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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Additions or improvements for this summer?  (Read 4733 times)
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« on: March 16, 2013, 09:53:51 pm »

What if any upgrades are theatre operators making this up-coming season?

* Marquee 2013 3-15.jpg (50.5 KB, 502x324 - viewed 353 times.)

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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 11:43:36 pm »

Being from Southern California we never really stopped, but we also never stopped improving. I built a new screen frame and started a fifties theme. I also added a cart from Sam's Club for my rack. Now working on LED color changing lights for frame, and maybe patio. Also looking to mount projector better on cart. Better projector and Bigger Sound system is always wanted. LOL
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 12:04:28 am »

For me it looks like MAJOR upgrades this year.  I have been putting off partly because our outdoor theater is in the spot that the land lord has been wanting to build a large storage building / barn (for his use not mine) in that space.  He is now saying that it will probably be 2 -3 years more before he will be able to build the storage building, and while even that isn't exactly set in stone, I'm going to take it as I will likely have the theatre for at least a few more years, before having to close or move it.  At the end of last season I wasn't sure if we would still have the space, this year so being told 2 - 3 more seasons is a green light for upgrades, plus doing something with the screen is now a must, after this last winter.  The pacific NW is hard on wood outdoor screens, with all the rain, moss and mildew, is such an issue here.

#1.  My screen has been deteriorating for the last several years, and this last winter the old plywood has started to De-laminate... badly.  I'll post pictures later.  So I have already begun the process of removing the old plywood off the 4X4 frame.  The Frame is still looking good and solid, so it will just be a matter of new plywood priming, filling the seams and painting.  There were a few things that I did not like about my original surface, so now I can correct them.  Also I'm going to expand the frame somewhat to make the total screen size larger.  We will be going from a 7 X 9 foot screen, to 8 X 12.  I have always been a huge fan of using Craigslist "Free" flat white paint on the screen (which works fine by the way), but this time I'm going to actually buy paint.  Sherwin-Williams Proclassic Smooth Enamel Satin Finish Extra White will be my flavor of choice.  According to an article I read on projector central it is supposed to be a dead ringer for studiotek 100.  So we'll see what the image is like with better paint.  Hopefully it'll work out good, for a brighter, crisper image.

#2.   Field lighting.  I have no outdoor lighting besides what little is in the cabana, and the back porch lights.  Makes operating the projector and tear down a dark experience that has to be done by flashlight.  I am going to install two large flood lights on the top of the screen, one at each end that will serve as the field lighting.  I just need to figure out how to control them from the cabana, perhaps some kind of wireless remote?  I'm open to suggestions.

#3.   We broadcast our sound exclusively, no speakers other than that of the radio.  Currently we are broadcasting on AM 650 using an older Radio Systems transmitter, ATU and antenna system.  The ATU, is starting to go out, and while it still works, I have to constantly fidget with the thing before each show to get it working properly.  If I have the money after the screen rebuild, I'm going to buy a Rangestar setup.  It is an FM transmitter with adjustable output wattage, mini as well as a external antenna, that of course would bring along support for stereo sound and....  Check this out, surround sound effects could also be broadcast as well with this unit. Though the sound card in my laptop doesn't support true surround sound (only stereo), but it would leave the door open for that upgrade down the road.  However the transmitter setup is rather expensive, so it may just have to be put on hold until mid season / summer depending on how my paychecks are from work this spring.

I figure even if we do loose the space in another 2 -3 years as currently planned everything can easily be moved to a new spot except the screen (4X4's sunk in the ground), but even that could be moved with enough work.  So it will all be money well spent towards the future of the theater and enjoyment for the views.  And isn't that what it is all about?

BTW.  We are targeting mid to late May for the start of the season for us depending on weather!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 12:36:17 am by SirRobyn0 » Logged



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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 04:32:25 pm »

I think my main upgrade entering this season will be to add some permanent speakers to my backyard setup to speed up set-up/take-down time and also keep my lawn open for potential seating.  The speakers would also be available any time I wanted to have music in the backyard.  Here's what my backyard setup looks like:

I'm thinking of building some cedar "birdhouses" to attach to the top of the fence on either side of the screen to house left/right channels, then I plan to build some sort of box that will be inset in the fence below the screen for a center channel speaker -- not sure what to disguise that one as yet.  Even though I will be using outdoor rated speakers I plan to have doors that will hide the speakers when not in use.

I'll trench the speaker wires under the lawn and patio to a weatherproof box a little ways behind where my AV cart sits.

Edit: Oh, yeah, and I'm also going to be trying to come up with some sort of canopy/shade to help shield my screen from the setting sun so I can start watching earlier in the evening.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 04:46:10 pm by bdwalker1 » Logged

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