Our Outdoor Movie Setup

I wanted to share our entire outdoor movie setup. I purchased everything for this summer, but we barely used it because it stayed light out for so long. I had pictured doing outdoor movies all summer long but with my 9pm bedtime it wasn’t going to happen 😆 (#grandma). instead, it’s turning out to be a blessing in disguise for winter! It’s a bit chillier than I envisioned our movie nights, but no bugs and the sun is setting earlier and earlier so it’s working in our favor.

We still don’t feel comfortable having people over in our house, so it’s also been a great outdoor activity when we have friends come over. We can barbecue, light the fire pit, and put on a movie or a football game.

When I started to look for projectors I realized just how many options there are and how many directions you can go in. I have done a cheap projector in the past which got the job done but wasn’t absolutely incredible… yet I also didn’t want to spend thousands on a projector for outside. From what I gathered, I wanted better than “good enough” but didn’t need a professional movie theater quality either.

I actually think this whole set up is better than I expected. It FEELS movie theater quality!





EXTENSION CORD with 3 PRONGS (for projector plug in, though it does have about two hours worth of batter life if you want to forgo plugging in)


We have a spare Apple TV from my old apartment and it’s the perfect thing to use to stream everything we want to watch. It connects to the projector with a HDMI cable. You can tether it to your phone and use data to stream, but our backyard still gets WiFi so we just connect to our home network and stream as we would indoors. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN, etc. I can even mirror my iPhone if I wanted to play videos from my camera roll or whatever.

The projector also has a built in audio which is surprisingly pretty good. Even still, I connect a portable speaker via Bluetooth so we can have the speaker closer to where we end up sitting (so it doesn’t have to be as loud). I’ve even connected headphones via Bluetooth so it’s not loud during the week for the neighbors.

The biggest key, next to the actual projector, is the screen. I thought it would be fun and cute to hang a sheet… it ended up just being such a hassle every time we wanted to watch something and it turned into a deterrent. I bought this jumbo screen and, wow, it’s worth every penny!!! It CREATES the movie theater experience, no question. It was way, way bigger than I expected, though I’m not sure what I was expecting with it being labeled as “jumbo.” Super easy to set up and just makes it a 10 out of 10 experience.

The only thing missing? Popcorn, s’mores ingredients, and maybe a candy charcuterie board. I know we’re not the only ones trying to get creative for hanging out with friends and family as we head into winter months during a pandemic… and I know we’re not the only ones looking to start new traditions, too!

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Yes! We actually have a sheet hanging in our garage for this reason! The screen I bought is too big for it 😆


I’m not even interested in an outdoor movie experience {I live in Texas where 9 months out of the year we are in a sauna with all the bugs}, BUT just wanted to say how much I appreciate you. You are so thoughtful to share these things and you are a great “explainer”. : ) You make it sound easy/doable and you make it look fun!

Angie U

Thank you for sharing all of this! You did all the hard work for those of us considering adding backyard movie theater to our new normal! I really appreciate you sharing all of the details-


The previous owners for our house had a TV next to the pool. Years and years ago my husband had found a TV at the curb that my father in law fixed and it was just sitting in his house unused. This weekend we hung the TV up outside and are going to have a halloween movie night a fire pit!

Jen L

I wish so badly that I could do an outdoor movie setup! Our neighbors are physically close to us so I feel like they’d be able to hear everything. It’s also getting too cold in the evenings already in Seattle!