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1  Backyard Theater discussions / Movies you're showing or have shown / Do I give away Hot Dogs @ Movie Night? on: June 07, 2017, 12:31:23 am

I do movie nights twice a year. I love doing them but for me it is also a way to get the neighborhood together. This was our 13th year. My kids and their pals grew up watching my Drive-Way Theatre. Houses have sold and new people have had babies who are now toddlers playing at Movie Night! My kids are all grown up and moved away. I will be hosting movies until I move away to the old folks home!

My Memorial Weekend Movie night is the Hot Dog night. I buy about 80 hotdogs (Oscar Meyer Classic Wieners & Turkey Franks) and buns. With the holiday sales this runs about $20. I buy about 6 2-litre soda bottles of various flavors of Shasta ($6).

I bought a cast of the Jolly time All In One popcorn kits a year and a half ago. I am down to 3 packs. I put the case in the fridge in the garage to keep it fresh. I checked the expiration date and it says "Sell before July 2017" so I am just about past the expiration date. The case ran about $36. So my total food outlay for the movie night was about $40.

I have the neighbors bring drinks and something to share. It seems to work out great.

In the fall the October Movie is Pizza Night! I tell people to bring drinks and a pizza to share. We always have a crazy variety of pizza and lots of candy. I only serve popcorn.

Keep the lights on my friends! No matter how hard things are people depend on us!

2  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: time to upgrade on: June 05, 2017, 09:13:43 pm

My first new projector was an inFocus in24. I spent $500 for it new. It was a very nice projector for the money. Later I sold it for $400 and then bought a new in26 projector. I still have the in26 as a backup. I use an Optima for the last 2 years. The trade off is the older projectors are not as bright, so your movie has to start later.  I would recommend either of those projectors.

Here is the good news, on eBay you can get these projectors fro about $35 to $65.

Best of luck!


3  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Last nights pics on: June 05, 2017, 09:05:26 pm
I love the restroom sign! Excellent set up!

4  Backyard Theater discussions / Movies you're showing or have shown / Stills from our Star Wars 40th Anniversary on: June 05, 2017, 09:02:57 pm
Here are some more stills

Part 2

5  Backyard Theater discussions / Movies you're showing or have shown / Video of our Star Wars 40th Anniversary Movie Night on: June 05, 2017, 09:00:52 pm
Here is a video or our movie night. I've also included some stills.


6  Backyard Theater discussions / Movies you're showing or have shown / Re: Star Wars 40th Anniversary on: June 05, 2017, 08:25:37 pm
A great source for VHS is once you type that it comes up as

Here is an item for sale: $9.99 for 6 original Disney Classic VHS tapes.

I used them for the Star Wars on VHS.

As a side note, VHS is brighter than DVD or Blu-Ray. So your movies can start earlier!

7  Backyard Theater discussions / Movies you're showing or have shown / Star Wars 40th Anniversary on: May 28, 2017, 06:26:38 pm
Tonight I will be showing the first movie of the season, Star Wars on VHS.

It is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and of VHS! What a better way to celebrate both. Some details about using VHS for movies:

     1. If you have a large screen most people won't notice the difference.

     2. VHS is much brighter than a DVD or BluRay.

     3. Star Wars on VHS shows Han Solo firing first.

The Pre-Show will still be digital. I use a HD media player from ebay (about $35) that plays video files off of an SD card. It can play WMV, MP4, MP2, AVI.

Pre-Show will include:
     Star Wars Bohemian Rhapsody
     Mickey Mouse in Space Walkies
     Pixar Lifted
     Star Wars Holiday Special Promo
     Original Star Wars Trailer
     Outer Space Snack Bar "We're off to visit the planets...."
     Hardware Wars Trailer
     Sprint Interrupted PSA where space ship takes the guy on the phone.
     Robot Chicken Star Wars clip
     Family Guy Star Wars Clip
     C3PO & R2D2 Anti Smoking PSA

All of these clips can be found on YouTube. If you are using Firefox you can download add-ons to download videos from YouTube.

I will post some photos tomorrow.

8  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Halloween Movie Night on: October 16, 2016, 10:18:05 pm
Thanks Red,

I find the flyers end up on fridges and serve as a reminder. I also email it to my friends. People have shown up saying "My neighbor sent me the flyer so I thought I would introduce myself!" It has been a great way to meet everyone.

9  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: High Winds & plywood screens on: October 16, 2016, 10:15:05 pm
Hi SR.

Check with your insurance agent about an umbrella policy. If your plywood flew into a neighbors house they would probably sue you. Just something to think about. Glad everything went well.

