DIY Backyard Movie Screen

If you’re looking for a fun twist on your next get-together, why not host a backyard movie party with all your favorite people? Movie parties are great for all ages and nearly all occasions, all you have to do is change out your movie theme for something your guests will enjoy. What kid wouldn’t want a backyard movie-fest with all his favorites? And even your introvert family members and friends can rally around a night of movie watching (there’s little interaction required if you’re all watching the screen).

Thanks to eHow, you can make this awesome backyard movie screen and recreate a drive-in experience without the car and without leaving home. Here’s how.

Materials Needed:

  • White projection screen material, 110 inches by 66 inches
  • 3-inch black felt tape
  • Scissors
  • Grommet pliers
  • Grommets
  • Pipe cutter
  • 1-inch PVC pipe, 60 feet
  • 1-inch three-way PVC connectors, 10
  • 1-inch PVC caps, 10
  • 1-inch 90-degree PVC elbows, 2
  • Bungee cords measuring 10 inches, minimum of 4
  • Sand bags or cement mix
  • Movie projector

Step 1: Create a Border Around the Screen

Cut two pieces of the black felt tape measuring the length of your screen and two pieces measuring the width of your screen. Tape the four pieces into place along the edges of the projection screen, creating a border around it. When applying the tape, do not stretch the screen material.


Step 2: Attach the Grommets

Use the grommet pliers to create holes through the black felt tape and screen material. Create a hole about 4 inches from each corner. Now punch a hole about every 11 inches between those initial holes. Attach a grommet in each hole using the grommet pliers.


Step 3: Cut the PVC Pipes

With the pipe cutter, cut 10 pieces of PVC pipe at 18 inches each (the feet), five pieces at 24 inches each (the legs), four pieces at 28 inches each (the base), two pieces at 75 inches each (the sides), and one piece at 115 inches (the top).


Step 4: Build the Legs and Feet

Take two 18-inch PVC pieces and connect them to a three-way connector, making sure they are horizontal with each other. In the other hole facing away from the two horizontal pieces, place a 24-inch piece to form a T-shape. Do this four more times, and you will have all of your legs and feet set. Place PVC caps on the ends of each foot.


Step 5: Build the Base

Line up the four 28-inch pieces horizontally and connect them together using three of the three-way connectors. Make sure the openings in the connector pieces are all facing the same direction. This will be the base of the screen. On either end of the base, attach a three-way connector using the center hole so that the other openings on the connector pieces are vertical.



Step 6: Connect the Base and Legs

Connect the legs to each of the three-way connectors on the base so they are all facing in the same direction. This will leave two openings remaining for the sides of the screen to connect with the base.


Step 7: Connect the Sides and Top With the Base

Connect a 90-degree elbow to each end of the 115-inch PVC piece. On the other ends of the 90-degree elbows you will connect the 75-inch PVC pieces. Insert the other ends of the 75-inch pieces into the two openings on the base to complete the skeleton of the screen.


Step 8: Hang the Screen Material

Hook a bungee cord through each corner of the screen material to hang the screen off the PVC frame. If there is some slack in the screen, use extra bungee cords to tighten the screen.


Step 9: Weigh the Screen Down

There are a few options to keep the movie screen weighed down. One option is to lay sand bags over two or three of the feet. You can also mix cement in a coffee can and stick one side of the feet in the coffee can, letting the cement dry over it. After it completely dries, you can just gently knock the sides of the can with a hammer and slide the foot and concrete out. Note: If you choose the cement method, you will want to do this after Step 4.

Step 10: Set Up the Movie Projector

Setting up the projector to view movies on the screen will take a little trial and error. You’ll need to adjust the tilt of the projector to get the right angle. Be sure to follow any instructions that came with the projector you purchased, as it will note how far to place the projector from the screen. If your projector doesn’t come with speakers or you just want an extra boost in sound, be sure to use compatible speakers.


Check out the full set of directions along with tips at eHow.

Get movie-theater popcorn at home with this recipe from FoodNetwork.

Popcorn Directions

Movie theaters use butter-flavored oil, which has a lower water content than butter so it makes popcorn less soggy. Real clarified butter has the same effect.

To make it, melt 2 sticks butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Let sit for a few minutes; the butter will separate into 3 layers.

Skim off the top layer of foam, then slowly pour the clarified butter into a heatproof container; discard the bottom layer of milk solids.

Use 3 tablespoons hot clarified butter for 10 cups popcorn; refrigerate the rest (it’s great for sauteeing).




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