Backyard Theater Forum

Backyard Theater discussions => Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase => Topic started by: Elwood on September 02, 2007, 03:04:20 pm

Title: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on September 02, 2007, 03:04:20 pm
Hello all,

This site is great, glad to see there are more of us out there.

I started my backyard drive-in last spring and haven't stopped yet.

We had 4 or 5 drive-ins on Long Island when I was growing up (last one closed 15 years ago).

My kids (7&4) never heard of a drive-in, so I had to show them what it was all about.

Started talking to neighbors about showing a movie on a sheet in the yard, one neighbor said “I have a movie screen in my garage, I’ve had it for years, we never use it, and you can have it”
It was a long black box (9 feet) and weighed a ton. It turned out to be a $2000 home theater powered screen. FREE

A couple of U-bolts, a 2 by 4 and 2 ladders that I had, and it’s good to go.

I borrowed my uncle’s $1500 projector and set up my home Yamaha 5.1 surround sound system. I got a good copy of Shrek the 3rd and we were open for business.

That was back in May, since than I have showed 10 movies and done 2 block parties.

My uncle wanted his projector back after the 2 week and I got tired of bringing out my Yamaha.

So…I found an older Eiki projector on EBay for $30….plugged it in and 10 second later the bulb blew up…$300 for a new bulb.

So back to EBay I found a newer Eiki for $100 and I was back in business
Had an old Aiwa book shelf stereo that I use now and some extra speakers

$100 used projector off Ebay
$2000 movie screen (free)
A couple of ladders (free)
An old stereo ($30)
An old VCR ($20)
Some new movies off the web (free)
Taking my neighbors money playing Texas Hold’em while there kids & some wives are watching movies (priceless)

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: cecilb on September 02, 2007, 10:26:54 pm

Nice setup especially at those prices......... What's the screen made of?

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on September 04, 2007, 03:12:18 pm
thank you

the screen was givin to my neighbor from a friend who was moving.It was in his home theater room. its been in my neighbors attic for 10 years.

its a Stewart motorized projection screen EMH 110 is the model#
size 96"x 54" ultramatte 150
its weighted on the bottom,so it handles brezzes well
I use a bungee cord and a 4by4 to tie it down when the wind picks up

I looked at Stewarts web site and they sell new ones like this for $2000-$7000

Its an easy set up but it weights a ton and I need help to put it up.Im looking at the new Inflatables for next year. the cheap one of course

did anybody hear that Walmart is going to start selling the gemmy?
I hope that drives the price down

I had 2 showing over Labor Day weekend heres some new pix

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: tlogan6797 on September 05, 2007, 09:36:19 am
NICE! Some people seem to have all  the luck in finding stuff for free or REALLY cheap (and you know who I'm talking aobut!)

Great job. Keep up the good work.


Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on May 23, 2008, 10:20:58 pm
Well its official, season 2 of Islip Backyard Drive-In is underway.

We had a Saturday Night double feature last weekend with Horton and Enchanted, the kids had a ball. the rain held off until about midnight, with the neighbors help teardown took about 5 minutes.

I want to thank all of you on this site for your great ideas.

I added a slide show to my pre-show about the 75 adversary of the drive-in and the last days of the drive-ins on Long Island with some pictures I found on the web,with "Aint That a Shame"".
The custom opens were a big hit with the older folks, the kids just wanted the movie.

I found some old road construction signs, rebuilt and painted them to replace the ladders (one was my Dads and he wanted it back) that held up my home theater screen.

I built a A/V rack with some junk I found at work. I need to find bigger wheels for it, rolling it over the lawn is a little tuff.

Im using a 2 channel Adcom 100w amp and a Proton pre-amp for my sound fills up my small yard with no problem, and it doesn’t wake the old folks next door.I mounted some Yamaha speakers to the construction signs with Velcro and electrical cords for speaker wires, sofar so good.

And of course the evening would not be complete without my new poker table, that I built for about 40 bucks, it seats 10 very nicely.($25 for the cup holders)

Still looking for a bulb for my back up projector, or a new projector. My $100 Ebay special is still going strong.

I hope Mother Nature likes the movies that you play all summer long.

