Planning your own backyard moonlight cinema

There’s just something about a movie under the stars that makes a night particularly great, whether you're at an open air cinema or in your own backyard.

You don't need a fancy set up or a huge backyard, the fun is just being outside and sharing the experience together. So, with balmy nights approaching, let's look at how you can create your own outdoor movie night for your family and friends.

Outdoor home cinema from above
Image: Canva
Outdoor cinema rootop
Image: Canva
We love creating dynamic spaces that allow even more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.Darin Bradbury, Director, Mint Design

The Screen
The easiest and cheapest option for your screen is simply using a white bedsheet or table cloth that you can affix to the fence or wall.
There's also inflatable screens that you can hire (and buy) if you're looking to make the movie night into more of a special event.
But of course, any wall with a flat, white finish will do the trick. The smoother the surface the better.

The Projector
The cost of projectors have come down significantly - from around $70 you can buy your own projector which you can use indoors for another movie experience too. You can hire them and they usually bundle up the projector with a screen - making this a convenient option! Here's a portable projector that's also a good option for camping.

The Speakers
Whilst your projector should come with built in speakers, if you have access to some other options you may appreciate the improved sound quality and increased volume. Outside with ambient noise and people spread out, you want to ensure you have enough speaker power so your guests aren’t struggling to hear.
This is the one area of the garden, technologically speaking, where the options have exploded in the last few years. The quality of the sound and integration capabilities with other technologies such as smart phones and smart homes is now incredible.

Garden patio cinema with lounges
Image: Pinterest
Outdoor cinema screen at home with snacks and wine

The Candy Bar
Setting up a snack station with overflowing popcorn and lollies (even some choc tops if you can get your hands on them) really does add that extra touch for guests of all ages. For the adults, you'll appreciate the self serve from the home 'bar'. You may want to leave some torches handy or have some lamps set up on the table too.

The Seating
Beanbags are the ultimate in this setting, so if you have them on hand, you're set. It's also super simple to cosy up your outdoor chairs with extra cushions and blankets, or use a blow up mattress and snuggle in under the doona.

If you plan to integrate a projector into your pool area allow for bench seating in the pool or spa that looks out towards the screen so you can enjoy a movie whilst emerged in the water. Same goes for bench seats in your alfresco area.

What to Watch
Some family favourite classics we suggest are Back to the Future, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Goonies and The Neverending Story (earworm alert: this one will have the whole family singing the theme song for days afterwards).

Let us know if you give the DIY outdoor cinema a go - we'd love to hear and see what you created.

Outdoor cinema set up with lots of soft lighting
Kids watching lady and the tramp movie on a screen in the garden
Image: Pinterest
Summer girls night backyard movie
Image: Poptop Events
Dive in cinema at home, sitting on pool floats
garden cinema with dogs
Summer movie night candy bar
Image: Pinterest
children watching a movie in the backyard
Image: Pinterest