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outdoor movies

Drive-in movies are one of my favorite things, but they are almost extinct. Seems like all the ones near me have been transformed into weekend flea markets, which makes me a little sad. There's something magical about watching a movie outside, so this summer we've been showing a few movies right in our backyard.

My husband made the screen out of an old queen sized flat sheet, stretched across some spare wood he had in the garage. The support legs in back fold in, so we can pack it flat and leave it in the garage when it's not in use. Luckily my brother happens to have a pretty good projector, which hooks right up to the computer so we can play directly from a DVD. You'll need some speakers too, we used two sets and it was nice and loud. And it's always nice to let your neighbors know in advance what you're up to. We try and start our movies right at dusk, so they are over by 10 PM. We bring all our blankets out to the lawn and spread them out, luckily it doesn't get too chilly here in California.

All my brothers and sisters came to town the first week in August and one night we gathered at my house and watched a movie outside. The kids were bundled with blankets, arm in arm with their cousins (there are 12 in all). Most of the adults gathered inside the house and talked and played cards. Bowls of popcorn were passed around. A few of the littlest children fell asleep under the stars. All around, a lovely night.

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Reader Comments (40)

i love this idea so much. its adorable. xo.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered Commenterb.

What a brilliant idea! Real drive-in movies start too late for my family, but movies in the backyard would be totally doable.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

Any suggestions for an outdoor movie that the kids and adults would all enjoy?

09.15.2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Too cute. I used to love watching movies in the backyard with my siblings when we were younger.

How wonderful!
I love this idea.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

What a fantastic idea. I love it. Your lucky you have a projector cause those things are so expensive. Looks like so much fun.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered Commentermamaloves

Thank you so much for sharing this. Some of my very favorite childhood memories are that of going to the drive-in with my family. Piling in the back of the baby blue station wagon and eating popcorn out of huge paper grocery bags. Ahhh......thanks for the reminder!

09.15.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

My neighbor has a set up for movies like this and we LOVE it when she has the movies in her yard. She invites her friends and then we all bring a treat to share. Most of the movies we watch are chick-flicks that we have all seen a dozen times and we all make comments throughout the movie that make us all laugh. One night while we were watching there were a number of shooting stars overhead. That was a magical night.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I love this! How wonderful for your kids to have such creative parents! I hope to do this some up and coming summer.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatelyn

Wow! So cool! Thanks for sharing the idea.

09.15.2009 | Unregistered Commentersannika

Whao I wish it were warm enough to do that over here in England! Sounds like such a lovely thing to do!

09.16.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

What a beautiful idea :o)

09.16.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

so wunderful.
wath a great idee.

greatings conny

09.16.2009 | Unregistered Commenterconny

we did this with some neighbors last year on Labor Day weekend -- so much fun!

09.16.2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

What a fun idea! This is a great way to enjoy the wonderful fall weather with your kids.

Thank you!

oooh so much fun. i've wanted to do this for years and you've inspired me to write it on my MUST DO list this summer. love it!

09.16.2009 | Unregistered Commenterbelinda

Hi Heather..
We've done it twice this summer and the kids have ranged from 3 to 12 years old, so finding a movie that makes everyone happy is not easy! We loved Night at the Museum, great for kids and adults, and we did The Incredibles as well. I'd love to hear more suggestions if you can think of any!

09.16.2009 | Registered CommenterBrooke

I love it! I am inspired...

09.16.2009 | Unregistered Commenterloren weltsch

Such a great idea... I'd love to try this out too!

09.16.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnnisa

We had dozens of kids over this summer for outdoor movies, organic popcorn from the farmer's market and blankets galore. Our first movie...Night at the Museum. :)

09.16.2009 | Unregistered Commenteremily

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