Gear for a backyard theater that’s better than the local cinema

Make your backyard theater as Regal as an AMC
Alex Litvin via Unsplash

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Billy Cadden

Senior Director of Commerce

Billy Cadden is the Senior Director of Commerce for the science, tech, and outdoor group at Recurrent. He began working as the Commerce Editor at PopSci in 2017, where he spent 5 years diving deep into every product he could get his hands on. Cadden splits his time between Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, and Woodstock with his dog Wanda. He spends his time seeking new coffee shops and writing for his solo music project