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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: First Night - and Pictures too  (Read 28952 times)
Matt
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« on: May 19, 2007, 11:48:28 am »

Well everyone,
You all gave me input, and it HELPED big time.  Quick re-cap, I purchased a 12x9 blackout cloth screen, I have an infocus X2 projector, I purchase the Phillips 1000W HTiB system from Best Buy and hooked it all up. 

First off, when people came over, their first comment was "Wow, how cool".  Then almost everyone commented on how clear the picture was.  We watched Shrek 2 for the kids, then when they went to bed, a couple adults watched SpiderMan 2.  Quite a bit of adult beverages were consumed throughout the night.  A couple cars drove by, backed up and watched to see what was going on..

The next comments were how great the sound was.  The system was crystal clear and the surround sound was completely worth the price of the system.  It was really incredible.

I put together a small powerpoint for pre-show just to have some fun, and got some good laughs and feed back, I will do it up much more next time!

Here are a few pictures.
I am VERY addicted to doing this, and my neighbor was so into it he had suggestions for how to make it better and helped with the set-up and tear down.  People are already planning neighborhood parties around a movie.


Here are some photos - the last one showing the lights on in my house behind shows how great the BlackOut cloth works and also the size.  What a GREAT experience!  It looked like rain for a while here in Colorado, but passed and we had a very clear night with stars.


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kelemvor
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 12:02:47 pm »

Nice setup.  That setup on your deck looks like the perfect place to hang the screen from.  Looks really great.
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rfisk
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2007, 12:10:29 pm »

Nice setup.  That setup on your deck looks like the perfect place to hang the screen from.  Looks really great.
Definitely.  That's a perfect spot.  Well done, Matt!  Glad to hear things went so well on your first showing and everyone had fun.  Thanks for posting your pics!  I hope to catch up on showcase updates sometime this weekend.

Have a blast this summer and keep us posted.

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


Cherry Hills
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 02:31:04 pm »

Hmmm, I may have to try that in our back yard, too.  Looks very tidy and easy to setup/tear down.
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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2007, 04:56:04 pm »

It really was very tidy and neat looking.  I had the DVD player right behind the screen and so the only wires I had running into the yard was a single extension cord, the component video and the two surround speakers in a neat line.  I only needed a very small little plastic table for the projector, so the kids were still able to run all over the yard since I steaked down those wires.

Tear down was very easy.  I had  a large PVC pipe (I was going to use it in the rod pockets, but they sewed it too small, and didn't need it anyways due to the grommets) which I bungee'd to the bottom of the screen to weight it down, we had a significant breeze at first (10-15 mph), so I just rolled the screen up around that and set it in my garage for cleanup.

I almost want to do it again tonight, but I don't want people to lose the excitement.  People have been talking about it today, and I have a feeling the next showing will be more like 40-50 people not the 20 we had last night. 

One concern, and please give me some advice.  If the movie is in wide screen format, it is about 4-5 feet off the ground, but if not, then it goes all the way to the bottom, so I am concerned that people can't sit behind each other to watch it since it isn't up some - is the 4-5 foot height ok?  I could make it higher by raising the projector, that might work, hmmm, just thought of that - thinking out loud here.  Is this a major concern for people? 

I am going to use many of the ideas I have seen from everyone, publishing a schedule of shows, announcing them in advance, maybe some tickets, etc... What fun this is.  I am assuming everyone else on here is like me and really enjoys entertaining and seeing people have a good time, this is such a great way to do it.

I keep going through all the pictures from everyone else to get ideas.  I might asuggest to our HOA that we do a movie/pool night at the neighboorhood pool.  That sounds like a lot of fun, I love seeing the people who are showing it over their pools, those look great! 

I have to admit, I am hooked and addicted to this!  I'll be taking pictures from every showing.
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Mao
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 12:44:30 am »

Matt,

Where are you in Colorado?

