Try these 10 tips for an unforgettable backyard movie night

This little projector has a patented ALPD® Laser Technology that puts out a 300 Ansi Lumens Double-Bright display. (StackCommerce)

The Wemax Go is the perfect partner to the Wemax screen. This little projector has a patented ALPD® Laser Technology that puts out a 300 Ansi Lumens Double-Bright display. That’s a lot of words to say it’s bright enough to comfortably see in the night, and the color on this thing is incredible. With built-in Wi-Fi, you don’t even need to worry about another cord. However, you can also connect via HDMI.

One of the best things about the Wemax Go is the big reveal. Get your friends all comfy and settled in, and let them look around the yard for the projector. They might be expecting one of those hulking movie projectors that you need to throw in another room just to cover the sound. Then, when they’re getting worried, pull this projector out of your pocket and get the movie started. Barely bigger than a smartphone with a projected image up to 100 inches, your friends will have a lot of movie to love.

6. Create a sound landscape

Your backyard might be a cozy paradise against the trials of the world, but it’s still outside. That means cars, people, dogs barking, cats yowling, and so many other unpredictable noises you don’t want playing during a tense moment in your favorite movie. That’s why you do a lot more than just throw down a bluetooth speaker and call it a day.

When this backyard movie night goes well, you’re going to want another. To that end, you can make a semi-permanent installation of outdoor surround sound speakers, and they’re just so worth it. There are plenty of guides online for how to set up outdoor surround sound, but it doesn’t take much. All you need are a few high-quality speakers and a couple high places. Set up your speakers above where people will be sitting and point them to one focal point. You can’t surround everything, but you can ring your movie seating area with a sonic landscape that immerses them in every scene.

7. Pick the movie

It’s a rookie mistake to pick the movie early on. But if your area is mostly set up, you know who is coming, and you know what the vibe will be like, it’s time to actually pick the movie (or movies!). There are a few ways to do this.

Some party planners like to keep the options open until the night. You can get a streaming service that has the right kind of movies and vote once everyone is together. Democracy is fun, but that might also be troublesome if you can’t come to an agreement. You could add a little planning to this and send out a poll to all your guests and see what movie they want from a curated list. You’re more likely to get a set answer that way, but what if there’s a 50/50 split? Tiebreakers are time-wasters.

The most no-fuss way to pick a movie is to pick a movie. Check in with your guests to make sure they’re excited about it, but you can skip some deliberation that way. If, after the first screening, everyone is up for another movie, you can use any of the other methods.

8. Pull out all the stops on snacks

Popcorn is a given. As in, popcorn should be given to your guests readily and with options for toppings. But you don’t have to stop at the traditional movie snacks. Popcorn is easy. Thematically appropriate snacks are more exciting and give you a chance to really flex your creativity.

Are you all getting together to watch a Victorian drama? Bring out the platter and the cucumber sandwiches. Is it a Disney movie? In the spirit of family and togetherness, have everyone bring a dish. Zombie movie night? There are plenty of guides for spooky snacks. In fact, if you’re at a loss, just do a little quick research because you certainly aren’t the first to stand in a kitchen and draw a blank.

9. Pour some themed drinks!

This one depends a lot on who your audience is. If kids are in attendance, you’re going to get creative with juice, fruit, and sodas. If it’s adults only, you will likely also use the same ingredients and then perhaps add alcohol to it.

Sometimes the work for this one is done for you. Movies love to show an iconic drink, and those are easy to copy. If it’s a spy movie sort of night, your friends may love a dry martini. Shaken, not stirred. If you want an even simpler solution, you don’t even have to make special drinks. Instead, break out your crafting supplies, some cheap cups, and have a cup-decorating party the week before your movie night.

10. Plan something for after the movie

The mistake of every date that has dinner and then heads to the theater is that you can’t really talk during a movie. You might laugh as a group or recite lines you know, but there’s no conversation until the movie ends. That’s why you plan something fun after everyone has been worked up by a great film.

Pull out some classic board games and share your favorite parts of the movie while finishing off all the snacks and beverages.

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