Backyard Theater Forum

Backyard Theater discussions => Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase => Topic started by: victor-eyd on May 17, 2006, 10:17:30 pm



Title: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on May 17, 2006, 10:17:30 pm
Okay, I've threatened to make one ever since I found out about this forum so here we go....

This is my outdoor driveway movie theater. I have rather large and fairly flat driveway and I decided to install the ht there for a few reasons:
1. The house holds back the wind from the bay so no one overly freezes as they would if the ht was in the backyard and
2. The large expanse of driveway allows me to add or reduce the size of the venue as I see fit.

Everything I used to create this was either given to me as a throwout, or bought on craigslist. Being the resident cheapskate of this forum, this is the overall look of the theater.

Wiring: paid $7 for a 500ft spool 8 yrs ago, so currently worth nothing
Playback : Portable dvd player bought on craigslist for $10
Projector: NEC MT820 also bought on craigslist for $10.00
Speakers: No name flea market stuff, but 6" subwoofer is from a SOny HTIB and is powered by an Partsexpress sub amp (all free)

Driveway venue space measures 25x60 ft give or take. The pavers are a nice touch and as an added bonus, little kids can play inside the garage if it gets too cold outside.

Screen will be mounted on the metal fence and is made of 3 or 4 panels of 48"x81" 1" thick cardboard. This isn't your usual box-material cardboard. It more like rigid panels of two cardboard sheets with a 1" thick honeycomb pattern sandwiched between. This makes the panel very stiff but also very light. I am going to paint the cardboard with white paint (free) but if the material begins to warp, I may end up using wooden 1/8" mdf sheets. Again, I got these from work free.

Anyways, here are some pics

Driveway
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00057.jpg)

Fence closeup
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00409.jpg)

Rear spkrs
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00414.jpg)

Front speakers mounted
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00415.jpg)

Closeup of front speakers
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00416.jpg)

My 1st attempt, which failed as you can see (to be honest, looking back at it the image would have been better if I made it more taut. I was able to on one pic but ultimately, I was pretty sure the wrinkles would have been too much

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00423.jpg)

More pictures to come


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rfisk on May 18, 2006, 12:25:26 am
You are the master, Victor.

Lemme guess... you paid what, about 10k for that house?

I love it.  You even make low-tech speaker mounts and stands look great.

Nice work!

Randy


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Pass_The_Off on May 25, 2006, 02:21:41 pm
Howdy

  Nice place.  Yeppers that mite not work to well.  But by looking at your speaker set up. 

I look forward to your finished product.


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Emperor PalpaTim on May 25, 2006, 11:09:04 pm
I love the speaker stands!  (And your house rocks, too!) 


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: hiredpower on May 25, 2006, 11:22:28 pm
Victor,

  Very nice work.

Don't worry about the screen failures. Been there, done that too. I can't wait to see the end result.

I have access to some plastic corrugated sheets, but they're only 16" x 36" darnit!



Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Emperor PalpaTim on May 25, 2006, 11:26:15 pm
Plastic corrugated sheets?  Like the kind they make yard signs out of? 

Victor:  Yep, I've had my share of failures, too.  My first two screens were complete disasters.  Don't give up or lose hope.  I find that outdoor theaters are always a work in progress. 


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: hiredpower on May 25, 2006, 11:30:21 pm
Emperor, I'll shoot a quick picture of them on Friday.

I can't tell what they're supposed to be used for.


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Admin on May 25, 2006, 11:40:23 pm
I gotta dig up the photos of half of my first screen (plywood) sitting on top of my roof.  And the other half in the front yard after a storm and get them posted here somewhere.  Live and learn!

Maybe we'll need a crash and burn forum.  :)

Randy


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rrg on May 26, 2006, 09:03:24 am
Randy,
Good idea, I still have some of my "crash and burn" materials in the garage.
My cable wire home made hoist device really did crash down a few times.

Live and learn.
rrg


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on May 26, 2006, 09:28:49 pm
I just notice my "failure" is now part of the Featured Members theaters! Yikes! I've got to finish that screen pronto ;D

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: hiredpower on May 26, 2006, 09:54:44 pm
Maybe a little motivator?


