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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Cherry Hills Driveway Theater  (Read 139999 times)
KMac
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2007, 02:10:18 am »

Hey everybody,

I plan on showing Night at the Museum"  or "Spirit" .  Star Wars will be coming soon. Cool
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DharmaJeff
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2007, 08:45:21 pm »

I like your style!

Real cool that your neighbors aren't dicks and join in on the fun.

WAY COOL you showed HELP! and will show a Hard Day's Night this year.
Last year I watched the Shea Stadium conecert. Grin
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2007, 11:48:04 pm »

Yeah, watch is about all you can do on that one! You can hardly hear the boys over the screaming, and since they can't hear themselves, they're awfully out of tune a lot of the time. It's easy to see why they decided to stop touring after that concert.

Anyway, thanx for the shout out! Several of our younger viewers are Beatles fans, so I'm playing to the mid-teens here, both to encourage their Beatlemania and also to get them hooked on outdoor cinema. Two birds with one stone!
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Cherry Hills
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2007, 09:50:24 pm »

Last night the wind and afternoon rains finally cleared out, so we tried something different. We took the driveway theater to the backyard.

I know, most of you think this is the only way to do it. But our backyard is not typical. The yards are kind of small in our area, and ours is on two levels. The top level, closest to the house, is xeriscaped with a big semi-circular covered patio. It's really no place to show movies.

But the lower level, about three feet lower, is about 10' x 40',  grassy with fruit trees along the back wall (the long dimension). Yes, that's where the "Cherry Hills" name comes from. It's very cool, very cozy, and down behind a 6-foot cinder-block wall so the sound doesn't escape too much. But there is only room for maybe 15 people, max.

Anyway, we decided to give it a try. We set up the FastFold screen and as we were doing it, our neighbors across the back fence peeked over. So we invited them over and we watched "Muppets From Space", which was a hoot. They brought over four kids and a bottle of wine and we had a great time.

I will definitely have to get a tripod to mount the projector if I want to do this for a group, though. The ladder blocks way too much view.

It's nice to have multiple possibilities for the venue. Showing stuff on the driveway pretty much requires inviting the neighborhood. But if we want to show something that's a little too scary or whatever, this gives us another option to invite over friends.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Cherry Hills
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2007, 06:27:36 pm »

Since most of the front-of-house equipment has changed since I posted the original pics, I thought I should probably update the visuals.

The screen went from a DIY canvas on an aluminum frame to a used DaLite FastFold 8x8' - $40 from eBay. We are ecstatic with the ease of setup, the sturdiness (we had some strongs winds last night, but the screen just rippled a little and never budged) and good image.  The sound went from a surplus stereo amp and RS Minimus 7 speakers to powered Anchor 1000 PA speakers. The stereo is back in my garage workshop, but I kept the subwoofer to augment the Anchors.

I'm still projecting with the Epson S1+, but after last night's showing, both my wife and I said, independently, "that image seemed a little fuzzy, didn't it?" We've moved to an XGA projector inside, so it looks like we've become spoiled by it and I'm going to have to use it for the next outdoor show. Time to pass the Epson along to the kid, I guess. Luckily, both projectors use the same mounting screws on the bottom side.

Funny how the upgrade bug strikes everyone involved. In addition to the projector comment, my wife also mentioned that it would be nice to have one of those glass-sided popcorn machines, if it has a warmer in the bottom. We'll have to look into that!


* CHDT 2007.jpg (35.49 KB, 572x428 - viewed 619 times.)
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Bedrock
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2007, 03:11:53 pm »

Great Job!!!  Shocked

And I'm sure that you will keep up the good work... Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2007, 01:07:44 am »

I love that screen, Cherry Hills! I might get one of those, too!  Enjoy!

KMac Cool
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2007, 12:45:39 am »

Tonight we closed out the 2007 season with "Mr Bean's Holiday". It was a TERRIFIC night. We had a record crowd, around 40 people, which is about the capacity of our driveway. If we get more successful than this, we're going to have to do some serious landmoving in the back yard, or get a new house!

Based on last year's weather, we didn't even plan for a September showing, but the weather has been just fantastic all summer, so we decided to go one more time. It was the best show of the season, for sure.

I hastily updated the flyer, not because I'm going to hand it out, but because I like to thinker with these things. It's a quick and dirty job, but a record of what we showed this year.

"Mr Bean's Holiday" is strongly recommended for BYT programs. It's a brilliant comedy of the old school. You just don't see good-hearted slapstick like this anymore. He has kept the art alive and deserves the huge fame he has in Europe. I don't understand why American audiences don't love this stuff to death ... we sure do.

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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2007, 08:20:53 am »

I'm really liking the flyer. Maybe I'll do something like that for next year, make it stand a little more. We usually just add the dates and titles to the end of one the regular flyers that go out in the neighborhood.

Tom 
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2007, 10:43:07 am »

Thanks, Tom, the flyer is really a fun thing to do, and it's also eye-catching for anyone over 40, who will dimly remember seeing these things at the real drive-ins.

You mentioned (in your theater's thread) that you got a reaction to your flying logo intro. I have been getting really good reactions (usually "WOW! Where did you get that?"), but last time, the audience actually applauded it. I have to say, that's a really good feeling.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Metric
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2007, 03:02:46 pm »

Do you have a bigger version?
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2007, 03:24:31 pm »

Well, if you right click and choose "view image", it gets pretty big. Is that what you had in mind?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 03:37:14 pm by Cherry Hills » Logged

Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
Cinema BBQ
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2008, 08:37:13 pm »

Great job with the tickets.
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2008, 04:49:31 pm »

Well, we finally got our season started! One of the things about being in the mountain desert is that the sky is usually clear and the nights are always cool in the summer - perfect outdoor cinema weather! Well, usually. This year, we had high winds all through May and much of June.

So, our opening night in May got cancelled. We were going to show "Surf's Up", but ended up having a small party in the theater room indoors.

June 24 was our second show (or first, if you count only successes), a benefit event for the local Marriage Encounter organization. We showed "When Harry Met Sally" to a really enthusiastic crowd and had a great time. Since it's rated "R", we moved the theater to the back yard, so as not to offend the neighbors. When the dark clouds moved over the mountain, we just stared hard at them and they went away. Whew!

Last Saturday, we had the first real driveway movie neighborhood party. Finally! We showed "Ratatouille", plus a "Chip and Dale" cartoon and some good shorts. This is the season of afternoon or evening rain showers here, but we got lucky on Saturday and no rain came up in the evening.

We'll try our hand at a show in August, and then again in September, and then our season is over, all too quickly!
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2010, 06:31:47 pm »

We've continued to change equipment, slowly but surely, as is the ancient custom among our people (backyard theater nuts). And we've moved some of the shows from the driveway, where all the neighbors can just drift over, to the backyard, where we can invite people and have a more intimate party.

Screen continues to be the 8x8' DaLite Fastfold. Projector is a Sharp XR-10. We've moved to Blu-Ray (for selected films), which allows me to play pre-show stuff on the Coby portable DVD player, then switch to the Blu-Ray player for the main feature. Just like at a real drive-in!

Audio is two powered PA speakers, each 50w with a 4" speaker. I had been using a Radio Shack subwoofer I got at a pawn shop, but it dawned on me that a 50-watt amp should have no trouble driving a big speaker, so I hauled out the cab from my bass guitar amp (15-inch Jensen) and plugged it in. Oh, yes, it worked!

We've infected another friend with the BYT fever, so we're going to his house on July 4 for a barbecue and a screening of "Independence Day". Wooooo!


* CHDT 2010.jpg (71.37 KB, 731x548 - viewed 232 times.)
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater



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