Joel and I bought a projector last summer for $69 on Amazon to have a backyard movie date night at home. We have used it a TON since we bought it. We hosted outdoor movie nights in the fall to watch Halloween movies and moved it inside once the weather was too cold. We have used every blank wall that we can find to create a movie theater aesthetic.
Making a theater at home is a cozy way to save money from going out, an easy movie date night as parents, and a fun activity to do with Thea.
Movie Date Night Setup
Projector - We LOVE our projector. It was less than $100 and works for the movie date night aesthetic that we are going for. We can adjust the focus depending on how far back we are able to place the projector, so it has a wide range of how large the screen can go. We often use the built-in speakers, but when we want to go all out we add additional surround sound.
Sound Bar - The projector has a headphone jack that can be used to add additional speakers or surround sound. We tried computer speakers, but the volume did not project enough and the built-in speakers were better than the computer speakers. I recommend using the built-in speakers or adding high-quality speakers such as a soundbar.
Screen - We use a blank wall to project our movie onto. If you would prefer to have a screen or don’t have a blank wall to use, I recommend a screen made to use with a movie projector. We tried a screen outdoors and it was too small. If you are planning to use it indoors and outdoors opt for the larger size.
Power - You will need a power strip to handle several plugs. I purchased an extra one for our movie nights to conveniently have it on hand when we need it.
Batteries - You will need AAA batteries for the projector remote.
Movie Theater Aesthetic
Seating - Use any pillows and blankets that you have on hand. If you are sitting on a couch or the bed, add all of the extra items that you can find to make it cozy. If you want to build seating on the floor, put down lots of blankets for cushion with pillows against the wall or couch for back support.
Lighting - If you want to create a romantic or magical atmosphere, add additional lighting to your setup. We use patio lights and candles to frame the movie night area. It creates an ambiance that brings the entire setup together. We also love to use LED candles. Be sure to buy lots of batteries for those!
Big Screen - The best thing about an indoor movie date night at home is that you can project your movie onto any blank wall. This creates a large screen without the cost of buying one. Simply place your projector a decent amount of space away from the wall that you plan to have your movie playing on. The farther back that you place the projector, the larger your screen will be.
Aesthetics - If you really want to be fancy, in addition to your blankets, pillows, and candles, add some plants and other decorative items. This will elevate the look of your movie date night.
Movie Night Snacks
Grab your favorite appetizers, candy, popcorn, and foods that you love. Joel and I use this opportunity to eat candy that we love, but don't otherwise eat except for this special occasion. We love Trader Joe's Kettle Corn, or really any type of popcorn. Pop a bag, get boxes of candy, and press play.