Take advantage of the great outdoors this summer by planning an outdoor movie night in your very own backyard. Here are all of the tips and trips to make sure your party goes off without a hitch!

  1. For starters, pray that it doesn’t rain! With the way this summer’s weather is going in the Midwest, you might need to check the forecast a week in advance and notify your guests if impending storms may be an issue for the event. Also as a precaution, make sure your viewing area is partially covered so your movie goers don’t get wet in the case of sporadic showers during the party. And, as an even better solution to the unexpected summer weather, invest in a fully sealed weather-proof outdoor TV to prevent any unintentional water damage.
  1. Next, you need to pick out the movie for the event. I recommend incorporating pieces of the film into a theme for your party! Get your guests excited by encouraging them to dress like their favorite character, and provide snacks and beverages inspired straight from the movie. Decorations are an added bonus that will really spice up your outdoor entertainment space and add a special touch to the night. If you’re hosting a kid’s movie night a hit film such as The Lion King, add some savannah grass to the backyard and hand out safari helmets, or provide face paint to really make them feel like they’re a part of the adventure.  Sounds like a rawring night to me!
  1. As for the technical stuff, make sure to test all of your A/V equipment before the party. No one wants to come over to watch a movie that doesn’t have sound or picture. Also, depending on where you live, there may be rules about sound on your property past a certain hour at night. Nothing ruins a late-night movie night faster than a visit from your local police.  Ensure that your neighbors cannot hear the sound by simply walking around your property line while playing sound out of the speakers before friends and family come over.
  1. Once your outdoor TV is mounted up and ready to go, make sure your speakers are wired correctly. The majority of outdoor loudspeakers sold today come with the necessary metal mounting brackets that are designed to resist the elements. The surface where you chose to mount your outdoor speaker needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the bracket and speaker, so stick with drilling into solid wood or masonry. I do not recommend mounting outdoor speakers to cedar or aluminum siding. Before you settle on the final placement of each speaker, listen to them at that location to hear how well they project sound and at what height they sound the most balanced. I recommend keeping speakers below ten feet for any installation. Also, check the surround sound settings for this particular movie beforehand. Do a test run and watch a few minutes of the movie and decipher which settings produce the best sound quality.
  1. In most cases, your outdoor TV is for watching, well TV, instead of movies. If your Blu-ray or DVD player is not set up already, bring it outside and connect it to the TV. Depending on where your TV is positioned, try to place the player in a safe spot to prevent any damage.
  1. Seating is important so your guests are comfortable but also have a clear view of the screen. Take into consideration the time of day of the party. Depending on where your outdoor TV is placed, seating will need to be considered based on where the sun is shining. If the TV is not optically bonded, I suggest waiting until dusk to begin the movie. If the TV is optically bonded, feel free to have people sit near the TV while sunlight is directly on it. You might need to remember sun screen and sunglasses during the day though!
  1. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! Don’t forget to turn off all of your A/V equipment after the movie.


Tell us: Are you planning on hosting an outdoor movie party this summer?