How to make an outdoor movie theater for the Holidays

How to make an outdoor movie theater for the Holidays
(Image credit: Getty)

Outdoor movie theaters are a great idea in the summer, but with coronavirus changing the festive season this year, we’ve got all the ideas and inspo so that you can create your very own outdoor movie theatre for the Holiday season too. 

Now, we know this might sound crazy, winter is normally chilly after all (depending on where you live), but with COVID-19 changing Christmas 2020, we’ve got a whole heap of ideas to get you in the festive spirit without spending time indoors. 

With officials advising against travel this Holiday season, more and more of us are changing our Christmas plans to stay at home. And if your family lives nearby, why not celebrate safely with your very own outdoor movie theater? With the CDC recommending social distancing of at least six feet and the risk of exposure to infectious droplets being reduced outdoors, creating your own outdoor movie theater is a great way to celebrate Christmas with loved ones without getting too close. 

Of course, guidelines are different in each state so even if it’s just your household celebrating this Christmas, here’s how to make an outdoor movie theater of your own. 

What do you need for an outdoor movie theater?  

First up, you’re going to need some equipment to make your outdoor movie theater happen. Unless you’ve got one of the best TVs that can even be used outside, we’d suggest getting yourself one of the best mini projectors so that you can watch your festive movies on the big screen. Speaking of screens, you can pick up a portable outdoor movie screen from Amazon, or if your budget won’t stretch you can make a DIY screen against a wall. While it may sound like a good idea, we wouldn’t recommend projecting your movie onto a bedsheet. Unless the sheet is backed with something much darker, it’ll be pretty hard to see anything at all.

What else do you need for an outdoor movie theater? Well, you’ll need something to play the movie on. If you’re using one of the best laptops or TVs, you’ll be able to watch Christmas classics from the best TV streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and of course Disney Plus for the big kid in everyone. To really bring your outdoor movie theater to life, plugging in a soundbar can really up the cinema experience.  

How to make an outdoor movie theater for the Holidays

(Image credit: Getty)

How to style a backyard movie theater 

So now that you’ve got the tech sorted, the decorating will ring transform your backyard from a normal winter’s day to a winter wonderland. If you’re using your garden furniture, layer up chairs with cozy blankets, bring festive lanterns into the garden, and string some of the best solar lights around your yard to make it look extra special when it turns dark. If you’re able to have guests from other households, remember to space the seating out by at least six feet, or consider creating zones for each household. 

If you want to go all out, you can pick up a snow machine or dress some Christmas trees in your backyard to bring the festive theme to life. 

While it’s important for your outdoor movie theater to look the part, if you live somewhere where temperatures are pretty cold around the Holidays, you need to be warm too. Cozy hot water bottles will be great for keeping the chill away but we’d also recommend one of the best patio heaters, which allow you to stay warm and stay outside for longer. 

Showing your movie at night will make it easier to see the screen, so use the dark as an excuse to light tea lights in old jars or invest in a fire pit to really create some atmosphere.

Best solar lights 2020: All the best outdoor solar lights from Brightright and Wilson & Fisher

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If it’s just you and your household celebrating Christmas at home this year, one of the best inflatable hot tubs provide an unforgettable way to watch a backyard movie during the Holidays - and they’ll be a lovely indulgence after the festive season is over too. 

Everyone knows that when it comes to the Holiday season, the food is one of the most important parts so if you’re going to make an outdoor movie theater for the Holidays, there have to be tasty treats. Keep it simple with one of the best popcorn makers and let the whole family tuck into some sweet, salty, or toffee-flavored popcorn while you enjoy your Christmas movie.  

To wash it all down with, why not make use of one of the best slow cookers to make an indulgent hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows? The best bit is that with the slow cooker recipes, all you need to do is throw in the ingredients and come back to a delicious drink that will go down a treat. For the adults, slow cookers also double up as a fantastic appliance to make mulled wine or some hot toddy.  

Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.