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Garden Cinema Ideas: How To Make An Outdoor Cinema


If you’re looking for some fun garden ideas, then learning how to make an outdoor cinema might be for you! Having an outdoor home cinema is perfect for all you movie buffs out there to share a fun night with friends in the comfort of your own garden, and setting one up couldn’t be easier. With a bit of careful planning and great snack preparation, you could have a cinema experience to rival a real movie theatre. Here are our favourite garden cinema ideas to help you learn how to make an outdoor cinema.

1.   Choose The Perfect Screening Location

Before you dive into the deep hole of Amazon to find the perfect movie projector, you need to choose the best place to set up your outdoor home cinema. This is a vital first step when considering how to make an outdoor cinema, since you don’t want to be uncomfortable when watching your movie. Or, even worse, not being able to see the screen properly!

Fortunately, you can set up an outdoor home cinema just about anywhere, so if you’re lucky enough to have a large garden or are just working with a balcony or roof terrace, you’ll be able to make your garden cinema ideas a reality. However, there are just a couple of things you need to think about when choosing where to set up your outdoor cinema.

First, make sure you choose a place that is dry and sheltered from all weathers, particularly wind. Secondly, try to set up in an area around a flat surface, such as a fence or wall, as this will be perfect for hanging your projector screen. Of course, you’ll have to ensure that there’s plenty of room for sitting in front of it!

2.   Get A Projector And Movie Source

Now you know where you want to set up, it’s time to choose what you want to set up! Fortunately, projectors aren’t as expensive as you might think these days. Newer models have much more advantages than the older ones, including a much more affordable price. Plus, most modern projectors are bright enough for you not to have to worry about the intrusion of pesky lights from your home or the street, and quiet enough to not interrupt the film.

When you’re looking at projectors, take a look at their lumen measurement. The higher the lumens, the easier the projected image is to see in brighter conditions. For a high-class outdoor home cinema movie experience, try to go for a projector with 3,000 lumens[i].

Once you have your projector, you’re going to need something for it to project. Most video sources can connected to projectors through a HDMI lead, so your video source could be a DVD player, Blu Ray player, laptop or a specific streaming device, such as an Apple TV Box.

3.   Hang Your Cinema Screen

Luckily, outdoor cinema screens don’t have to break the bank. You can simply hang a white sheet between two trees or peg it to your washing line for the easiest cinema screen around.

Alternatively, you could create your own cinema screen by sewing pieces of blackout material together. You could then hang this carefully between two trees, or make a portable screen by attaching two pieces of wood to the top and bottom and adding screw hooks.

However, if you’d like to splash out on your garden cinema ideas, there are plenty of cinema screens that you can buy or rent.

4. Make Your Outdoor Home Cinema Comfortable

With the main event all set up, you’ll need somewhere for you and your guests to get comfortable. There are plenty of choices for furniture in an outdoor home cinema – a cosy curved banana bench scattered with some cushions and a blanket is great for a few of you to cuddle up on, or maybe a few picnic blankets across the lawn will accommodate all your friends.

Take a look at some of these furniture for your garden cinema ideas to get inspired:

  • Beanbags
  • Chairs
  • Benches
  • Cushions
  • Hammocks
  • Picnic blankets
  • Large Fire Pits
  • Ground sheets
  • Small tables – to keep all your snacks on!

5. Add Some Decorations

We’ve nearly made all your garden cinema ideas come true! Add the final touches to your outdoor cinema with some decorations to really set the atmosphere. Of course, you don’t want anything too drastic as it will take away from the film, but some simple additions will make all the difference.

You could try:

  • Bunting
  • Fairy lights
  • Lanterns
  • Tea light holders
  • Cut flowers
  • Balloons
  • Banners

6. Cook Up Your Favourite Cinema Snacks

No outdoor home cinema (or indoor one, for that matter) is complete without the perfect foods to snack on! Complete the immersive outdoor cinema experience by providing your guests with their classic cinema favourites. Some great cinema snacks to add to your garden cinema ideas could be:

  • Popcorn
  • Sweets
  • Ice Cream
  • Pretzels
  • Brownies
  • Nachos

Of course, with all this food about, you may get some unwanted visitors to your outdoor home cinema. Keep bugs away from your cinema snacks by placing some fans around the food. Not only will this keep pesky insects away, but it will also keep your guests cool on warm summer nights.

Bring Your Garden Cinema Ideas To Life

Setting up an outdoor home cinema is a lot of fun, and you’ll want to host your own movie nights every week, at least! Try some of our garden cinema ideas to make each one a night you’ll never forget.

Do you have any garden cinema ideas of your own? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

[i] https://outdoormovieprojectors.com/best-lumens-outdoor-projector/

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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