Outdoor Home Theatres

No room in the house for a dedicated home theatre?  Take it to the great outdoors and invite the neighbors, since they’ll probably see it anyway!  Use castoff home theatre equipment – a home theatre is a constant upgrade, so basic and outdated equipment is fairly easy to find secondhand.  You don’t want to use the best for the outdoors, so go for the basics.

The screen takes center stage for the outdoor home theatre.  We’re not talking big bucks here, heck people used to use old bed sheets on the side of the shed  to make them.  But you can do it yourself quite easily and inexpensively with some PVC piping for a frame and a painting tarp. 

  • Put a few stakes in the ground and cover with a 1 inch diameter PVC pipe. 
  • Use 1-1/4 inch PVC piping to frame the tarp itself and build legs. 
  • To attach the tarp to the piping, bungee cords work just fine. 
  • The 1-1/4 pipe frame slips right over the 1 inch piping to make it removable and portable.  You may need to come up with a solution to stabilize it, such as an insulating foam around the 1 inch PVC. 

Older projectors are easy to come by – you can find them on Ebay for under $200 - $300.  You’ll need some extension cords and something portable to hold it at the right height.

How about that specialized outdoor home theatre seating?  For the budget challenged, it’s called blankets and lounge chairs!  If you want to get fancy, reclining portable beach chairs are quite comfortable.  For really living large, drag that old recliner out the basement.

Snacks and drinks, anyone?  Schedule the barbeque as the pre-movie entertainment for double-featured entertainment.  Let the kids watch the show while eating, it keeps them quiet.

Finding a movie for everyone to watch and enjoy is going to be your biggest challenge for the outdoor theatre.  Have a children’s movie to keep them busy while the grownups have some fun, poker and cards fit the bill quite nicely!

For the outdoor home theatre – it’s not about re-creating the movie theatre experience.  It’s about friends and family getting together for a warm night of inexpensive family fun – that, my friends, is priceless.