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Backyard Theater Marketplace
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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  

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Author Topic: Backyard Theater Showcase  (Read 344 times)
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« on: February 12, 2017, 01:11:30 pm »

I recently conducted an interest survey and the one thing that people wanted more of was to see examples of other people's backyard theaters, which has tapered off on this site.  Realizing that there are folks out there lurking who cannot get access to this site (backyardtheater.com), I  will serve as an intermediary.  I have been looking to start a showcase on my site (Backyardmovies.net), so folks can send info on their theater to me at Cody @ Backyardmovies.net.  I will post the information on my site in a showcase and will ALSO post a summary here in an ongoing thread.  This redundancy will make sure the info is preserved in case one of the sites goes down.

I have attached a sample questionnaire below. Of course nothing is mandatory, I just tried to think of all the questions that I had when I was starting out.  As always, photos are much appreciated and add a ton to the write-up.  Again, I can be reached at Cody @ Backyardmovies.net. 

* Backyardmovies.net Questionnaire.doc (24.5 KB - downloaded 13 times.)

Please check out my blog at Backyard Movies thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 12:59:24 pm »

A big thanks to @genesis76 for being the first one out of the chute to provide info on his BYT.  I also have it posted over on my site http://www.backyardmovies.net/backyard-theater-showcase-burr-road-theater/.  We would all appreciate it if you would provide your own Theater setup for others to learn from, it doesn't have to be elaborate.  The survey is attached below and you can email it to me at Cody @ Backyardmovies.net.


Name of Theater: Burr Road Theater “movies with & under the stars”

Location: CT

Length of Season: May - Oct

How did you get started?: On this site (BackyardTheater.com) did a search & read & got started

How many years have you been doing it?: Since 2008, Nine years

Traditions: I show a Genesis video or a 3 Stooges short

Audience Size: Two to 15

Favorite Events:  Movies & concerts


Screen: Gemmy 12

Projector: Epson Moviemate 30

Sound System: Sony 5.1 SS

Media Source: DVD

Any projected upgrades:  No



Seating:  Costco outdoor carpet & lawn chairs & watching from the pool. I do ask people to bring their own chairs but have extras for those that forget

Pest Control: Many!  Look them up on BYT.com Garlic spray, Skeetervac & a couple of extras

Food: No popcorn but supper at times & or candy

Lighting: Torches, roadside flashers & flashlights Floodlights after the show

Have you ever done any cool party ideas?  Jaws from the pool

What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters?  Just a fun night alone or with friends.  Movies were made for the big screen so movies like the Wizard of OZ & Robin hood 1938 will be like new movies for those of you that grew up watching them on TV sets. Some TV shows are great on the big screen like Combat & I love lucy…..Again, you will see things you have never seen before.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started?  You do not have to make it perfect or spend a ton of money. Just the movie outside is amazing. Don’t make it a stress event. You can always grow it later, The biggest concern is weather have a backup plan for friends or a rain date. Also, do a couple of dry runs before you invite friends over for the first time. Invite your neighbors if sound could be a problem.  Trust me on this one you will notice something wrong like a bug on the screen that others will not see 95% of the time. Again, just sit back & enjoy the movie.

* Backyardmovies.net Questionnaire.doc (24.5 KB - downloaded 3 times.)

Please check out my blog at Backyard Movies thanks!
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 12:08:41 am »

THEATER INFO - Some of these may be N/A so just answer the ones you can. 

Name of Theater: Maleficents Mystical Movie House

Location: Pomona California

Length of Season: Most years- year round….This year not so much.

How did you get started?: Had a projector for years, but daughter wanted to do a movie outside. Did it one time and got hooked.

How many years have you been doing it?: 5

Traditions (i.e. do you add advertisements, does everyone start by saying the pledge of allegiance, etc.): Always do a premovie. This includes some shorts, funny commercials, previews of new movies, and some clean stand up comedy.

Audience (i.e. neighbors, family member, whoever shows up, and average size of audience): Family, friends, kids friends. Can hold 15-20 comfortably, but can squeeze 30.

Favorite Events (i.e. movies, 3D movies, live events, etc.) Movies

EQUIPMENT - Please include why you went with this equipment and pros and cons.  It doesn’t have to be extensive. 

Screen: Started with a 120” pull down screen. Now have 220” billboard tarp screen. Reason for billboard tarp screen, wanted to leave it up year round. It’s been up for 2 ˝ years no issues.

Projector: Was using Optoma H27 720P, just upgraded to an Optoma HD142X. Wanted more lumens and a full 1080P.

Sound System: Started with a Harbinger HA120 which was a great little pa system. In my nieghborhood I needed much more power. New system is 2 Harbinger VaRi V2115 600 W 15" Two-Way Powered Loudspeakers and a Yamaha MG10XU mixer. 

Media Source (DVD, etc.) : Blu-Rays pre movies are edited with Windows Live Movie Maker and burned to DVD

Any projected upgrades: New bigger screen


Seating (chairs, blankets, benches, who provides?): One half circle sectional, 8 outdoor patio chairs, 2- 2 seat bistro sets, and about 20 Lifetime chairs from Costco.

Pest Control (Any secrets you have discovered?): Tiki torches x3, Yard Cutter, 2 Cintrenella Candles on Bistros.

Food (Do you provide it?, Sell Snacks?, Have a popcorn machine?, etc.) Free food. Sodas, juice, water, Nachos with chilli, candy, ice cream bars, sometimes hot dogs, pizza.