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on May 26, 2006, 10:06:18 pm
Alright, more work in progress...

Here are the panels (3) 48x85
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00021.jpg)

This is a test panel so the bump is no big deal.
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00020.jpg)

Closeup of the cardboard panel. Extremely rigid, but also very light.
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00022.jpg)

The next project- 16'x9' rear projection screen

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rfisk on May 26, 2006, 11:01:18 pm
Hey Victor, I don't view that as a failure.  I get a lot of emails from people saying they want to start but can't build a screen or invest much cash.  I always try to encourage them to start with whatever they can manage -- but start.  Mr. Hollingshead started with a sheet hung between two trees and a projector sitting on the hood of his car, and drive-ins were born.

My first test screen was a big piece of Tyvek housewrap just because I had saved it from our remodeling project.  And it beat the heck out of no screen at all!

And you're an inspirational contributor here for a lot of people with your uncanny ability to find great bargains.  You should be featured.  But I'll update that photo for you when you have your $37.00 75-foot-wide screen done. :)

No pressure.

Randy


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on June 13, 2006, 01:15:46 am
Okay- phase 2 begins. Oh we are so close now I can't wait!!

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00029.jpg)
This is my backup panel. The marks are to show where my velcro will be positioned. The electrical paint strips are for another use as you will soon see...

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/rearof1stpanel.jpg)
Back of the panel. Simple strips of velcro adhere the panel to the fence, insuring a secure fit from the wind.

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/allpanelsup.jpg)
All panels up. Thanks helper! ;D

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/rearofpanels.jpg)
Rear of panels

Okay, why the electrical tape? Simple. I am going to use white masking tape to cover the gap between each panel. If I simply adhere it to the cardboard, when I remove the tape, the cardboard will rip. The electrical tape serves as a plastic buffer to protect the white tape from ruining the screen. Obviously, once the tape rips of it will take some paint with it. So I'll simply touch up and screen's ready for the next session.

Just to reiterate, this is a 12ft wide 16x9 screen, or 165". Its about medium size with this crowd ;D ;D

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00040.jpg)
Photoshopped but you get the general idea for now

Next step: white paint


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: movieman on June 13, 2006, 05:24:29 am
When you get done are you going to raise the screen up a couple of feet. Right now people in seating behind the first row will have heads in the way. Just a thought. 


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on June 13, 2006, 11:24:12 am
I'm considering the raising of the screen however I have so much space around the area I'm rather hesitant. I'll have to make practice party to see if it merits moving up the screen. Also, it gets somewhat windy at times and moving the panels higher allows me less areas to hold velcro the screen to the fence.

Victor


Title: Finally Done!!!.. Well, sort of..
Post by: victor-eyd on June 16, 2006, 07:57:33 pm
I've found some extra white paint lying around, so the panels were painted, and this project is complete!!

One annoying problem is that the paint curved the panels slightly. I could paint the other side to counteract the curve but for now the panels look great.

Yes, once projected the tape seams do show since they don't totally match the paint but after a few minutes you forget about this. All in all, very affordable, very durable and easy to store. I'm very happy. :D

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00050.jpg)

My next step is getting surround sound. I've just found out that my main amps on the receiver are dead >:(. However, I had a carver tfm-15 amp just sitting there doing nothing so I'm back in business ;D

Also, my $10.00 dvd player is really junk so I'm gonna look for a spare dvd player in the house, which I think also cost me $10, now that I think about it....

Its not the end, just the beginning...

Thanks to everyone and this great forum.

Victor

PS- Randy pls use this image instead of those 2 crummy examples ;D


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Pass_The_Off on June 16, 2006, 09:43:27 pm
Howdy

  A wonderfull job!

  Suggest you try Behr "Silverscreen" color,  if the white shows the seams to much.  Did wonders for me.


Title: Finally Done- No- Really!!
Post by: victor-eyd on June 19, 2006, 02:45:10 am
I wanted to create my sound system to have it all- great surround sound, subwoofer capable, modular so I can remove/add components when needed, and most of all easy to move. After much deliberation on the merits/hardships of "taking it outside", I finally, with the help of long spools of speaker wire and video cable, reached the sonic conclusion of this outdoor project.

