DIY Backyard Movie Night

As we enter the last weeks of summer, make the most of perfect August nights with a do-it-yourself backyard movie night. This is a fun and easy way to bring friends, family, and neighbors together to toast both the end of a great Lamorinda summer and the start of a fantastic school year.

You can go either ‘high’ or ‘low’ with your set-up, but either way, you’ll need a few basic supplies: a projector, speakers, a screen, seating, and of course, snacks.

Projectors are readily available for purchase (try Amazon or Best Buy) and they need not cost a lot. Connect your laptop or DVD player to the projector and small speakers and plug into a power strip with a surge protector. Go ‘high’ with additional speakers for a surround sound effect.

Next, you’ll need something on which to project. A blank wall works fine or string a white sheet from a clothesline. Make sure to iron any creases, and anchor the bottoms with rocks or bricks. Go ‘high’ by renting or purchasing a retractable movie screen.

Create additional ambiance by stringing outdoor twinkle lights above or around your movie screen. For seating, invite everyone to bring their own lawn chair, or arrange cushions and pillows on the grass. Add some throw blankets to raise the cozy quotient.

For snacks, set up a self-serve popcorn bar: large bowls of freshly popped popcorn and mix-ins such as M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, nuts, mini-marshmallows, and gummies. Serve in large plastic cups. Stock a cooler with juice pouches for the kids, and one with adult beverages for the older crowd.

Watch the sun set, turn on the movie, and bask in the glow of good friends and family enjoying yet another amazing Lamorinda summer night.

P.S. You can’t beat a Pixar movie for mixed-aged audiences. Some of our favorites: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille.

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