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An Easy DIY Outdoor Theatre for Cozy Starlit Movie Nights

diy movie theatre set-up in backyard

As we eagerly await the arrival of summer, there’s no better way to enjoy these warmer evenings than with an outdoor movie night with your loved ones. Whether you have a backyard, terrace, or small balcony, you can easily transform it into a cozy outdoor theatre with little effort.


So break out the blankets, pillows and popcorn and set up your own starlit cinema by following these simple steps. And for the perfect movie night feature, tune in to the series premiere of Apples Never Fall, starting Thursday, March 21 on W Network.

@hgtvcanada Us turning all our fav indoor activities into outdoor ones during the summer #summeractivities #backyarddiy #outdoortheatre #portableprojector ♬ DC Elibailar – Eli 💫

Materials Required: 

  • Projector 
  • Projector screen (a soft hanging screen is shown here, but one with a stand works too)  
  • Extension cord (if required) 
  • Hooks 
  • Double-sided stickies 
  • Comfortable seating (such as loungers and chairs)
  • Lounging cushions 
  • Outdoor rug 
  • Cozy blankets 
  • Snacks and beverages 
  • Added bonus: string lights for extra ambiance

Step 1: Find a Premium Location

Determine the best spot to set up your theatre. If you’re using a soft projector screen that requires hanging, then a flat surface (such as a fence that is free of debris) would be ideal. If you’re using a free-standing projector screen, make sure the ground is level.  

Related: Transform Your Outdoor Space With This Vertical Garden DIY

Step 2: Set Up Your Screen

Since I chose to secure my soft screen onto my fence, I gathered a few hooks and heavy duty double-sided stickies to get the job done. Make sure the fence isn’t wet or covered in dirt. The hooks don’t stay on great on wet wood (you wouldn’t want your movie to be interrupted half-way through!). I recommend securing the top midpoint of the screen first, then fastening on the two top corners, before finally securing the bottom portion. 

DIY creator Natalie Ho setting up a movie screen outdoors

Step 3: Arrange Your Seating Area 

Place comfortable seating in cozy theatre style. I used a couple of loungers, but those can easily be swapped out for foldable chairs, chaise loungers or even floor seating. 

cozy seating area in backyard with chairs, blanket and cushions

Step 4: Set Up the Projector 

Find a small table with an optimal height to rest the projector on. Be sure to have access to an electrical outlet, and if need be, have an extension cord handy. Follow the manual to set up the projector to ensure optimal, movie-worthy results. 

projector being set up outside for outdoor movie night

Step 5: Create Extra Comfort 

Maximize the cozy factor for you and your movie-night guests with extra decor elements like an outdoor rug, comfy blankets and fluffy cushions. 


Related: 10 Backyard Wellness Trends Perfect for Canadian Homes

Step 6: Serve Treats and Beverages 

It’s not a movie night without snacks! Treat guests or family members to popcorn, their favourite candies and chilled beverages.

diy movie theatre set-up in backyard

Step 7: Press Play, Sit Back and Enjoy! 

And there you have it: a low-effort way to maximize your outdoor time this summer with a fun movie night right in your own backyard.

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