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00046.jpg)

All components are now housed in a nice fairly dust-free location inside the garage. The Denon is the surround sound receiver, and it powers the 2 centers (this particular unit actually had a double center plugs) and the surround. I preamp the front mains onto my carver tfm-15. The carver is unique in that it had rca inputs and outputs, allowing you to daisy chain more amps if needed. From the output signal I fed it to my partexpress sub-amp.

Using the front a/v input of the receiver, I can hook up an xbox, playstation, or my dvd player and I'm in business.

Finally, using a LOT of speaker wire, I can now freely wire all of my speakers, including my passive sub, all the while keeping the components out of harms way. At the end of the movie I can simply spool all of the wire and put away the speakers.

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00045.jpg)

BTW, the old silver kenwood powers my garage sub-sat system. The 5-cd player output is split using a spare radio shack video splitter to both systems, so I can use the cd for background music outdoors or simply when I'm working in the garage.

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rfisk on June 19, 2006, 06:58:36 am
Looks great, Victor!!

I'll swapout the image(s) tonight.

Nice work. :)

Randy

Update:  Victor, I swapped out your image (you may need to do a refresh).  If you don't mind, I'd like to leave your prototype rear projection garage door screen (that would be a RPGDS, I suppose).  It's a good example of yet another low-cost option (from the master) that might help to get someone else addicted ...er, started.


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on June 22, 2006, 01:42:36 pm
Well, I finally did a movie night. Had some coronas, rum and Coke, and plenty of chips. My first full length movie was Incredibles and it turned out pretty well as I had hoped for. Gotta fine tune the surrounds but the sub and the dual centers made a big difference in filling out the sound.

Setup up time was quick- about 20 min for screen and speakers. Breakdown roughly the same.

I'll be having another movie night but its gonna have to be a shorter movie. Over here on the left coast movie starts about 9-9:15pm. Its too bright any earlier.

Anyways, here pics of my setup - which sorta looks like what Snoopy setup in Charlie Brown Thanksgiving ;D

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/is_00049.jpg)

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on June 14, 2007, 06:21:02 pm
I'm starting to get upgraditis. At the office I've found 2 (I'll need 3) more of these cardboard panels. But they're huge at 60x110, so to have 3 of them to become 180" wide x 110" high, I'll end up at about 16:9 207" with room to spare.

I've also found some white paint lying around so this little upgrade won't cost me much at all, perhaps $20-30 for more velcro.

100" seems so small now ;D

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rfisk on June 14, 2007, 10:56:12 pm
Go Vic-tor.  Go Vic-tor.  ;D

Randy


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: BigScreenThrills on June 15, 2007, 08:36:57 am
Victor, you sure know how to keep the cost down.  I got worried for a second when you said you were getting upgraditis.  But then I saw $20-$30 upgrade cost, and I felt better.

Heck, I'm happy when I make a purchase and my TAX is only $20-$30.

Great job, post some pics when it's done!


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: Cherry Hills on June 18, 2007, 12:13:11 pm
100" seems so small now ;D

Ain't that the truth? I caught myself wishing for a 9x16 foot screen and then realized that my backyard space is only 10 feet wide and the driveway is 14 feet. But it looks like you have the space, so I say GO FOR IT!


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on April 02, 2008, 08:15:16 pm
Been awhile since I updated this thread but..... ;D

It has arrived (top panel for safety only)
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/100_5098.jpg)

Wow, it really big, but incredibly light (about 10-12lbs)
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/100_5099.jpg)

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: victor-eyd on April 02, 2008, 08:17:45 pm
Here it is, unpainted and just leaning on the fence.

Yes, I have to get rid of the weeds ;)
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/100_5100.jpg)

And here it behind its predecessor
(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd107/victor-eyd/backyard%20theater/100_5101.jpg)

Each panel is 60x105, so three panels are 180x105, or over 200+" 16:9 diagonal



Did I mention it was free ;D ;D ;D

Victor


Title: Re: The $20.00 sideyard drive-in theater
Post by: rfisk on April 02, 2008, 08:38:43 pm
That's going to be a nice upgrade Victor. 

Would look great with a big Trapeze/Spandex diaper stretched over it.

Randy