Creating the perfect outdoor movie theater for your backyard doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use components you already have, or pick up inexpensive ones that are dedicated for this use, so impromptu movie nights are super easy.

What to Watch & The Equipment You Need for a Fabulous Backyard Movie Night

Selecting the Film

Probably the most important part of movie night is choosing the movie. Be a friendly neighbor and skip the R-rated movies with their foul language and choose a family-friendly film that won’t embarrass you when the neighbors peek over the fence to see what’s on. Don’t forget most areas have noise restrictions so turn down those sub woofers and place the speakers close to your audience so they can enjoy the sound without disturbing everyone around you. Better yet, invite the neighbors to join you!

Family-Friendly Disney’s Live Action Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s live-action adaption of the animated classic starring Emma Watson broke box-office records. With its release on home video,  Beauty and the Beast, lets fans see inside the magic by sharing how the filmmakers transformed this enchanted tale from the first table read to this new Disney classic. The film’s star hosts an extra about the women behind this magical story, plus there are over ten minutes of deleted scenes as well as info on the costumes and props. Also included is the “Beauty and the Beast music video starring John Legend and Ariana Grande, as well as Celine Dion’s, “How Does a Moment Last Forever.” This film is available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD, and, On-Demand.

Free Disney Live-Action Beauty and the Beast Printables, Downloadables & Activity Sheets

Make it a Double Feature!

In the tradition of Drive-in movie theaters where an animated cartoon was always shown first before the main film, we suggest showing Disney’s Live-Action Beauty and the Beast and Disney’s Bambias a fantastic double feature! Both of these films were recently released to home video so there’s a good chance they’ll be fresh picks for your audience too!

What to Watch & The Equipment You Need for a Fabulous Backyard Movie Night -
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Bambi’s 75th Anniversary Release

Disney released their beloved animated movie, Bambi, with a whole variety of new bonus material in celebration of its 75th anniversary. This new version joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection and includes deleted scenes and characters, recordings of Walt Disney himself discussing the challenges they had during the production of this film.

Bambi with Walt Disney and his daughter Diane Disney

It also includes a feature on Tyrus Wong, the artist who inspired the watercolor backgrounds created for the film. Bambi is available now on Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray™, DVD, and On-Demand.

Free Disney Bambi Downloadables & Printables

Keep kids entertained before the film or during intermission with these fun Bambi printables. Provide some drawing paper, pens, and let them learn how to draw Bambi! The other activities are more involved and probably best left for a rainy day.

Download Bambi Backyard Camp-Out
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Download Bambi My First Garden
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Outdoor Movie Screens

Sure, you could project against a white fence or the side of the house, but if you want a great experience, purchase a high-quality outdoor movie screen. Choose from free-standing models like this highly rated 100-Inch Wrinkle-Free Portable Outdoor Projection Screen, Setup Stand, and storage/transportation bag. We like this one because it’s easy to set up, take down, and it’s portable, but its shape makes it sturdier than the typical 2-legged screen.

Prefer a wall mounted option? This 100-inch Diagonal 16:9 Manual Pull Down Home Movie Theater Screen by VIVO (PS-M-100) can be installed permanently in some climates, or quickly put up and removed in areas with inclement weather. It’s highly rated by customers for its quality picture capability indoors, outdoors, and even mounted inside an RV!

Outdoor Movie Projector

Amazon recommends the Meyoung Portable Projector ( TC80 White). With 1080P 1200 Luminous Efficiency, it’s perfect for an Indoor or Outdoor Movie Night. It supports Blu-ray DVD Player, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones and HD Games for even more fun. This projector is highly-rated by customers for its ease of use and picture quality.

Outdoor Movie Night Decor

Can it be an outdoor movie without a lighted marquee? This SMEAMUS DIY Cinema Light Box with 90 Letters and LED Light lets you welcome your guest or can share the film’s title.  It’s reminiscent of the drive-in movie theater marquees we all grew up with, but this one is LED, so it costs pennies to run and never heats up. Ninety letters are included, and you buy additional if necessary.

Set up comfy outdoor loungers for the kids. Stuff these outdoor themed Arrow Print Pillow Case Lounger Cushion Covers with standard pillows for a comfy seat that stores easily until their next adventure.

Yes, I know it’s a shower curtain, but this Vintage Decor Shower Curtain Set by Ambesonne with its Retro Cinema Movie Vintage Paper Texture and Hollywood Stars Decorative Design could be the backdrop for a fantastic popcorn bar or photo booth!

Scatter plenty of pillows around! We love the vintage look of this set of four 18×18″ Movie Theater Design Throw Pillow Covers in Cotton Linen.

Decorating with the classics. Purchase this Classic Popular Hollywood Film Movie Posters Calendar and instead of keeping track of your dates, cut the pages out and frame them! Make a bigger statement with each by adding a matte to give them more impact.

The collection includes movie posters from JAWS, Wuthering Heights, King Kong, Lolita, Joan of Arc, Elvis Presley in King of Creole, Rocky Balboa, Forrest Gump, Grease, Barbarella, E.T., La Dolce Vita, and Star Wars.

Now, just add soda, popcorn, and friends, and you’ll have a fabulous night of first-rate family classics at home where you can create your own magic movie memories!