Transforming Your Backyard into an Outdoor Movie Theater

Outdoor Movie Theater

In this beautiful summer weather, it seems like the perfect time to get out and have fun with friends and family. However, doing many of the things you might ordinarily want to may not be an option this summer. This includes something as simple as going out to the movie theater to see the latest blockbuster hit. Thankfully, there is an alternative way to catch up on your favorite flicks while simultaneously enjoying the nice summer weather while it lasts.

Creating your own outdoor movie theater is not only a great way to create that authentic “movie experience” in your own backyard, but also a way to utilize space that might be fairly empty otherwise. Setting up your ideal outdoor theater, complete with comfortable seating, a beautiful screen, immersive audio, atmospheric accessories, and (of course) plenty of tasty snacks is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

Here are some ideas on how to set up that perfect outdoor movie theater:

Pick Out Your Perfect Video and Audio Set-Up

projector for outdoor movie

What’s the most essential part of any movie experience? The movie itself of course! Without a quality screen and audio set-up, no one at your makeshift movie theater is going to be able to enjoy the films you decide to watch to their fullest potential. Remember to keep in mind that you won’t have access to as many electrical outlets outdoors and that lighting and weather conditions play a major role in what’s possible.  We recommend putting up a projector screen and pairing it with a portable speaker system. Easy to set up and perfect for outdoor conditions!

Remember to Get Comfy

No one wants to go hours laying on the hard ground or finding an awkwardly shaped tree-stump to sit on, which is why finding a comfortable seating arrangement is so key to your backyard movie theater. Of course, you probably don’t want to drag out your nice new recliner from the living room either. When it comes to outdoor seating, there are several great options.

One classic choice is an Adirondack chair which features wide armrests and a slanted back to provide a relaxed and laid-back seating option. For added cushioning, many lounge-style seating options exist that are designed for the outdoors. If a little bit of motion gets you in the movie-watching mood, check out a rocking chair. All of these options are specifically designed for outdoor use and are made of materials designed to withstand the weather. Many come in either single or loveseat variants, so you can decide what to get based on your own outdoor theater needs.

Tables for Snacks & Drinks!

Depending on how you want to set up your outdoor theater, you may want to get a patio or outdoor table. These are great to have if you plan on sitting under the sun or stars having a nice meal before your movie or if you just want somewhere to gather around or place snacks and beverages on. There’s a wide variety of tables made for the outdoors available, so take your pick based on whatever style you’re going for.

Maybe the classic picnic table is what works best. A tried-and-true option, picnic tables come with benches attached making it a simple and easy choice. If that’s not the look you’re going for, or you’d like for each of your guests to be able to have their own chair, there are many outdoor dining tables and sets to choose from. These are just like a typical indoor dining room set but made to withstand the outdoor weather! To add some unique flair to your outdoor movie theater look into a fire pit. Many of these can double as tables making them a versatile and stylish option. And who doesn’t love a nice fire to gather around? Most of these options come in full-sized or smaller end-table variants so you can mix and match to satisfy all of your guests.

Once you have your space set up pick up your favorite snacks and drinks! Emulate a movie theater by munching on popcorn and candy or go a completely different route with home cooked treats.

popcorn and candy

Add Some Style

Outdoor Rugs

homemakers rug

Chairs, tables, and your actual movie set-up are all important but don’t forget to add your own flair and style to your outdoor movie theater. It is yours after all! If you’re going to be using a deck or patio as a part of your space, an outdoor rug is a fun and simple addition that can add huge visual pop. With rugs featuring everything from elegant floral designs to colorful striped patterns, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye.

Outdoor Umbrella

homemakers umbrella

Another must-have are outdoor umbrellas. Adding both style and shade to your space, these give your outdoor movie theater a cozier and more private feel. Of course, the practical benefits of a large outdoor umbrella cannot be understated. Whether it’s providing an excellent source of shade during the day or sheltering you from an unexpected drizzle at night, umbrellas complement any setup. You could even use them create a roof over your movie screen for better lighting. Like rugs, these come in a large variety of patterns and designs so feel free to choose what speaks to you the most.

Cover Up!

homemakers cover

One of the biggest concerns many have when creating their own outdoor movie theater is how to ensure their furniture and other items remain intact through the inevitable inclement weather. While all of the items we’ve discussed are made to last through poor weather conditions, adding a bit of extra protection never hurt.

Outdoor covers can extend the life of your outdoor furniture and keep it looking stylish. These protective covers are built to last and provide water-resistance while still allowing your pieces to breathe. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and there’s a cover to fit virtually everything you might have in your outdoor movie theater. Electronic items, such as a projector or speakers, should be brought inside.

Don’t forget to stop by our New Patio Furniture blog for new outdoor furniture for the summer!


And there you have it! With these tips, we know you’ll be able to build your dream outdoor theater that captures that movie magic feeling. While there are quite a few decisions to consider, remember that, at the end of the day an outdoor movie theater is for you and your guests’ entertainment so be sure to have fun with it. All that’s left is to pick out your favorite films and enjoy!


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