The Ultimate Backyard Movie Night At Home For Under $100

date night movie setup

Joel and I miss dinners out and movies at the theater, but this year has taught us how to be creative. Now with box offices releasing movies available to stream, we aren’t rushing back to the theaters. For this backyard movie night at home, we used what we had on hand to create the setup and purchased the equipment for less than $100. We plan to have more movie date nights and movie parties with friends. Everyone can bring their own blankets, drinks, and snacks.

If you're looking for date night ideas, this backyard movie night at home is a fun way to bring movies to life with a cozy environment.

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backyard movie date night

THE SETUP

PROJECTOR

We purchased this projector for $69! We love it. It fits exactly what we were looking for in a projector to stream movies for our backyard movie nights. It has a wide range for how large you can project the picture with adjustable features to fine-tune the visuals.

TABLE

You’ll need a small table or stand to place the projector on.

SCREEN

We originally bought this screen in the smaller size, but it was too small once placed in the backyard. We ended up using a plain white sheet with packaging tape to hang it on poles that we had. I am linking a similar setup here. I found other DIY tutorials here and here. My advice is to use what you have without overthinking it. Once you are outside relaxing in front of the movie screen, you won't be thinking as much about the details. You will be having too much fun enjoying the actual movie.

REAR VIEWING

I recommend placing the projector behind the screen. You can turn it to rear viewing to avoid tripping over the cords and cord clutter. You will also avoid any shadows being created by everyone moving around.

movie date night setup
outdoor movie night setup
backyard movie theater

POWER

You will need a power strip to handle several plugs, as well as an extension cord. It’s helpful to have an outdoor outlet to plug-in nearby. 

SOUND

We purchased these computer speakers. They work well inside, but outside the open-air doesn't quite bounce the sound enough. We ended up using the built-in speakers that the projector itself has. If you have a soundbar or external speakers, I recommend using those. You will want something that projects the sound in the open-air, but the built-in speakers will work if you don't have anything on hand. 

STREAMING

We used our Apple TV because it was the easiest method. You’ll need an HDMI cable and a strong WiFi connection for this option. You can also stream anything from your iPhone to your Apple TV. There is an option to stream straight from your iPhone or iPad to the projector, but you will need a special adapter. Be sure to get the correct plug-in for your device! The adapter that I linked is for a slightly older generation of Apple products. 

outdoor movie details
backyard movie date night

SEATING

First, I put down towels over the bare ground for both extra cushion and layer to catch the dirt. We used our big Anthropologie blanket and pillows from around our house. We grabbed the rattan chair from our dining room and the small white coffee table from our deck. You can use anything from your home that will create a cozy, comfy space. Be sure to grab extra blankets as fall nights get chilly!

LIGHTING

We used patio lights to frame the movie night seating area. It created an ambiance that brought the entire setup together. Once it was dark enough to start the movie we flipped the lights off and used these LED candles. It set the movie-watching mood and skipped any fire hazards. Be sure to buy lots of batteries if buying LED candles!

BATTERIES

You will need AAA batteries for the projector remote. 

FOOD & DRINKS

I bought Trader Joe's Kettle Corn and paired it with a fresh La Croix.

movie night snacks
snack ideas for movie date night
outdoor movie date night setup

Enjoy your backyard movie night at home and leave a comment with your recommended movie to watch!

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    Hello! I’m Kaytee. This is my space to share everything I'm interested in from skincare, casual style, healthy living, to everyday life. I'm a mama in my 30s looking to live a carefree life with my family and have fun together.

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