12 Ways to Create Your Own DIY Outdoor Movie Theater

As the weather warms up and the sky becomes clear, there’s no better time to create your own DIY outdoor movie theater. Your backyard theater will provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.

Not only that, but you can add your own personal flare when it comes to designing the perfect outdoor cinema space. So, pick out your favorite classic film and get ready for an outdoor movie night that can last all year round.

What you need for your DIY outdoor theater

The great news about creating your own backyard movie theater is that you really only need a few key elements. As long as you have the space and a large wall or fence, you can get away with only needing a movie projector.

If you don’t have a decent backdrop, you can always great an outdoor projector screen.

Here are a few of our favorite pieces you’ll need to complete your outdoor theater space:

outdoor movie projector
Kodak Luma 75

Outdoor movie projector

There are so many different projectors on the market. Our favorite is the portable pocket projector (like the Kodak Luma 75 for $170). We love it because it’s small enough to fit in your pocket making it perfect for movies on the go.

You can use the Kodak Luma 75 for your backyard theater, on the ceiling of your hotel room, or even on your bedroom wall. All you need is a PC or Mac (or streaming device like a phone), Cable Box, Gaming Console or HDMI Video Player to start watching a movie.

If you’re searching for something a little more budget friendly, try the Packard Bell Home Theater projector. It’s only $98 and comes with its own screen.

VIEWING screen

Let’s get real: you could honestly use a bed sheet for your at-home movie screen but if you want something more professional, with decent picture quality, there are an assortment of projection screens on the market.

Our favorite is the Mdbebbron 120 inch projection screen ($145). Not only is it huge but it can be folded down to easily pack up in the car for your next camping trip.

It also supports dual sided projection, which means you can enjoy two movies at once. No more fighting over what to watch!

Sound System

While most projectors come with built-in speakers, sometimes you want to add a little surround sound. Hook up portable bluetooth speakers to your portable projector and let the good times blast out.

There is nothing quite like watching Star Wars or Jurassic Park with your kids for the first time outside, while that iconic music hits you on all sides.

outdoor seating
Fat Boy Lamzac inflatable lounger

Comfortable seating

Cozy seating is where you get to have a little fun! A cheap and easy seating option is to simply use some of your bedding that you don’t mind getting a little grassy.

Spread out your flat sheet or comforter to create a sweet spot to kick back.

Another budget option is to throw down an assortment of beach towels and pillows for your viewing experience.

If you want to do something a little special for movie night, why not invest in some cushy seating? We’ve been eying the Fat Boy Lamzac inflatable loungers ($45). They are easily deflated, stored, and can be toted around in a small pouch. You can even bring them camping or to the beach! 

Boho Chic Backyard Movie Set Up

If you want to go for a boho vibe, find a couple of fun rugs (kilim and jute are very “in” right now) along with an assortment of eclectic throw pillows.

Layer your rugs, sprinkle in your pillows, and add a few strings of cute bulb lighting (we have these) to perfect the laid back bohemian look.

Outdoor Movie Theater


It can’t be a proper movie night without snacks! Treat yourself to some of your old-school favorites like Junior Mints, Raisinets, and Twizzlers.

Better yet, make your own popcorn at home and go bananas with the toppings. You can go the old fashioned route with melted butter OR sweeten it up with chocolate drizzle and fun sprinkles. Another fun idea is to create a toppings bar and let your kiddos go wild. 

And let’s not forget ice cream. Grab your favorite pint or make some homemade ice cream. We have a few favorite ice cream favors we think you will like.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Have Fun

There are no real rules when if comes to your DIY outdoor theater. Create a space that speaks to your design style and include each member of your household in the planning process to ensure they love their new backyard theater as much as you do.

And don’t forget to tag us in your outdoor theater photos. We would love to see how your space turns out!

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