Monday, September 5, 2011

The Vintage Movie Theater

Over the weekend, we hosted our first "Movie in the Backyard Night." It was super fun, super easy, and super relaxing! There is something quite magical about watching a movie outdoors, under the moon and the stars, with the faint sounds of nature in the background.

If you would like to re-create the fun of a vintage drive-in, with a backyard movie night for your family and/or friends, here is what you need:

Act 1: Setting the Scene

I "recycled" the hay barrels from Oliver's birthday party for the seating/backrest. 
I  threw lots and lots of quilts and blankets all over the ground to create the coziest seating area possible. 
We set up the projector, by connecting it to our laptop, to play the movie.
{You can find a reasonably priced projector here.} 
We simply used a large, white sheet for the screen and found the best space in our backyard to hang it.
If you have the wall space, you can simply project the movie directly on the wall. 
Or, you can build your own, with plywood, rope, staple gun, and a painter's drop cloth. 
Act 2: The Concessions

Set up a concession-style snack stand, complete with popcorn, s'mores, glow sticks, and drinks. 
{I got the popcorn boxes from the World Market and the candy and glow sticks from the Dollar Tree.}
I love the packaging and organizing of this s'mores bar!

I love this concession stand inspiration found on pinterest.
{I love pinterest! It is the best place to source inspiration for all your creativity. Follow me here.}
Final Act: The Movie

When choosing a movie, cater to your audience. I am a big fan of all the 80's cult classics. We watched "Goonies." I highly recommend this flick for a "family style" backyard movie night. But the choices are endless; and you can even design your backyard movie night all around a theme! 

We loved our backyard movie night so much we are thinking about making it a weekly event! 
Have you ever been to a backyard movie night? I would love to hear about each of your "Acts!"



  1. this sounds positively magical. i totally applaud your cozy resourcefulness and your movie choice!!


  2. I have always wanted to do this...I been to movies in the park but really like the intimacy that comes with a screening in your own back yard. What fun!

  3. Beautiful job, Sam! And I LOVE your movie choice! I can't imagine anything better to watch outdoors in the summer.

  4. Wow! Great idea! Terrific end to the summer! Looks beautiful too!

  5. How RAD! This makes me wish I had a backyard. What a great way to end the summer...and with one of my fave movies.

    P.S. Thanks for you message on pinterest--you're so sweet.

  6. What a fun idea! You executed it so well too! I've always thought about doing this but haven't. I think you've inspired me:) Hope you're well! xo

  7. this looks like such a fun time! and the goonies was a great choice of films - such a classic. amazing job!

  8. Wow! This looks sooo amazing, what a super fab idea. xx

  9. Awesome love, your kids are so lucky to have such a mom! xo

  10. I love this! Seattle has a few outdoor cinemas during the summer and it always makes me want to get my own projector. I don't have a yard, but I would even just love to do this in my home :) Thanks for the follow! I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, too :) xoxoxo brynn

  11. Love this!!!! I totally want to do this when summer hits Sydney. Love your blog too!

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