Nope. I don't do anything small. Can't help it.
I got in my head to do an outdoor movie night to celebrate the start of summer. First I thought I'd rent the equipment, but then decided I was going to do it more than once (we've already used it 3 times) so it was best to invest in our own.
Then I had to go for a specific look for the night. I blame Pinterest. Truth be told, that's the part I love and I always do details anyway. But I was inspired to do the whole thing by some pictures I found on Pinterest.
This is one of my favs.
And I tried to use a lot of antique looking wood, like the crates and board we used as little tables for drinks etc. I also put out some flowers and candles. There were some twinkle lights up on the deck by the food for dim lighting and more ambiance.
My mom has a bunch of nap mats from her preschool days that I sewed pockets in the sheets for, so it was more comfortable. And I borrowed chairs because in my mind the adults weren't going to be thrilled to lay on the ground. And there were many, MANY pillows. Also, my parents have 2 papasan chairs so basically it was like a living room outside.
As for the actual equipment, I bought a projector on Ebay and a receiver/speakers at a yard sale. The screen I built out of PVC. Not too difficult. To give you an idea of scale, the screen is about 14' wide. The actual material is blackout material meant to line curtains (because it doesn't let light through). It has a seam down the middle but you can't tell when the movie is playing. It's attached to the frame by velcro.
It's somewhat weather proof. It can stay out in the rain but the wind did knock it down. I can leave up the frame but take down the material, but I am a bit worried the homeowner's association will have a conniption. If you want more info on how to built your own movie screen, check out backyardtheater.com. These people are crazy hardcore and it was an awesome resource to help pull it all together.
And of course I had to do snacks. 3 types of popcorn and some classic sweets. There were bags for the popcorn (regular brown paper bags I printed "fresh popcorn" on myself) and separate one for the GOODIES (so cute!).
Drinks were soda (in glass bottles), beer, water, and orange juice/lemonade served in mason jars. And boy did we need ice cold drinks that night. It was HOT! It was the first night of summer (also the first night after school got out) and I thought we would all melt. The kids didn't care one bit and ran around before it started.
Thankfully, it cooled enough after the sun was down that we were reasonably comfortable. We had a lot of people (mostly families of the kids' friends) and had a blast. Here's how we looked enjoying the show. We watched Over the Hedge because I thought it particularly appropriate in suburbia. :) We've also watched How to Train Your Dragon, and one of my all time favorites, Princess Bride.
I used to love going to the Drive-In as a kid so this was great throw-back. And even though it's not HD or surround sound or anything, there's something that just feels so "real" about the big screen and being outdoors. It gives me the warm fuzzies.