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1  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Another bad start for my BYT year on: June 21, 2017, 01:25:34 pm
Southeast Idaho has had crappy weather and high winds until this last week.  I hope summer give me a break and lets me get a few movies in before the weather turns again.  I feel your pain.
2  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Backyard Theater Host/Hostess Poll on: June 21, 2017, 01:23:12 pm
I'm a child of the sixties that enjoyed drive-ins growing up.  Picture quality was not the greatest and those nasty metal speaker boxes that sound like drive thru speakers.  I find people respond most to the sound quality.  If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor surround system that's awesome.  I find two channel amps do the trick and no one seems to mind.  The folks I have shown for are just happy to have a nostalgic outdoor experience.  Quick set-up and take-down are important to me.  I try to keep my system mobile.
3  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: How to build a backyard theater on the cheap on: June 21, 2017, 01:16:29 pm
I have been fortunate to find some good projectors for around $30-$50 bucks at thrift stores.  They are by no means Super High Def but they work for outdoor activities.  My sound system was my biggest investment.  I have a system that will shake foundations... the only problem is that it is a bear to haul around.  So I'm currently trying out a smaller system that will adequately work for a back yard, and yet will be much easier to transport.  Folks have started making requests to have the movies in their back yards and I'm getting too old to haul the big stuff around.  My screen is a 7 x 12 foot piece of canvas that has been very durable.  Contact local schools and colleges to see if they are upgrading their AV equipment and you might just score a good deal on a projector. My 2.
4  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Backyard Theater Host/Hostess Poll on: June 22, 2016, 12:01:50 pm
I used to worry about setting up a receiver with 5.1 surround and try to run cable to 5 speakers.  It got to be a real hassle for set up and take down.  I now have two high quality PA speakers and just run stereo from my powered PA mixer.  Easier to setup/takedown and everything go "boom" when it is supposed to.  I still remember going to the drive in and everyone had to listen to that dorky speaker hung from the window.  We didn't care - it was just fun to be there.  I worry more about picture quality.  I use a piece of 7 x 12 canvas for a screen which makes it durable and portable.  I have two poles welded to truck wheels that I use to hang the screen.
5  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Where is everyone? on: June 20, 2016, 04:45:07 pm
When I first joined, I had kids at home and neighbors with kids.  They came over every Friday night.  Each year less and less people showed up.  Opting to watch their 60" flat screen at home.  My kids have grown up and left the house.  It hardly seems worth the effort to drag out all of the equipment just for one person to watch.  My commercial popcorn popper hasn't been fired up in over 4 years.  I enjoy the outdoor experience.  Hardly anyone around here goes to the drive in movies any more.  The local drive ins are in bad shape and up for sale.   Not sure if I'm a dinosaur already.
6  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: What Made You Start Outdoor Theater? on: May 03, 2012, 10:08:39 am
I'm a movie junkie.  A few years ago I realized that taking the family to the theater with popcorn and drinks was running about $70.00 a visit.  I just couldn't justify going on a tight budget.  DVD rentals were ok, but there is just something magical about large screens.  I always loved going to the drive-in as a kid.  I decided to invest in a projector, speakers and screen and show outdoor movies.  The neighbors loved it and I didn't have to drive anywhere to see a movie on the big screen.  I live in a neighborhood with young families and I know that they enjoy being able to watch a movie together and do so without cost.
7  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: Very Newbie and no nothing about Audio on: April 27, 2012, 03:39:50 pm
A lot depends on how much area you are covering.  Do you want 2 channel or 5 channel?  I started out trying to do 5 channel outdoors and had problems with setup and take-down and the ever present danger of little ones running around the yard getting tangled in wires.  I now just use PA speakers in the back and run them off of a powered mixer.  Easy setup and take-down.  Check local music instrument stores and pawn shops. Sometimes you can pick up a great deal on used PA systems.  A simple and inexpensive system might consist of a stereo receiver and two large floor speakers.  Just some options.
8  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Sources for Inexpensive AV Equipment on: April 27, 2012, 03:05:21 pm
I have had a lot of good fortune lately from institutional upgrading of A/V equipment.  I picked up a projector for $35.00.  Two Peavey Impulse 200 speakers for $60.00.  JBL heavy duty speaker stands for $10.00.  Check with local schools, community colleges, universities and find if they sell/auction their slightly older equipment or maybe they donate to a local thrift store for even bigger discounts.  If your company has presentation equipment, find out if they are likely to upgrade and give you a heads-up if they sell it off.  Food for thought.
9  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / A News Station is coming over tonight on: August 08, 2008, 11:05:55 am
A local news station is coming over to the house tonight to do a story on Back Yard Theaters.  We recently had two local Drive-In Theaters close this summer and locals are pretty bummed about it.  I sent in a suggestion to do a story on BYTs and how the numbers are growing.  Any suggestions on what I should talk about?  The spots are pretty short and I'm going to try and get a plug in for
10  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Usernames on: August 08, 2008, 10:56:06 am
My friends and family call me this because I make a loop of all the downtown thrift stores and consignment shops on my lunch hour.  This is how I got my projector for $50.  I have a pretty good eye for value and am able to repair other items I find.  It is also a good way to get some exercise.
11  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: How to build a backyard theater on the cheap on: July 20, 2007, 05:58:20 pm
I've been quite fortunate in finding various bits and pieces for my backyard theater at local thrift stores and furniture consignment stores.  I found a proxima 8400 projector for $50 in a furniture and home decor consignment shop and it has been a great projector.  I'm just crossing my fingers on the bulb life.  I have found 3 AV receivers with Surroundsound processors for under $15 each at local thrift stores.  My speakers are thift store finds with brand names like Marantz and Infinity and only had to replace old foam surrounds on the woofers... again $15-$20 a pair.  I strap my equipment to a food/microwave cart for portability and my screen is a $20 sheet of Plas-Tex sheeting that I picked up at Home Depot.  Cruise thrift stores and look in the nooks and crannies.  Leave no box unopened.  Also make a friend of the folks that work there and let them know what you are looking for.  Hope this helps.
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