How to Set Up the Perfect Backyard Movie Night this Summer

 In Backyard Movie Night

There’s a good chance you’re feeling pretty cooped up this summer. By hosting a movie night in the backyard, you can make your basic movie night at home feel just as fun as a night out. Whether you want to turn it into a blockbuster extravagant experience or just keep it casual, here are three different ways to have the perfect #BackyardMovieNight.

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Award Winning Event

What:

If you’re the kind of person who isn’t afraid of putting in a little extra effort if it means more fun in the long run, this backyard movie night is the one for you. Make some great memories hosting a full range of activities with the family that all lead up to the big night event.

 

How to Pull it off:

Make a cardboard “box office” out of boxes and paint and then sell your family tickets to the show! Set up fairy lights, roll up some blankets, and arrange your lawn furniture (or go crazy and bring out the couch) near the screen. And don’t forget the snacks! Set up a concession stand with popcorn, homemade cookies, deluxe candy, and a cooler near the seats filed with ice and everyone’s favorite drinks. For an extra VIP service, have the kids go around and take your order before the show begins. And nothing levels up an event like a dress code. Whether it’s PJs-only or black tie (let’s face it, we haven’t gotten to dress up much lately), matching makes the experience more special. Lastly, plan a few movie-themed activities that can take place during the show, from sing-alongs, to trivia, to playing breaks where the kids can blow off some steam playing with movie-themed toys.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Projector (there are tons of options available in a variety of price points either to buy or to rent)
  • Screen: If you have a large wall, you’re set. If not, use a white or beige bed sheet, or if you think you might make this a regular occurrence, consider purchasing a projection screen. Fancy.
  • Sound: Depending on your projector, you may want to set up an auxiliary portable speaker.
  • Building materials: Cardboard boxes, paint (or markers), construction paper, safety scissors, tape, and other craft tools to help your vision come to life.
  • Blankets and pillows: get cozy and have blankets on hand just in case it gets chilly when the sun goes down.
  • Seating: Lawn furniture, piles of cushions, an inflatable mattress, or go all out and drag the sofa outside.
  • Fairy lights and extension cords.
  • A heads up (or invite?) to the neighbors. Don’t forget to allow for some social distancing if inviting others.
  • Snacks: fresh popcorn, nachos, baked goods, hotdogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and deluxe candy.
  • Beverages: soda, water, juice, and hot cocoa if it’s chilly out.
  • A day and evening free to set up and enjoy your perfect backyard movie night!
  • A strong WiFi connection: make sure it’s nice and steady where you’re setting up your movie so you’re not bugged by interruptions.

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A Creative Themed Movie Night

 

What:

If you and your group like dressing up and nerding out on your favorite genres, go all in on a themed backyard movie night. Whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, superhero, horror, cowboy, or action, choose your theme and tell your friends and fam to get into the spirit of the thing, bring the genre to life even more with themed recipes, decor, and games that match your movie of choice.

 

 

How to Pull it off:

Send out invitations (digital is A-ok) decorated with the theme to get people excited. Let them know that they’re encouraged to dress up, bring snacks, and to fearlessly quote their favorite lines during the showing. Look up foods and decor that fit the theme of the movie (for Western for example, you could serve jerky, franks and beans, and biscuits and decorate your backyard with hay bales to sit on) and arrange it all around your screen. TiVo will be posting a theme idea every week this month to get you started, alongside some movie collections for your consideration.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Projector (there are tons of options available in a variety of price points either to buy or to rent)
  • Screen: If you have a large wall, you’re set. If not, use a white or beige bed sheet, or if you think you might make this a regular occurrence, consider purchasing a projection screen. Fancy.
  • Sound: Depending on your projector, you may want to set up an auxiliary portable speaker.
  • Themed decorations: get familiar with the film (if you’re not already) and decorate the space in the style of that cinematic universe.
  • Blankets and pillows: get cozy and have blankets on hand just in case it gets chilly when the sun goes down.
  • Seating: Lawn furniture, piles of cushions, an inflatable mattress, or go all out and drag the sofa outside. Bonus points if the seating matches the movie (e.g., hay bales for westerns, black and white blankets for black and white movies, superhero towels for superhero movies, etc.).
  • A heads up (or invite?) to the neighbors: and don’t forget to allow for some social distancing if inviting others.
  • Snacks: serve food that fits your film. Space ice cream for sci-fi, bugs n’ mud for horror, and era-appropriate bites if you’re airing a movie from a different decade (deviled eggs for the 50s, anyone?).
  • Beverages: soda, water, juice, and anything that works with your movie of choice. Get creative.
  • Time to plan and decorate your space for the event.
  • A strong WiFi connection: make sure it’s nice and steady where you’re setting up your movie so you’re not bugged by interruptions.
  • Plenty of inspiration: be on the lookout for TiVo’s recommendations.

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Or, Keep it Stress-Free and Casual

 

What:

Maybe your style is a bit more low-key, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun. You can easily pull off an awesome outdoor movie night with limited time and resources. Here’s how it’s done.

 

How:

Turn your TV toward the window, order a pizza, listen through an open window (or on a bluetooth connected speaker), and find a sleeping bag or a blanket. Boom. This is hands-down the easiest way to take your backyard movie night to the next level.

What you’ll need:

  • A TV you can move: if you can move the furniture your TV is on or move it on its stand so it faces the window, you’re in good shape.
  • Sound: you’ve got three options. Either open your window near the TV and turn it up, connect your TV to a bluetooth speaker you can bring outside, or use bluetooth headphones.
  • Food: order your favorite takeout.
  • Drinks: get that through takeout too or bring out whatever’s in the fridge.
  • Seating: Lawn furniture, piles of cushions, an inflatable mattress, or a simple sleeping bag.
  • A heads up (or invite?) to the neighbors: and don’t forget to allow for some social distancing if inviting others.
  • A little imagination!

 

Don’t have a backyard? Turn your apartment into your backyard with some glow-in-the-dark stars, a couple of sleeping bags, and a outdoor-themed movie. Here’s some inspiration.

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A great streaming player is key to a great backyard movie night. Features like universal search for quick access to movies and a broad range of apps, along with 4K/HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos make your movie night even better. The new TiVo Stream 4K includes all of these features for the ideal viewing experience.

 

Have a TiVo Stream 4K, but don’t know what movie to watch?  Browse through free, ad supported services like Pluto TV, Tubi TV, IMDb TV, and TiVo+, along with subscription-based streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+. And don’t forget video on demand services like Vudu and Fandango where you can rent or purchase a huge range of new and classic films.

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Whatever you do, make sure you put your #BackyardMovieNight on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter! We’ll be surprising folks with some fun prizes all month.

 

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