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: RoseRanch on May 28, 2008, 11:15:08 am
Very cool!  The poker table looks like the most fun, though.   ;)  Great job pulling it together for a minimum investment!  Enchanted is a surprisingly good movie, by the way.

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on May 29, 2008, 10:05:16 am
Thanks Rose, it is fun,

We play Texas Holdem every other Wednesday night, all year round, and in the summer we add “Family Friendly Poker Nights” so poker players can bring there kids to watch movies.
Sometimes we get 2 tables going.

I made my table out of scrapes, I found an 8 foot wood table that had been out side for awhile, weather beaten and a little warped. I spray glued car head liner material on first, to give it a little cushion. Then put some green felt that I had lying around on top. It was terrible. The felt was cheap and matted up quickly, you couldn’t deal the cards. I found some new material at Wal-Mart that works much better then the felt, and I put it on top of the felt. I tried plastic cup holder that hung over the sides of the table. That didn’t work well, lots of spilled beers, so I broke down and spent 25 bucks on metal cup holders that fit inside the table. Then I added the rail, 1x4s covered with some packing material and some cheap black material from Wal-Mart.

It stays outside from April 1st to Halloween, so I didn’t want to get a 200 dollar poker table for the spiders to make there home.

Like I have said in other post ,Its all about the party.
poker,movies,BBQ,family and friends

what else do we need?

PS…My latest garbage find is a Weber BBQ grill. It looked like it sat out all winter and the igniter was broke. The burners looked new, maybe used 10 times if that. A little power wash, some grill spray paint and a new igniter.
Poof I have a “like new” 400 dollar grill

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: dorsalfin on June 02, 2008, 12:24:56 pm
 hummm lucky Bastard lol But do you win at cards.

Looks like a fun time for all..............


Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on June 24, 2008, 12:05:03 am
6th movie night of the ‘08 season, sofar so good.

I added a Karaoke Singing Machine for my pre-preshow.  I got it "as-is" for 8 bucks, KB toys going out of business sale. It needed mics, I got 2 at Target $15, and I’m downloading Karaoke CD+Gs from the net. And a old 19in TV , it ties into my setup very well.
My girls love it.
The true test will come this Wednesday, the Girl Scouts are coming over for the
 “Last Day of School Karaoke/Movie Night” we are showing “Camp Rock”.

I also built a new A/V rack the last one was to heavy and hard to move, this one will fit in my mini-van.
Because, I’m going mobile next month, two 4th of July parties at friends. Just testing the water, to see how easy it is, so I can start making some money for the upgrading I want to do.

Also just paid for my new 8oz.popcorn popper on Ebay, should be here tomorrow.
I will post details later, after I test drive it.
here some pix

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on July 06, 2008, 07:57:44 am
I took it on the road.I did 2 parties this weekend
set up was easy with a little help from my friends.New A/V rack works much better, still a little heavy getting into the mini-van.
Screen just fits in the van and the stands ride on top.
I had to compete with fireworks all weekend.
one party was a 1/4 mile from the towns firework started the same time I was playing the patriotic montage I put together, the last thing in my preshow.
We all went down the block to watch the show and after we all enjoyed Toy Story II.
I think if I get a easier screen I could take it on the road and make some money.

here some pix of new rack and set up

may all your blubs burn bright and long

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: diesel42 on September 18, 2008, 05:44:34 pm
hey elwood, ive got a question about your screen.  is it pretty much a pain to set up?  I have a friend who is willing to give me a 12 foot electric screen for free, but I'm not sure because it sounds HEAVY.  Do you keep it outside or do you house it in the garage when not in use.  Anyways, great setup, and maybe one day I'll be showing off my own pics!!  :)

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: Elwood on September 19, 2008, 08:59:33 am
the motor burnt out on my screen, I took it out of the box and it alot lighter.
the wood stands I leave outside,and the screen comes in.

good luck

Title: Re: Backyard Drive-In $130 out of pocket
Post by: rfisk on September 19, 2008, 09:50:17 am
Elwood, nice job pulling this system together!  I noticed in your photo that you're sending composite video to your projector.  Have you considered sending a better signal?  I'm not familiar with that EIKI model but you should be able to see a noticeable improvement if you only jumped up to s-video.  Component would be even better if you have that option.