The Top Tools for Building Your Own Backyard Movie Theater
Consider this your go-to guide for the most elegant outdoor movie night.
Outdoor movies are fun for kids and adults at any age. You're spending time outside and enjoying a fun flick with the fam—what could be a better way to spend a warm summer night? The movie magic starts with a projector, then comes pretty party favors, serving stations for food and beverages, and comfy seating options.
When setting up your outdoor theater, remember that the closer the projector is to the screen, the smaller, sharper, and more colorful the movie will be. “Tape down the cord with colored duct tape on hard surfaces to minimize the possibility of tripping,” recommends interior designer and superstar stylist Emily Henderson.
For the ultimate upgrade to a traditional outdoor home movie night, create a concession stand on a garden caddy or bar cart offering drinks, popcorn, and classic movie treats. You can also ask guests to RSVP with the name of their favorite movie, and pick one from a hat. For all the elegant essentials you'll want when hosting, read on.
When you're watching a flick outdoors, you're going to need to stock up on refreshments. This pretty drink dispenser is perfect, no matter if you're serving lemonade or your favorite summer cocktail.
To buy: Bubble Glass Drink Dispenser, $20; worldmarket.com.
Introducing, the perfect popcorn bowl for outdoor gatherings. It comes in four colors so you can build a mix-and-matched set. Buy a bigger size if your family prefers to share, or pick personalized one so no one fights over the snacks.
To buy: Pastel Enamel Bowl, $10; shopterrain.com.
This portable projector lets you turn a blank wall or a white sheet into your own at-home movie theater. Simply hook it up to your laptop or another device, and you'll be enjoying a movie in minutes.
To buy: Epson Home Cinema 660 SVGA 3LCD projector, $360; bestbuy.com.
When you aren't using this tiered plant stand to display your favorite succulents, it doubles as a refreshment stand for snacks, popcorn, and homemade punch.
To buy: Three Tier Folding Plant Stand, $70; worldmarket.com.
The most stylish way to keep soda, wine, or water bottles chilled. Fill this white resin bucket with ice, then fill it with bottles of wine or beer for the adults and juice boxes or water for the kids. This cooler is so chic, you'll likely end up wanting the matching ice bucket and scoop, too.
To buy: Tina Frey large white bucket, $380; marchsf.com.
Have you heard? Beanbags are making a major comeback. Order a couple of these comfortable loungers before the big movie night, and they'll become the most popular seats in the house. Perfect for snuggling!
To buy: Stripes Bean Bag Lounger, $117; wayfair.com.
Add a pop of color to your outdoor space—and provide a cozy backrest for movie-watching—by stocking up on outdoor throw pillows. You can't beat this one's price point!
To buy: Caprice Pillow, $10; pier1.com.
If you really want to take your at-home cinema seriously, invest in this luxurious bar that's perfectly sized for holding drinks, cups, and lots of snacks. Debut it at movie night, and you'll be sure to use this find at every summer party.
To buy: Riviera bar, $898; serenaandlily.com.