In your garden
Garden and outdoor cinema screenings are all the rage this summer, why not host one in your own Garden? It doesn’t have to be expensive – particularly if you can borrow a projector from one of your tech friends – and best of all, you’ll get to choose what film to watch.
Step 3. Connect a video source
Connect a laptop or a streaming device such as an Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV, which you’ll need to connect to your projector through its HDMI port.
If you want great sound, you can connect a speaker through your projector’s 3.5 mm jack, or look for a model with Bluetooth. Go for the latter and you’ll be able to connect wirelessly to a Bluetooth soundbar or speaker, and put more bang into your blockbuster. Or if it’s late and you’re watching alone, you can connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones so you won’t disturb the neighbours.
Step 4. Create your cinema screen
The easiest way to do this is to peg a white sheet to your washing line. You may want to weigh it down at the bottom so that it doesn’t move around in the breeze.
You could also make your own screen by sewing together pieces of blackout lining, which you can buy by the metre. Tack lengths of timber to the top and bottom and attach screw hooks to the top, then hang it over a row of nails on a wall or garden fence.
Step 1. Find the right location
Whether you’re setting up your outdoor cinema at the bottom of the garden or on a balcony or roof terrace, make sure you have a piece of ground that’s dry and sheltered from the wind. You could use fairy lights to decorate the space, but make sure you turn them off before you start the movie so they don’t affect the picture. Also try to avoid setting up in a spot where outdoor security lights or bright indoor lights might reflect against the screen.
Step 2. Invest in a projector
It used to be the case that decent projectors were hugely expensive and could only be used in blackout situations, something hard to achieve in a living room, let alone in your garden. However, the latest models are bright enough to use with the lights on, and have reduced in price significantly. They’re also quieter and more compact, so you needn’t worry that an annoying whirr will spoil any dramatic moments.
When you’re shopping for a projector for your outdoor cinema, you’ll see each one has a lumen measurement. More lumens make it easier to see the projected image in bright conditions. In a garden after dark, we recommend at least 3000 lumens for a movie-theatre experience.
Step 5. Make sure your guests are comfy
If the best spot is on the lawn, lay a groundsheet on the grass to protect against any moisture or bottom-troubling rocks and stones, then layer blankets, cushions and beanbags to up the comfort factor. You could make your pop-up outdoor cinema more sophisticated by throwing down a few rugs, and setting out chairs, benches or even hammocks to relax on.Just make sure everyone has a good view, and keep a few blankets aside or perhaps light a fire pit in case it gets colder later on.
Step 6. Prepare a feast
This could be as easy as pouring popcorn into bowls, and filling a bucket with ice and stocking with bottled drinks, so all you have to do is reach down for a refill.
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