Summer is here, so what better way to spend those hours than with your very own home movie night?
Whether you’re inviting over all of your nearest and dearest or planning an extra special date night, we’ve thought of every detail for any budget to help you create the perfect garden cinema. From sweets and popcorn to full-screen projectors and cocktail bars, keep reading to find your favourite idea.
Setting The Screen
The most important part of your evening and an element you don’t have to spend too much on. Gone are the days when projectors would cost a lot of money, so most are now available at a reasonable price. They tend to come fully functional to work with the technology you have at hand, whether that’s a laptop, phone or streaming devices like Apple TV or an Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Most projectors also work well in light - you may remember them needing total darkness to be effective - but always ensure you’re checking their lumen measurements before you buy one. 3000 lumens or more are ideal for large, bright spaces and will work even before the night draws in. If you’ve got a smaller, darker space then under 3000 lumens will also work well provided you set your projector up close to your screen.
When setting up your screen, the easiest option is to hang a white sheet on your washing line or against a fence. If you have access to blackout material, then you could attach two pieces of wood lengthways onto it to make a sturdier screen that can be reused! There are also many inexpensive screen options that you can buy to set up in your garden, most of them are freestanding so you can roll them up and store them to use at a later date. Don’t forget about an extension cable for your projector as well as a sturdy stand to keep it safe while the film is on. If you’re happy with your setup, it’s time to...
Sit Back and Relax
If it’s date night, why don’t you get super cosy and romantic by setting up a small tent in your garden? Set up a small air bed and bring your bed covers outside to make it even more snug.
If you’re expecting a few more guests and space allows, then set up individual or couple rugs for everyone. Place beanbags on each rug to ensure each of your cinemagoers stays happy and relaxed in your garden.
If you have existing outdoor furniture, cover them in soft cushions and throws. These are a minimum must-have for ensuring everyone is comfortable in your garden cinema. Make sure to keep everyone warm as the night draws in with blankets to cover up. With everyone in your garden happy and warm, let’s set...
The Right Ambience
Setting the mood with your lighting will make your garden cinema an unforgettable night for everyone. Whether you fill your space with fairy lights or place candles in the perfect spot, try and work with the room available to you. If you’re looking for garden lighting ideas, we’ve compiled our favourites here.
Outdoor candles will create a beautiful romantic ambience for two, you can surround yourself with romantic flames and fragrance to really set the mood. With more people in your garden, make a firepit on a budget with a safe outdoor flame and fragrance melts that help you stay outdoors for longer by keeping bugs at bay.
If you’re not sure that the weather will stay friendly for you and your guests, then set up a gazebo or awning to keep everyone dry. Don’t forget to cover all your cables and extension leads as well in case of rain. With plenty of blankets and throws everyone should be warm, but you can ensure everyone stays happy with some outdoor heat lamps. Many companies rent them out for a night, so look for a local supplier that can help enhance your garden cinema.
We’re nearly ready to go, but don’t forget about...
The Finishing Touches
Remember, it’s not a real cinema unless there’s food! Make your own elevated cinema snacks by mixing black pepper and chilli powder into your popcorn while it’s heating in a pan, your guests will love it. For an easy dessert, cover a small bowl of popcorn with salted caramel, honeycomb chocolate, chocolate sauce and ice cream. The perfect sweet treat to serve to your guests.
If budget allows, then a popcorn machine is sure to delight your guests and serve up an authentic cinema experience for all. With the right amount of space, you could even fire up a barbeque to serve your guests hot al fresco food while they enjoy the film.
Ensure everyone is happy by filling up ice buckets with plenty of drinking options. If you have room left over after setting everything up, why don’t you create a mini cocktail bar for your guests to enjoy? Keep it simple with two shakers and two easy options so you can serve at leisure, we recommend a margarita and an appletini as two refreshing summer cocktails.
Don’t forget that because the ground in your garden may be uneven, a small table setup for each of your guests is ideal for keeping any food or drinks safe from spillages! Bring your coffee tables outside or invest in some small outdoor pieces to keep everything in place.