s best to check back the closer it gets to summer. The same holds true for the Orange County Great Park which has hosted free outdoor movie nights for families in years past. So, get outside and get to enjoying the beautiful SoCal weather, with an outdoor movie night!

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