How to Plan an Outdoor Movie Night During COVID-19
Movie theaters might be closed for the foreseeable future in light of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the theater-going experience from the comfort of your own home.
Read on below to learn how to plan an outdoor movie night during COVID-19. Armed with these tips you should be able to host a steller movie night that is equally enjoyable and safe for everyone involved.
Make sure your yard is up to the job
Unfortunately, the truth is that not everyone’s yard is going to be well-suited to host an outdoor movie night. For example, some yards are hillier than others and may not provide viewers with the opportunity to sit comfortably for a few hours at a time. If you’re planning on transforming your backyard into an outdoor movie theater, it’s best if it exhibits the following characteristics:
- It should be relatively sizable: To start, in order to make this work, you need to have enough space. If you’re planning on using a projector for the event, you’ll need to leave at least 15 feet of room between viewers and the screen in order for them to be able to see the picture clearly. If you’re having guests over, you’ll also want to leave enough room for everyone to remain relatively socially-distanced.
- It should be mostly flat: As stated above, having a yard that’s on a hill could make hosting movie night more difficult. For one thing, you definitely need a flat area to set up your movie-watching equipment in order for it to stay stable. However, having your guests sit on a hill can also become uncomfortable after an extended period of time.
- It needs to have access to electricity: While it is definitely possible to power up your movie night by running an extension cord from the inside, ideally, you’ll have access to outdoor electricity to make things easier.
Invest in the right equipment
Let us preface this by saying that, if your movie night is happening spur of the moment or you would like to keep things as simple as possible, it is possible to host a movie night simply by carrying your regular TV out onto the lawn.
However, if you foresee movie night becoming more of a regular feature for your family, don’t be afraid to invest in the right equipment to really recreate the theater-going experience. In the event that’s something you’re willing to do, consider shopping for the following equipment:
- A projector
- An outdoor movie screen
- A soundbar or speaker
- The movie player of your choice (DVD, Bluetooth, computer, etc)
Choose your seating wisely
Once you have your equipment set-up, the next step is to figure out the seating arrangements. While Instagram might make it seem as though you only need a blanket and a few pillows to pull this off, in reality, you may want to provide something a little more substantial.
To say the least, sitting on the ground with only a thin blanket underneath of you is likely to get old after about a half an hour. Instead, we suggest using a selection of outdoor furniture, such as lawn chairs or camping chairs, for a more comfortable and supportive experience.
If you’re having different groups of friends over for your movie night, consider setting up the seating arrangements in advance. That way, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone stays a safe distance from one another.
Plan your movie selection carefully
While, technically, you’re within your rights to watch any movie that you would like, we’d caution you to take some extra time to select a movie that’s appropriate to be played outdoors. Put simply, sound carries when you’re outside, which means that slasher films with loud screams may not be the best choice.
On the other hand, if you know that your neighbors have small children, a raunchy comedy might also not be the best pick. In the end, you should trust your own judgment, but it’s best to be respectful of others whenever possible.
Don’t forget the snacks
Lastly, no movie experience would be complete without snacks. Be sure to load up on traditional favorites like popcorn, movie theater candy, and plenty of soda pop. Alternatively, if you’re feeling creative, you could always whip up a few themed snacks to go with the film of your choice. Either way, it’s important not to let your guests go home hungry.
However, in the era of COVID-19, passing around a big, communal bowl of popcorn may not be the best idea. If you’re hosting guests outside of your immediate family, consider pre-packaging the snacks into individual portions so that everyone can have their own treat.