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How To Create The Perfect Outdoor Cinema In Your Garden

Ah, summer. It’s the time of year for lemonade stands and pool parties amidst tank tops and cool shades. This season is the perfect time to have some fun outside. The allergy months are over and thank goodness for some sun (we can all use a little bit more Vitamin D). But let’s not forget the other great opportunity this summer can give: the beautiful warm nights. It’s a shame we don’t take advantage of this more often. But this time around can be different–better. Enter: the garden cinema. A movie outside adds a cool summer vibe with enough spark to turn any movie into an exciting endeavor. Nothing will impress your friends more. And if you have children, you best believe they’ll be bouncing off the walls to see their favorite flick in the dark theater on the night. It’s an awesome idea. But how would one do this? It sounds like a daunting task to set it all up. Plus, who has that kind of time? First off, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is a few key things you might already have lying around the house and some popcorn.

Step 1: Find Your Silver Screen

You can’t play the perfect summer romance without a means to play it. That’s priority number one. You can find yourself a good projector or some of the best outdoor tvs that will fill in the gaps and keep people from squinting to see details. With a projector, don’t expect it to be as sharp as a major movie theater setup. But with that said, there’s a whole bunch of mid-price options for projectors and TVs that won’t break the bank. It may seem like a big investment, but a good HDR and/or 4K unit will ensure that you get a great quality picture for the next decade. Think about it, 4K is meant to be projected on a big screen. With those capabilities, the size variable and picture quality are virtually non-issues for the next five years. That’s not a bad investment.

Step 2: Find The Space

The most crucial element of a garden theater is a space. Make sure it’s relatively large, aim for at least three meters long. That way, you won’t have any problems setting up a TV or projecting on a screen. Depending on how many guests you have, you might want it a bit bigger, naturally. But be aware that you sacrifice some sharpness when you push for size. Next, if you choose to project, get a sheet. This will serve as your screen. And although it may seem like a good idea to make it white, know that projectors cannot “project” black, they merely don’t project anything on that particular part of the screen. So grey sheets make the black, blacker and absorb light better for white. There’s a reason the movies use a “silver” screen and not a plain white one. Why fix it if it isn’t broken?

Step 3: Accessorize!

This is the fun part. You can decorate your new garden theater however you want. You can have plush pillows or bean bags or hammocks. You can do whatever you want. As long as you have your projector and your screen, the rest is your personal touch. A great idea is to have a staggered “V” shaped arrangement with the screen at the wide end. This way, nobody is walking in front of each other to get to snacks. Of course, this is just a suggestion. You can do anything! Just make sure you place the screen high enough so everyone can see. And eliminate all excess light. A great idea is to pitch a large tent and have your own mini-theater outback. Also, if you’re going to be outside, chances are, you have neighbors. If not, lucky you. Play the speakers as loud as you want! If not, it would be a good idea to use a Bluetooth audio transmitter that allows for multiple connection points.

Step 4: Choose the Right Movie

Movie selection is just as important as all of the other tips. Think of the theme and the style of your new gorgeous garden entertainment hub. More likely than not, simple minimalist design is the go-to. Have your family guests choose the movie. If the movie isn’t your cup of tea, you can use it as a gauge for other films you really want to see. The key here is to make sure the experience is light and fun.

So you’ve got the whole thing put together. You’ve got your projector, your silver screen, your friends on speed dial, and comfy chairs. All that’s left to do is relax and let the night play itself through. Don’t fret about the tiny details. Have everything charged, and always have a power strip handy just in case people need to charge their devices.

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Husband, father, movie+review advocate, BAMF, hair icon, pantsuits are for losers. Posts from Jeff signed -J all others by merciless robots.

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