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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Spring Avenue Starlight Theater  (Read 52607 times)
Dennis
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« on: July 15, 2007, 04:52:38 pm »


After stumbling onto Backyardtheater.com in late June, we were hooked!  On July 14th, after dozens of "test nights" and many screen/sound iterations, the Spring Avenue Starlight welcomed its first non-family guests.

Here is a picture of our theater area as it was BBYT (before backyard theater)...



Here's the "after":



The screen is 16 X 9, 1" EMT frame with Trapeze Plus.  The sound is a Sony 5.1 800 watts and I replaced the center speaker with two Bose 201's wired in parellel.  Those with sharp eyes will also notice a fresh coat of paint on the garage door!

The frame is 1" EMT with 90-degree corner pieces:



The *perfect* place for the projector turned out to be smack-dab in the middle of my wife's flowerbed.  Knowing better than to plop a table down there, I built a swing-arm for the projector and placed one stepping stone in the garden so I can fiddle with focus after swinging it into place.

(the really perfect place for the projector was my son's bedroom window above...would have been just like a projectionist booth!)



Although the "droop" of the swing-arm insults my engineering DNA, it's perfect from a projector-alignment perspective...I just have one thin door shim under the projector for height adjustment.



We had about 50 folks attend our first show...here's a shot as the crowd was starting to take seats...most are still behind the camera, at the bar.  Cool

Lessons Learned:

1) Trapeze Fabric Rocks!
2) Stretching the screen in 10-15 mph wind is a ^$*%@
3) Blazing Saddles is soooooo politically incorrect!
4) Stock more vodka, less rum.
5) Don't leave the trash bags outside for even 15 minutes as you clean up...animals are fearless.
6) Everyone on this forum was correct...size does matter, sound does matter, but mainly only to the owner...everyone would have had just as much fun with shadow puppets, it's getting together that is the point!

Thanks to everyone here who contributed knowledge to make the Spring Avenue Starlight Theater a success!

Dennis


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JB
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 05:04:28 pm »

WOW DENNIS!  Very impressive work!
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rfisk
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 05:24:25 pm »

You know Dennis, I made a comment earlier about adding a black drape to the bottom of the screen to cover the garage door. 

Upon looking at it again,there's another option...  you could just sacrifice the garage and convert it to a big speaker enclosure for your fronts, center, and sub!  I figure if you add a few internal block walls, some ports, a couple of those mondo woofers Coon Creek talks about, and substitute the garage door with black grill cloth -- you'll be good to go. 

It's a good distance from Chicago to Indy, so you shouldn't have to worry about Dano's neighbor complaining.

Great setup!

Randy

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"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going.  There's something ahead worth looking for." -- Neil Young


Mao
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 08:06:51 pm »

Nice work!

You are so right....I sat there watching "Jurassic Park" last night wondering about all the improvements that I could make...when it was all said and done, evryone had a great time.

You've learned a lot and it shows....here's to many more nights under the stars!!!!!
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barefoottourguide
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 08:13:54 pm »

It's all about atmosphere... and by the look of your yard, you have an awesome theater. But I have to disagree-- you can never have too much rum. Especially if you're showing Pirates of Caribbean.

Garrett
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KMac
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2007, 11:41:02 pm »

Great setup.  I love the intermission cartoons with the hotdogs, etc...Enjoy!!!

KMac Cool
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 12:30:29 am »

Oh, that's a beauty, that is! I knew from the first viewing of your driveway pic that you had a lovely spot for outdoor movies. And you have really made the best of it. Great work, and great fun.

But don't kid yourself that your friends and family don't appriciate all your hard work. If you had just set up the 25" Sony tube in front of the garage, they would have been gone before the hotdog jumped into the bun. But a setup like that - that's a real movie screen. You bet they loved it.

Keep on having fun. You're off to a fabulous start!
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kelemvor
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2007, 07:20:43 am »

So how is the screen attached to your garage anyway?  Looks like you could just have pieces sticking out the back and stick a sandbag on it on the top of the garage area.
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Dennis
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2007, 07:58:18 am »


So how is the screen attached to your garage anyway?  Looks like you could just have pieces sticking out the back and stick a sandbag on it on the top of the garage area.

The screen is 16' X 9'...and that is exactly what I did while testing, use weighty objects to hold it down.  But then the wind came and launched it.  So now there are 2X4's bolted to the top of the garage (which is concrete slab...for protection against thermonuclearwar) and 3/4" EMT is bolted to the 2X4's sticking out toward the audience.  The screen frame's 1" EMT slides into the 3/4" tube and is held in place with 1/4" quick-release cotter-pinny-thingies (technical jargon).

Dennis
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Ultimately the pessimist may be proven right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip!
Dennis
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 10:18:50 pm »


Postscript

Once the BYT bug bites, it's full steam ahead!  As Randy pointed out, almost 30 days to the day from my first post we were hosting friends, family and the local newspaper!

Here's the link to the text:
http://homes.dailyherald.com/story.php?id=392920&s=hp

Since the online version didn't have pictures, I thought I'd just snap a picture of the article...



Wait...let me get the cat out of the way.  (everyone wants to be in the picture)


The picture of me had a bit of red-eye, so I touched it up a bit...




See you under the stars!
Dennis





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Danoplex II
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2007, 06:30:28 am »

Excellent article!

Dano
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kelemvor
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2007, 07:12:38 am »

And nice touch-up on the picture.  You can barely tell...
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barefoottourguide
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2007, 11:09:58 am »

Great write-up. You're going to have to turn away people wanting to see your next movie.
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Pass_The_Off
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 09:52:00 pm »

Just when I think I've seen it all.  Along comes another great ideal.

Well done!
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Bedrock
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2007, 02:47:01 pm »

This setup looks nice to me, good work.  On this site you can always see a different design which is always refreshing. Keep up the good work all....  Grin
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