Sadly, drive-in movies venues are dying a slow and painful death, but you can create an awesome outdoor cinema experience in your own backyard if you have the right gear. For the frequent movie-goer—or person that just loves watching films on the big screen—invest in a home theater system that can be used both indoors and out.
A super-bright option perfect for outdoor use. Amazon
The Optoma HD28HDR projects a brightness of 3,600 lumens. That makes it bright enough for use outside—even when its not terribly dark. The projection size can go up to 120 inches depending on how far away the projector is placed from the screen. The 1080p projector comes with two HDMI ports, a 3.5mm audio output, and a bulb that lasts up to 15,000 hours. It has a higher contrast ratio at 50,000:1, which means that the lightest white is 50,000 times brighter than the darkest black. The Optoma HD28HDR also comes with a ten-watt built-in speaker.
For a not-so-slight upgrade. Amazon
The projector has a brightness of 2,400 lumens. This isn’t as bright as the Optoma, so it’s probably better for indoor use. It features 10-bit HDR color processing to accurately reproduce HDR content and a contrast ratio of 200,000:1.
Put your projector at any height. Amazon
This 11-pound, steel projector or laptop stand has a 13.8 x 12.6-inch plate and an adjustable height between 34.7 and 58.7-inches. The tripod legs will keep the picture sturdy while you watch your films.
You can use a white sheet, but the image quality to suffer tremendously. Amazon
This TaoTronics projector screen is 100-inches, can be used both indoors and outdoors, and is made of a matte PVC for sharper images. It comes with a tripod to help keep the screen upright and stable.
Plugs directly into the HDMI port on your projector. Amazon
Amazon’s 4K Fire TV Stick plugs in via your projector’s HDMI port, lets you watch content from any of your favorite streaming platforms, and comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote.
Use the second HDMI port on your projector to upgrade your listening experience. Amazon
The Yamaha YAS-209BL sound bar has DTS Virtual:X built in. This virtually recreates surround-sound without the need for an entire surround sound setup. The speaker reproduces a virtual height and depth that wouldn’t normally be possible with a single forward facing speaker. The YAS-209BL also comes with a wireless subwoofer to enhance the bass and lets you connect Bluetooth enabled audio devices to streaming music.
Always have an extra on hand. Amazon
If you don’t have tons of these laying around the house, pick up a sturdy HDMI cable to hook up an Apple TV, PS4, or Blu-Ray Player to your projector. These HDMI cords are six feet long and meet current audio and 4K video standards.
Take a load off. Amazon
This Moon Lence outdoor folding chair holds up to 242 pounds and is made of a durable Oxford cloth with aluminum alloy legs. The chair folds up—keep a couple of them in a closet for next week’s screening—and comes with a pouch to hold your personal items.
Containers you don’t have to worry about. Amazon
These recyclable, shatterproof wine glasses are made of a BPA-free polymer. They have thumb indents to make them more comfortable to hold and look much fancier than the price tag. Worry about the movie and not whether or not the extra glass of wine your guzzling down will break.