10  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Halloween Movie Night photos on: October 14, 2016, 01:05:02 am
The Halloween movie night went great!

I am posting a couple of photos. Pre Show and during the movies.

11  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Halloween Movie Night on: September 18, 2016, 01:40:21 am
Hey SR,

Thanks for the comments on the flyer. Sounds like you have a great setup up there. I use the flyers for a couple of reasons.. Many of my friends get so many emails sometimes it is lost in the shuffle. I find the flyer helps them remember the night. I have been told so many times "The flyer is on the fridge and the kids are so excited!" Lastly when I invite a new family sometimes the dad or mom understands what a Drive-Way theater is......... but they try to tell the spouse and it gets lost in the translation, but the flyer... I can just see the talk in the kitchen..."See Hun Carl has been doing this for over 12 years, his whole neighborhood comes out, let's go!"

But I am sure if I was doing films twice a week I would go crazy making flyers!. Keep up the good work!

12  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Halloween Movie Night on: September 17, 2016, 07:02:50 pm
Once you get past the earthquakes, high home prices, and crazy government California is a great place for Backyard Theaters!

My theater is the El Potro Drive-Way theater. We host two movie nights a year our front and one in the backyard.

Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend is our opening night of the season. We had a double feature, Lego Movie and Spectre.

The backyard movie night was in August and we showed The Interview. I can't recommend that movie enough. It is raunchy but funny. Definitely a way to change things up. In the past we have shown movies like "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Bridesmaids" to give you an idea of what you can show when you have a No Kids night just for the mom's and dads.

Our most popular night is the Halloween movie night. We have it on the first Friday of October. This year that falls on October 7th. I also have a very extensive Halloween graveyard. So for movie night I put up about half of it and finish up my setup the Saturday after.

This year the first feature is Goosebumps. The second feature is Young Frankenstein. For the pre-show I have spooky music videos. Here is a list:

Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting
The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elsen
Dracula's Lament -
Islands - Hallways
Stellar Corpses - Vampire Kiss
When You're Evil (Color Animatic)
Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me
Michael Jackson - Thriller

This year I am showing the classic short "Bambi vs. Godzilla"

There are so many beautiful photos of everyone setup on this site.. and I have been remiss. I plan on doing some extensive photographing of this movie night to post.

I have attached the flyer for this years movie nights.

I create the flyers in a program called GIMP. I began with a Halloween Spook show poster from the 1940's-1950's. Made my own title on the top.

Keep up the good work everyone.

Carl Johnson
El Potro Drive-Way Theatre
13  Backyard Theater discussions / Popcorn, refreshments and party ideas / Re: another Popcorn Stand on: February 27, 2016, 10:53:33 am
I was asked how the popcorn machine connects to the stand....

Commercial popcorn machines have 4 spring loaded L shapped cane bolts. When it sits on a bar the bolts are flush with the underside. The 4 rubber feet raise it up just enough.

 When put on a stand the handle goes down and the bolt extends. So I needed a hole for the bolt handle and something to engage the bolts. Turned the popcorn machine on its side and cut holes in poster board to match the bolt locations. Next I bought 4 white canebolts from Home Depot. I attached them and it looks great!

14  Backyard Theater discussions / Popcorn, refreshments and party ideas / Re: another Popcorn Stand on: February 18, 2016, 01:16:18 pm
More details on my stand:

First image shows the relative size. The width and depth of the base is determined by your popcorn machine.

Second image shows a cover I made. This will help keep things from getting dusty in the off season.

Third image shows the door. I can store all the popcorn fixings in here.

The wheels are Lawn Mower wheels. I picked up a set then went over to the hardware department and picked up a threaded rod that was the right diameter to be an axle. I picked up 4 washers and two nylon lock nuts (nylock). I took the legs that the axle would go through and clamped them together. Then I drilled a hole the same size as the threaded rod.

I put a handle on both sides. The handle is a closet rod. The supports for the handles are you guessed it... closet rod hangers. You can of course design yours with just handles on the side with the wheels.

What would I change? I am going to add some locking 2" stem casters on the front legs. I found sometimes when moving the machine the front legs would touch down. This will make it easier to move
15  Backyard Theater discussions / Website feedback, suggestions, announcements / Movie Invite on: February 18, 2016, 02:09:32 am
I always create some flyers for each movie night. I place them on my neighbors doors so no body gets bent out of shape because they didn't see the email. Here is the current flyer for May movie night, for last October movie night and the original image that served for my model:

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