Crystal Valley Blog

Let’s Stage a Backyard Movie Night!

POSTED July 14, 2020

Drive-in movies aren’t the only happening place these days to watch a flick. Soaring on the popularity scale in residential neighborhoods is backyard movie night with people from your bubble, or in socially-distanced camping chairs! Here’s how to get your backyard movie night set up lickety-split, with a few things borrowed from your linen closet and a few others ordered online!

All you really need is a portable projector. The rest can be scrounged from indoors and outdoors to set up your own outdoor theater. A sheet can serve as your screen – it might have a few more wrinkles than the real thing, but you can pull it tight so the movie shows up perfectly projected! Some folks might have a light-colored exterior wall that would work, others might have a canvas tent that would do the trick. 

Better Homes & Gardens created a DIY outdoor movie screen with a few PVC pipes and drop cloths, or follow this easy, inexpensive tutorial from Instructables if you think movie night might become an every weekend occurrence from now till the first snow! 

Projector and Sound Options

Wirecutter published its picks for projectors from the $550 Anker Nebula Mars II Pro which was reviewed as the Best Portable Mini Projector, to the $1490 BenQ HT2050A Home Theater projector, which you’d only need if you plan to bring it inside for an indoor movie theater that you’re finishing in the basement! There are two other picks in this article, as well as an outdoor projector screen if you want to spend $431.

House Beautiful recommends the Cinemood 360, a $500 projector available through Amazon that has built-in access to interactive and educational content for kids (along with all the go-to streaming services). A quick look on Amazon reveals quite a few more portable projector options for lots less–$89.99 to $299.00–with one for $119 (Vankyo Leisure 3 mini Projector) receiving nearly 16,000 4.5 starred reviews).

That said, if you have a Roku or Firestick, you can plug it directly into the projector and source any movie available to stream from your subscriptions, as long as your Wi-Fi signal reaches the backyard. If not, here’s a list of family-friendly backyard movie picks to rent at the local Redbox.

You’ll want to be able to boost the sound if the projector audio is too low (warn the neighbors!) and with these Wirecutter picks for Bluetooth speakers, you should have no trouble getting plenty of good sound. 

Seating Options

If you have scads of time and feel extra ambitious, these simple movie backrests are an upscale DIY hit from Amy’s Party Ideas. Otherwise, scatter patio or camping chairs around the backyard while the littles grab pillows, cushions, poufs and blankets.

Better Homes and Gardens has a treasure trove of snack and décor ideas if you want to go all-out for a special celebration, from concession stands and LED lights to ticket garlands and beverage options. Here’s a link to 50 different popcorn flavor ideas – in case good ol’ butter and salt is too boring for your moviegoers!

Check out the way it’s done, at StyleByEmilyHenderson. You’ll find ideas for seating, decor and even a backyard arrangements to accommodate kids and adults, snacks and ambient lighting.

Zap the Flying Pests

If you don’t already have a few citronella candles and torches, to keep the bugs away these can be found at Home Depot on West Allen in Castle Rock. One option is the PIC Solar Insect Killer Torch that attracts and kills annoying flying insects like mosquitoes and gnats. The cordless torch has an LED flame-effect for six hours and provides ambient lighting for use on a tabletop or stuck in the ground. The “turn on” is automatic at dusk.

At Home Movie-Viewing in Crystal Valley

One way to enjoy the new backyards in the new homes in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley are with backyard movie nights! There’s never been a better time to buy a new home set in natural surroundings in the historic community of Castle Rock. Floor plans and elevations vary between top Colorado home builders: Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton. Find the home of your dreams from ranch and two-story models — priced from the mid-$300s. 


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