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While going to a movie theater to watch the latest summer blockbuster promises its own fair share of fun, there’s nothing quite like watching a movie on the big screen all from your own backyard. And now that the weather is warming up, there’s never been a better time to bring the cinema experience outdoors and create a magical backyard movie set-up of your own.
All you need for your backyard theater is the right gear, buckets of buttery popcorn, boozy summer cocktails, and a good summer flick. See below for all the backyard movie essentials you need to make your at-home movie experience an unforgettable one.
BenQ Wireless Outdoor Projector
Down from $899
Finding a projector that can withstand the outdoors is more difficult than you’d imagine. The BenQ GS50 is one of the best nature-proof projectors on the market for your outdoor movie nights, with a drop-proof outer shell, which protects a fall up to 2.4 feet, and splash-proof film so a light rain storm won’t completely obliterate it. After setting up the BenQ GS50 for a recent movie night, I can see why it’s found such favor with consumers. With an impressive 1080p resolution that creates a brilliant outdoor picture, the easy-to-set-up BenQ GS50 has all the bells and whistles and then some worth investing in. In addition to a great ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts your picture for outdoor environments, you’ll be able to catch an extra-long movie with the projector’s 150-minute battery charge, which means no annoying wires or plugs to navigate around during your movie nights.
Samsung Portable Projector for Indoor & Outdoor Theater
Down from $800
I also recommend considering The Freestyle Smart FHD Portable LED Projector from Samsung—another outdoor projector I tried and fell in love with. The small-but-mighty portable projector, which you can use indoors as well, is so easy to operate that it’s even a great fit for the least tech-savvy individuals. Simply set the Freestyle down and point the projector where you’d like to feature your motion picture, and The Freestyle projector does the rest of the legwork. The Freestyle automatically adjusts your picture so that it’s at its best quality and has an autofocus that delivers crisp, sharp imagery. The Freestyle Smart FHD Portable LED Projector has Amazon Alexa built-in so that you can control the projector all from voice command.
Skerell Portable Projector Screen
There are an endless number of outdoor projector screens you can choose from, but one of my favorites is the Skrell projector screen, which comes in various sizes. This best-selling outdoor projector screen only takes about five minutes to assemble and is made of a durable aluminum alloy frame and a polyester and spandex viewing screen. Though the well-reviewed projector screen does a great job of standing up to winds and uneven terrain, it also comes with a set of stakes in case you don’t want your movie to go all topsy turvy on you. And for less than $100 at its biggest size, you’ll be getting this amazing screen at a major bargain compared to other brands.
GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Chair
Talk about an added bonus: the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Chair is not only a great go-to chair to use for your outdoor movie nights, but it’s also a highly sought-after camping chair you can take with you on weekend getaways. The super sturdy chair, which holds up to 250 pounds, is easy to transport and set up but is also an incredibly comfortable chair that won’t have your tailbone and back begging for relief throughout the night.
Nostalgia Popcorn Maker Professional Cart
Down from $280
If you want to pull out all the stops for your outdoor movie nights, you can’t go wrong with a vintage-style, super nostalgic popcorn machine. The candy red Nostalgia popcorn machine—complete with gold accents and wheels—pops up to 32 cups of popcorn, so your guests can keep returning for extra servings of the quintessential movie snack.
Karu 12 Insulated Steel Hearth Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven
Looking to give your guests the ultimate movie experience? Up your entertaining prestige with an Ooni Karu pizza oven that will have you never ordering pizza again. In just sixty seconds of cooking time, you can make a homemade wood-fired pizza for everyone to enjoy while watching a flick on your backyard big screen. The wildly popular pizza oven is fueled by wood or charcoal and will become your go-to culinary appliance in no time.
Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights
An outdoor movie isn’t complete without the right ambiance and lighting. If your backyard or patio isn’t already well-lit, you can’t go wrong with creating the right atmosphere with these solar-powered, easy-to-install outdoor string lights. These Brightech string lights come in lengths of 27 feet or 48 feet, and the bulbs last up to nearly three years, so you’ll be hosting many outdoor movie nights to come with these dependable string lights.
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