It has been a dream of mine to set up a movie theater with a projector in the backyard. I read about doing it for a birthday party in an American Girl magazine when I was like eight and swear it never got out of my head. Unfortunately, every time I looked at projectors, they were so expensive.
Last year for Christmas, I went into full swing trying to make it work. Note, this was extremely last minute. I dragged my mom to Best Buy and we sadly decided spending two thousand dollars on a stupid projector was a terrible waste of money. Then I was scouring eBay and Craigslist and even emailed a few friends from high school thinking someone must have a projector. It didn’t end up working out though.
This year, I was proactive and started the hunt for a projector early. A solid three days before flying to Florida, haha. I read a ton of articles and watched many reviews on Youtube before deciding on this little guy.
It’s unbelievable and only $80!!!! Considering the price tag on other projectors, this was a huge bargain. It was so cheap that I actually had very, very low expectations for it working. I figured it would “work,” but that the quality wouldn’t be great.
Instead, we have what will surely be a new family tradition.
If you also end up buying the projector, here are a few of my “field notes” for setting it up right:
1) The projector was surprisingly simple to set up and there’s a few ways you can connect your media device. For me, the easiest was to use an HDMI cable (not included) connected to my laptop. We have Wifi in the backyard so we could stream Netflix or play a movie downloaded from iTunes (which is what we did).
2) We hung a King size sheet up between trees using thumbtacks. The projector could easily broadcast a bigger picture, but we didn’t have a big enough sheet!!! (And we did it in front of our pool so we couldn’t pull the stand back any farther or else it’d be in the pool.)
3) The projector techincally has sound, but I had heard through the Youtube reviews that the sound quality isn’t that great. So… I kept the sound input on my laptop, BUT I used my mom’s Bluetooth speaker (that I got her for Christmas last year!) to stream the audio. And the best part is that way, my laptop and projector were across the pool, but we had the speaker next to us on the ground!
The movie night was a huge hit. My entire family (including my dad who’s a skeptic) loved the whole set up. We curled up outside and watched Elf while we snacked on goodies. (We were so full from dinner but somehow found room for popcorn!) Our family friends who come over every Thanksgiving joined us too!
Anyway, if you want to set up an outdoor movie theater on somewhat of a budget, I highly recommend the projector highly enough! My family and I can’t wait to set it up again for another movie night!