How to Throw a Backyard Movie Night

How to Throw a Backyard Movie Night

My name is Amber Eilers. I own and operate The Strawberry Inn, a boutique hotel in Strawberry, Arizona. The Strawberry Inn has become a favorite getaway for people throughout Arizona and beyond. One way we create a unique experience for guests and the community is by hosting backyard movie nights.

There is nothing better than sitting back with your favorite candy and some buttery popcorn and watching a movie. I want to show you how you can create a nostalgic movie theater experience in your own backyard. It’s perfect for summer or fall nights and all of those you invite will love it! Here are my tips on how to throw a backyard movie night:

1. Create a Cozy Atmosphere in Your Outdoor Space

The key to a great movie night is creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere. There are endless ways to make your backyard comfortable for your guests. I recommend having blankets, pillows, and chairs set out. If you have some comfortable patio furniture, you can set it up in the movie space! If you happen to have any inflatable pool floaties, those work great as well for seating options on movie night. Outdoor lighting adds to the evening's magic as well. Consider using string lights, lanterns, and setting up fire tables if it's a cooler night. These accents become important after the sun goes down.

Person Sitting on Comfy Sofa With Dog and Fire Table

2.Set up a Concession Stand

Once you have the cozy atmosphere created, you can focus on the best part, the concessions! We like to set up a stand with hot cocoa, s’mores, cotton candy, and souvenirs. I suggest setting up a table for all your favorite concessions. It's hard to beat movie theater popcorn! You can do a big bowl of popcorn with some bags already filled on the side, or if you happen to have a popcorn machine, you can set that out for people to help themselves. Arrange the different concession offerings on a table. Maybe you want to do a selection of candy, snacks and soda. Don’t forget the adult beverages if grown-ups are participating in movie night as well. After setting up your concessions, you will be on your way to a memorable movie night.

Hot Chocolate and Candy

3. Determine Where You Will Play the Movie

Do you happen to have a white wall in your backyard? We have a white wall at The Strawberry Inn and it works perfectly as a screen for our movie nights. If you don't have a white wall in your space, you can set up a projector screen, but even a white sheet can work as a movie screen. If you don't have a projector, consider using a large television and placing it on a table or a console. You will want to set up speakers to ensure everybody can hear the movie.

Blank Wall for Movie Night

4. Pick a Movie Based on the Audience

The last step to hosting a backyard movie night is choosing the perfect movie for the setting. Consider the people you are inviting before choosing your movie. There’s something uniting about a movie-watching experience with other people; hearing them laugh at the same parts as you, sniffling during the sad ones, and everyone asking “So what did you think?” at the end of the film. If you are inviting children, you can pick a family-friendly movie that will suit everybody.

Wall With Movie PlayingYou are now on your way to hosting the ultimate backyard movie night. Remember to consider the layout of your seating, concession stand and projector – because there’s nothing worse than being right in the middle of a pivotal scene when someone decides to walk right in front of the screen or projector!

Although it takes some planning and setup, hosting a backyard movie night will be an unforgettable experience for all. Who knows, maybe it will end up being a regular event in your backyard!

Headshot of Amber EilersAmber and her husband Carson own and operate The Strawberry Inn, a boutique hotel in Strawberry, AZ. Follow on IG: @thestrawberryinn @originalrealtyco @daledayspa


Featured Products

Back to blog