• Tell Your Friends

June is Great Outdoors Month, and for good reason. These warm summer nights are begging us to get out of our homes. So, while the nights are still balmy, why not throw a movie night with the stars? No, I’m not saying you should invite Leo DiCaprio. What I mean is, move the party outside and screen movies in your own backyard! Here are a few tips for making your cinema soirée a success:

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
Create a Display
First things first: set up your theater. DIY Network shows you exactly how to transform your backyard into an outdoor entertainment center. Renting an inflatable screen for your movie night is a great option, but you can also project the movie on a white drop cloth or large white wall.

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night

Image by Courtney Apple, courtesy of Society Social. Styling by Styled Creative

Set up Seating
Colorful fold out chairs like these serve as both seating and lively party decor. Plus, they’re super easy to store for your next party. Toss a throw pillow on each chair to create a chic look and help your movie-goers feel comfy. If you want a more casual and cozy vibe, provide blankets for your guests and let them pick a spot to sprawl out.

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night

Photo by She-n-He Photography

Create a Classy Concession Stand
Rather than your average run-of-the-muck movie theater concession stand, create your own upgraded version. Cook up a variety of popcorn flavors like Herbs de Provence with Asiago Cheese, Maple-Nut, or any of these 50 flavored popcorn recipes. Of course, what movie night would be complete without candy? Pick up a selection of classic movie theater candy or even make some of your own. Serve your treats in large glass apothecary jars with decorative labels and give your guests paper snack boxes to fill with their choice of goodies.

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night

Image by Courtney Apple, courtesy of Society Social. Styling by Styled Creative

For drinks, set out a large galvanized metal bucket filled with ice and glass-bottled sodas. Or serve up some homemade slushies (which you can easily turn into cocktails for the adults).

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night

Photo by She-n-He Photography

Pave A Pathway
Once the movie starts, your backyard will be pretty dark, so guests may have trouble navigating their way to the concession stand for refills. Outline a path that leads to the snack table and the back door of your home using votive candles in glass jars, globe lights, rope lights, or maybe even this starry garden path Briana wrote about.

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night

Photo by She-n-He Photography

And the Winner Is…
To get the word out about your awesome movie night, send electronic invitations to your friends. In the invite, include a link to an online survey with 10 movie choices. Tell your guests to vote for the movie they’d most like to see. On the day of the event, send out a mass text or email to announce the winner. Not only is this a fun way to get your invitees involved in the party planning, it also reminds them of that night’s event!

Once everything is prepared, all that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Which movie would you screen at your outdoor movie night? Tell us in the comments!



15 Responses

  1. Auntieg says:

    I'm thinkin' a little more comfort in the chair department: Inexpensive plastic stackables instead of hard metal. Even with a pillow, those are pretty rough. My friends would prefer "the original," when it comes to popcorn, so, buttery and salty win. Movie: depends on the audience – Bruce Willis works for most of us, though . . . "Die Hard;" any version, although, Alan Rickman (Snape) is an all-time favorite guy, good OR bad!!!

  2. Sharon says:

    I am actually planning a movie night myself for next weekend, but will a pool party twist. So our chairs will be floating in the pool and lounge chairs by the pool. I am considering Top Gun as the entertainment. Thanks for the great ideas.

  3. Rachele says:

    We're planning one in a couple weeks for our daughter's 16th birthday party. Thanks for the ideas. Would love to hear people's DIY screen ideas. We're contemplating a few options. What do people use for projectors and speakers?

  4. MrsCope says:

    So, the one thing I wanted to know was the one thing not listed here – what do you use for projection and speakers? I'd love to host a Twilight saga special, but I'm still just as lost as I was before I read the article!

  5. Michelle says:

    We were able to find a relatively inexpensive projector at Kohls during the holiday season (about $60). I would suggest Sears, Best Buy, and of course, online…ebay or overstock.com.
    We have used ours in the past just on the side of the house (stucco), but a white sheet would probably be even better.
    I would suggest roasting marshmallows and introducing smores to the mix, if you have a fireplace or fire pit. As that brings a little camping flavor, you could set up a tent and have it open to the "screen." Then turn it into a sleepover.
    As I would put something like this together for my kiddos, I would lean towards one of the well-loved Pixar/Disney films. Then, if you wanted, you could serve snacks that tie into the theme of the movie. In fact, I think this would be fun in October while it is still warm. You could do "Nightmare Before Christmas" or "Monster's Inc" and have fun with food and decorations.

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