I'm in Denver....send me an e-mail!

I had a private test run tonight myself!
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 12:52:41 am »

Congratulations! I remember very well the feeling of exhiliration after our first show. In fact, I still feel it, now in our third season.

Regarding the image height: 4-5 feet is a good height for the bottom of the image, since everyone will be able to see it over the heads of the people in front of them. It's a nuisance to have to crane your head around to see the bottom third (or whatever) of the show between a couple of silhouettes in front it you. Moving the projector to a higher position will mean worse view for a couple of people right behind it, but better view for everyone else.
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2007, 08:34:39 am »

I have to tell you... each night I show a movie, I still have that "first night" feeling of excitement.  This is so much fun.

Dano
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Matt
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2007, 03:03:25 pm »

Hello Mao,
I am in Fort Collins (grew up in Boulder).   Where in Denver are you?

I am thinking about firing it up tonight for a 9PM showing of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or maybe something like Cinderella Man.  Probably just see if anyone comes over to chill out with a beer or two.  Heck, I have this stuff sitting around, I MUST use it right?

When you doing your first showing?



Also - for everyone else (I will post this also in the speaker section for info).  On my Philips systems HTS3544 that I purchased from Best Buy - there is a nusance.  The rear speaker wires are only 50 feet long and are permanent, so the only way to get them longer is to cut and splice.  (voiding the warranty).  I will probably end up doing this.  50 feet got them behind almost everyone with the 20 people, but a much larger gathering and I need them further back.  The system has amazing sound and you can adjust the volume on each speaker separately.  Just wanted to let people know of this incase someone was considering buying this, they should know this.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 03:09:30 pm by Matt » Logged
Mao
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2007, 07:58:02 pm »

Matt,

I live in Thornton...I might have to visit someday!

I wish the weather would cooperate...a bit too chilly and the rain just passed us...

I used the time to get some wood and blackout fabric...I had to scale back on the screen size a bit (my backyard is a rather intimate affair)....going with a 108" diagonal 16X9 framed screen. It more than meets my needs at this time!

I overthought this screen a bit and decided to start with something easier to accomplish. I may have something custom made down the road.

I'm embarrased to admit we christened the backyard with "Catch And Release" last night. Just with a king size sheet and the speakers on the unit. I'm not able to go crazy with sound where I am, the picture will have to do the magic....still a pretty amazing experience with a beautiful spring night!

By Friday, the rock speakers will be installed and at least I'll have better sound for the 30th Anniversary screening of "Star Wars" (the original, untinkered-with version!)

Keep us posted and happy screenings!
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Matt
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2007, 03:50:59 am »

Hey Mao,
We might have to have a Colorado "convention" and see each other's "theaters".

I am pretty lucky in the fact I have great neighbors.  The people next door and behind me have said a double feature is required (which means 1:00 AM at the earliest in the middle of summer).  The ones behind me went to bed in the middle of Spiderman and said they didn't hear a thing (I did turn it down for the second film, but it was still loud enough). 

I HIGHLY suggest the BlackOut cloth for a screen using the shiny side.  It is incredible.  I didn't try the bedsheet, but if you have any sewing ability, you can get a big screen of BlackOut for around $75 and sew the pieces together. (I have ZERO artistic ability, which includes sewing so I paid someone to do it)

I didn't get to pull the screen out tonight, too many things I had to get done, so the next showing is the 1st of June.

Already planning for College Football and NFL evening games in the fall.  Have a lot of excited people about those.  Too bad the CSU Rams don't have night games all that often, but I figure when they go to a BCS bowl this year it will be an evening game, so I will have a major event for that!

Good idea on the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.  I may have to have a special event for that! (I really am looking for any excuse to bring it out.  Pretty soon I'll be showing my neighbor's wedding video's)
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tlogan6797
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 11:14:52 am »

Matt -

VERY nice!

Keep up the good work!

Good luck,
Tom
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