Make a Backyard Movie Theater With a Sheet

The idea of making your own backyard movie theater sounds like a great way to spend time with the family. With just some sheets, paint and tape you can create an outdoor cinema that will be easy enough for kids to help out in.

The “outdoor movie screen and projector package” is a must have for anyone who wants to create their own backyard movie theater. The kit includes the outdoor projection screen, projector, speaker, and all of the necessary cables.

Create a backyard movie night with a sheet.

While a traditional autumn bonfire is a terrific way to spend a cool evening with friends, building a backyard movie theater is also a fun pastime for this season. You can enjoy the amazing outdoor ambience of a drive-in with only a little set-up, homemade snacks and beverages, and no entry price (unless you prefer to charge your friends, of course!).

What You’ll Need for a Spooky Backyard Theater Supply List

  • Computer or DVD player
  • a projector, as well as the necessary wires
  • Speakers
  • Cord extender (s)
  • White sheets on the bed (s)
  • Chairs
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Blankets — for warmth and to hide beneath when the movie becomes too frightening.

Placement, Placement, Placement

You must first determine the appropriate place before beginning any set-up. Physical space is clearly required not just for theatergoers, but also for projection set-up and cordage. You’ll also need electricity; a lengthy extension cable will allow you to perform almost anything.

Any light pollution that enters your yard should also be taken into account. You’ll want to locate somewhere dark, away from the glare of street and/or home lights. The sharper your image will be, the darker the surroundings.

The Instruments

Projector and a remote.

Projector. Projectors may be large and costly, or small and inexpensive. They may also be found on Craigslist or eBay for a low price. There are a number of tiny projectors on the market that produce a nice image (you’re not looking for HD quality in the backyard, so don’t expect it) and have excellent reviews. (Right now, Amazon has the Trofny movie projector on sale for $95.) The initial cost is $499. Get these while they’re still available.) Instead of the modest table that a full-size projector would need, they frequently just require a tripod. Keep in mind that to use a projector with a laptop, you’ll almost always require an adaptor cable. They normally do, however, provide the red, yellow, and white composite connection that you’ll need if you’re using a DVD player.

Speakers. Another important component of the outdoor movie night is speakers. A little portable bluetooth speaker, or the tinny output of your laptop, will not enough (a bigger, high-quality model may do the trick, especially if you have a small crowd). You’ll need some wireless surround sound speakers, or an amp if you’re a musician and already have one.

Sheet/Screen. Finally, you’ll need a screen, which you may get from some white bed sheets. While using only one will suffice, putting two back-to-back makes a more solid, less see-through screen. Wrinkles will obstruct your viewing experience, so make sure they’re ironed. The screen may be hung from a clothesline, fastened to a garage, or stretched between trees (tip: utilize bricks if the sheet touches the ground). To get the best image, make sure it’s pulled as tight as possible.


Gather some lawn chairs, bean bags, or even just blankets and soft pillows to make a great amphitheater around your screen after it’s all set up.

Snacks and refreshments

Noshing on some scrumptious fall-tastic fare and sipping a nice drink or two is part of the enjoyment of a Halloween outdoor movie night.

It would be sacrilegious not to offer popcorn as a snack. Make it on the stove with a popper, melted butter, and sea salt instead of in the microwave. Grab a popcorn spice pack to add even more flavor, and let everyone select their favorite. Roasted pumpkin seeds and hot apple pie are two additional delicious autumn delicacies to keep on hand (with vanilla ice cream of course).

You probably don’t want a chilled drink on a cool October evening. It’s a good idea to have hot chocolate and mulled cider on hand.

Ideas for Scary Movies

Steve mcqueen blob horror movie poster.

Steve McQueen faced The Blob before becoming the “King of Cool.”

Now it’s time for the big event! You’ll want to choose a frightening film that isn’t frightful. You’re not looking for true horror, but rather a night of entertaining entertainment for your buddies. Choosing an older B-roll horror film is a terrific way to achieve this. They’re generally a bit amusing, a lot corny, and, if you’re fortunate, a little frightening. Some may give you the shivers, while others will have your audience laughing out loud. Here are some of Team AoM’s favorite vintage horror films (many of which are available for free in the public domain):

  • Plan 9 (Extraterrestrial) (public domain)
  • The Body Snatchers’ Invasion
  • The Blob
  • The Black Lagoon’s Creature
  • Killer Klowns from Beyond the Grave
  • The Wasp Woman is a fictional character (public domain)
  • The Night of the Living Dead (Night of the Living Dead) is a (public domain)
  • The Extraterrestrial Creature (public domain)
  • The Tingler is a fictional character (public domain)
  • The Ghoul is a supernatural creature (public domain)
  • The Bat Vampire (public domain)
  • The House on Haunted Hill (1959) is a film about a house on a haunted hill (public domain)
  • The Brain That Wouldn’t Stop Working (public domain)
  • Tavern of the Rogues (public domain)
  • Look out the window (in the public domain)
  • Bloody Bucket (public domain)

That’s all it takes to throw a creepy movie night in the backyard! A little planning and know-how may go a long way toward producing an evening that everyone will remember for a long time and look forward to in the coming autumns.



Watch This Video-

A backyard movie theater is a great way to enjoy movies outside with friends and family. You can make your own backyard movie theater by using a sheet and some string. Reference: backyard movie theater ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a sheet as a projector screen?

A: It is possible, but the quality of your projected image may not be as good in comparison to using a projector screen.

Can you project a movie on a sheet?

A: Unfortunately, this is not possible with the projector.

How do you make an outdoor movie theater?

A: Well, you would need to build a projector and some seats. You could also buy or borrow the equipment from someone who already has it. Another option is renting the equipment and building your theater in an empty parking lot on weekends or during special events like school breakouts or summer camps.

Related Tags

  • how to project a movie outside without a projector
  • complete outdoor home theater
  • outdoor movie projector kit
  • outdoor movie theater diy
  • backyard movie screen