Lighting (Flashlights, floodlights, Christmas Lights, etc.): Around screen color changing LEDs, Candles, Laser shoots stars on canopy above. Snow machine and fog machine for special FX during certain movie nights.

Have you ever done any cool party ideas? Halloween and Christmas

What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters? It really brings people together. There are nights where after the movie we all stay and socialize afterwards and kids play.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started? Start small, because once you get hooked you will keep adding and changing. Also, remember you are your biggest critic. No one else will point out any flaws you yourself will see. Have fun.

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 06:15:09 pm »

Cody, as promised I will do one for the Sit & Vue and for the Night-SKy.  I've been working on getting the form done for the Sit & Vue but I have been rather wordy and busy so I will get them to you I have not forgotten I'm just slow.



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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 02:10:09 pm »


Name of Theater: I never named it.

Location: Spring Valley California and where ever the RV takes us.

Length of Season: Year round for the most part.

How did you get started: Received a MovieMate 60 projector and played a dvd on sheet hanging from the my kids trampoline.  Hooked ever since!

How many years have you been doing it: 7-8 years.

Traditions: Just having fun with Movies and Gaming.

Audience: Family and friends.  I will watch alone or as many as 30 plus.

Favorite Events: Movies at the beach or in the desert.


Screen: Started with a bed sheet, upgraded to a Gemmy Deluxe.  I now have a permanent EMT frame for the Gemmy screen in my yard and a Camp Chef OS-132 for the road. Additionally I have a 109 inch pull down screen in my garage.

Projector: Started with a MovieMate 60 and upgraded to a MovieMate 85hd for outside movies.  In my garage I have an Epson 705 mounted to the ceiling.

Sound System: I have used a pair of Bose Roommate II bookshelf speakers for years but just recently upgraded to the Lucas Nano 300.  In my garage I have a Logitech Z-906 surround system.

Media Source: Blu-Rays, DVD and steaming through a fire stick.  For gaming I use PS4, PS3 or the Wii.

Any projected upgrades: I am good for now but the itch never really goes away.


Seating: Patio or folding camp chairs.  I have a set of race seat office chairs and a modified back seat out of a ford van for seating in my garage all on wheels and easy to move around.

Pest Control: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. I need to get some torches before summer. Should I add the torches to upgrades?

Food: Food is always free or pot luck. BBQ, Chilidogs, Pulled Port, basically what I feel like making. Beer, wine, soda and water to drink.

Lighting: Patio light in the yard, the fire and flashlight when camping. Neon lights in the garage.

Have you ever done any cool party ideas? Movies in the garage with the door open for Halloween.  On the fourth of July we usually have a movie in the back yard and gaming in the garage. Wii dancing in the desert is always a hit.  I have always wanted to drive out into the sand dunes and show the Mummy. Maybe next trip.

What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters? Having fun with family and friends.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started? Look for used gear when you start out.  Offices and schools get rid of old equipment.  You will be surprised at how good the picture looks on the side of the house or garage door. That being said if you are reading this you are probably just as hooked as the rest of us.
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« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 12:10:49 am »

Name of Theater:  Bonnie Doon (after the movie The Castle)

Location: Queensland, Australia

Length of Season: All year round

How did you get started?:  Researched online including Backyardtheater.com  then started simply with a data projector and a bed sheet using powered computer speakers for audio.

How many years have you been doing it?    7 years

Traditions: None

Audience: usually our family of five. We have three sons 12, 10 and 8. We often have friends who stay with us for the weekend giving us say 10 - 15 people. 

Favorite Events : Has definitely been New Year’s Eve. Tend to have a movie for the kids then a concert for the adults. Always well received.

Screen: Camp Chef OS-144. It looks the business, packs away sweetly, is durable and cost effective to purchase. I like that it is capable of rear projection which keeps everything behind the screen. This  looks tidy and I don’t have to worry about the projector getting damaged .I also have a Carls 16 x9 BOC screen and aluminum frame. It tends to be a bit time consuming to set up and I have concerns when its windy as it is one big sail……..

Projector: Epsom EB1980WU (had it for the past 18 months) Purchased after I managed to drop my NEC projector onto a concrete floor form a height of 2 meters.

Sound System: Currently using a HK Lucas Nano 300. I had larger more powerful system previously which required a mixing deck and heavy active speakers on tripod stands. It became a bit arduous lugging them around and required too much storage space. This small system is compact and plenty powerful for the audience and environment I use it in.

Media Source : Sony Bluray primarily, it has a media player which I load up a pre roll onto a USB and away we go. I also use a laptop, occasionally a WDTV and my trusty phone for music.

Any projected upgrades: Never say never………..

Seating: I supply the seating with a range of outdoor chairs, Occasionally, people bring camping chairs and in the early days we used outdoor beanbags for the kids.

Pest Control : I have a front gate so only friends allowed, no pests. We don’t get mosquitos that can’t be controlled with a dab of repellant.

Food : The best type of guests bring food and drink but I’m always pleased when I’ve invite friends to provide popcorn and icecream for the kids and a plethora of adult beverages for the adults

Lighting: Moonlight

Have you ever done any cool party ideas? I have incorporated outdoor cinema into all my kids parties over the years.

What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters? I really like that it appeals to such a broad spectrum of people. To sit outside in a comfortable chair watching a great movie and being able to glance upwards and see a sky full of stars while enjoying the company of family and friends……what’s not to like about that?

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started? Stop procrastinating and do it. It is a fantastic hobby and there is an abundance of information and people to help you get the right gear.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 12:18:55 am by Steve302 » Logged

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