Monday, June 1, 2015

Backyard Drive-In Movie Theater

So yesterday the dude and I tried to surprise the boys by taking them to the pool. The first one was filled to capacity so we went to another one. After getting to the second one, they shut down the adult pool because someone threw up in it, and a little bit after that the kiddie pool was also shut down because some kid got hurt and was taken away by ambulance. At least we were able to surprise them with our big summer project!

I am in love with all things retro and vintage, with drive-ins being no exception. I would love to take the boys to an actual drive in, but unfortunately the closest one to us is in Goochland, 2hrs away so we can't just hop in the car and go on a whim, but the dude and I definitely plan on taking them this summer. Lucky for the little monsters, the next best thing we can do for them is make them a dome version!

What you'll need:

- heavy duty ceiling plant hooks
- a pull down projector screen
- a portable projector
- speakers (if your projector's speakers aren't loud enough)
- an extension cord
- a heavy object or weight of some sort to hold the screen still
- K style gutter and endcaps if you plan on leaving the screen outside for long periods of time

The dude rescued a projector screen from an office place that finally decided to join the digital age, and he was also able to get me some computer speakers (you can almost always find a decent pair at your local thrift store).

If you want to leave your projector outside permanently and want to protect it from the elements, cut a section of gutter material down to size to fit over the screen (I got the nice guys at Home Depot to do it for me when I bought mine), and make holes where the hooks will attach, and cover the ends with the end caps. The dude forgot to bring his tools to make the holes, but I'll update this post with pictures/directions when we get around to doing that...

Find a spot close to an outlet that can support the weight of the projector and drill a hole for your hooks.

When you pull the screen all the way down, you might notice that it sways with the breeze. We stopped this by using a 5lb dumbbell I found in a thrift store and a short bungee cord.
I have a bench I saved from a dining set I gave away, and it's the perfect height and length to set up the projector, speakers, and still has room for the boys to put their popcorn and snacks wile they sit in their power wheels Jeep.

You can ask around at schools or even offices where they're going digital if you can have the screens they're going to toss away anyways, you might even be able to score a projector if you're lucky. Oh, and if you can set up your laptop to the projector, you can definitely have karaoke nights too!
PS If you're interested, here's where you can find your local drive in theater.

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