It’s finally going to happen! Summer is almost coming to an end – not really actually, but people keep on saying that – and therefore we are organising a movie night by the end of this week. The weather says it’s going to be 30C and no rain, so I think we are not taking a lot of risk weather wise. We also bought our first beamer from BenQ and worked out the sound (kind of). And then two of our four dutch guests that will be over this week are born on the same day which happens to be at 24.00h on the film night we are planning. We couldn’t have chosen a better night to organise this. I think. 

We are organising the evening under our cherry trees. You can see them on the top image. The screen will be hanged in between the two trees facing the hill and the idea is that people will be seated on the hill. That way we won’t need chairs, only picnic clothes and cushions. Our screen will be made out of an old white sheet. 

I’m now trying to prepare everything and collect some ideas. Although I have never been at a private outdoor movie night, apparently this happens a lot. I could find many ideas on the internet and especially in the US people seem to be organising these kind of events often. I’ve collected a few below. If you are planning a movie night yourself, I can recommend you to visit all the links below for more ideas.

brommerbakfiets movie night

image by brommerbios

I’ve collected the 5 most important things for you to consider, when you are preparing an outdoor movie night:

1. Find the right equipment (and test it out first)

You will need a beamer/projector, a projection screen/white sheet, dvd player/laptop and speakers. You can buy or rent the projector and screen. You can also find out if there is a drive in mobile projector in your area. If you are in the Netherlands, you can try this for example. When you have collected your equipment, it’s good to test it out for the first time to see if all works properly.


thekitchn movie night

image Thekitchn

2. Inform (& invite) your neighbours

Unless you live really remotely, it’s probably good to inform all the people that could potentially hear the noise from your movie night.  As the film is best shown after sundown, it’s probably always in the late evenings and could potentially stress out people living around you if they aren’t informed. We live quite remotely, but we still have three neighbours that we will inform and invite about/for the movie night as they are overlooking our garden.


tim walker

image by Tim Walker, found on MiHjeans

3. Choose the right movie

This is a difficult one, but consider if there will be children coming. How explicit the movie is in violent terms for example. Are you going for a girls night out and do you want to watch a romantic comedy or are there people present that will prefer to see a cult movie. Give it some thought and then go and find the movie.


myhomeoutdoors movie night

image myhomeoutdoors

4. Make a plan for the evening

It’s not a very complicated schedule you are dealing with at a movie night. But there are a few things that are worth considering. First of all you need to find out at which time it gets dark. You probably don’t want to start showing the movie before that time. When you find out when that is, you probably want to start the movie right after that moment. As an example. If it gets dark at 20.30 in your area, you want to start the movie at 20.30h. Ideally you would like to have the guests to come in not later than 20.00 as you want them to be able to settle down nicely and do all the loo-ing. Then depending on the movie, you might want to consider a small break in between for more loo-ing and for people to stretch their legs. 

happily ever after movie night

image welivedhappilyeverafter

farmerskitchen outdoor movie night

image farmerskitchen

5. Get the word out

Now that everything is set (in stone?), put it down in writing and invite your guests! Without them there is no movie night. Be clear what you want them to bring themselves. Chairs or blankets. Remind them about the weather conditions. You can suggest people to bring food and drinks if you don’t have time to prepare everything yourself. That gives you more time to enjoy as well (while you’re keeping your finger on your watch).

100layercake movie night

image 100layercake

anthropologie movie night

image anthropology

We are currently stuck at number two and three. We’ll have to give the neighbours a notice and today we have to choose the movie. Any good suggestions?