An outdoor movie party at home is a fun summer party idea or great for an outdoor sleepover! Here are great ideas for your backyard movie night at home for summer, driveway party ideas, neighborhood parties, outdoor movie birthday party ideas, or even a fall outdoor party.
How To Throw An Outdoor Movie Party At Home
Summer movies and family movies are great themes for an outdoor party for guests of all ages and even makes a fun sleepover party outside! These ideas can be adapted for a kid outdoor movie party or an all adult outdoor movie party!
Here’s how to create your own backyard drive-in movie party or have a summer movie night in your backyard, plus what to include in your outdoor movie night checklist…
How do you host an outdoor movie night?
Outdoor Movie Must Haves:
- Outdoor movie night equipment
- Outdoor movie screen
- Movie projector
- Laptop or phone
- Casual outdoor movie seats / outdoor movie night furniture (have a bring your own chair for stress free setup!)
- Twinkle lights
- Movie-themed games
- Snacks for outdoor movie night (think typical movie food for outdoor movie party like a DIY popcorn bar)
- Movie drinks
- Bucket of refreshing beverages
- Extra sunscreen and bug spray
- Fun invitations for a movie party
See the full ideas for outdoor movie night below. Keep scrolling!
What are good ideas for a movie night?
Tips for outdoor movie night:
- Make it an outdoor movie themed party! Create a theme around the movies you’re showing and use movie theme decorations and food.
- Consider an outdoor movie night backyard fire pit for roasting hotdogs and s’mores.
- Provide outdoor party activities like lawn games guests can play until it gets dark enough for the movie.
- Have bug spray available (or remind guests to bring their own on the movie party invitations).
- Have an alternate plan for movie night outside in case of inclement weather and you need to move the party indoors or under a party tent like this.
- Send fun outside movie night invitations (either paper invitations or online). I love these ticket coupon invitations and also these birthday movie party invitations.
- Decorate with twinkle lights strung around the food area and over the seating, if possible.
- Have kids coming? Make it an outdoor pajama party theme!
- Hot summer night? Make it an outdoor movie night with kiddie pools for guests to stick their feet in while watching the movie! (This makes such a fun pool movie night party and it just takes some cheap blow up baby pools like this!)
See more outdoor movie night ideas and outdoor movie night must haves recommendations below!
YOU’LL ALSO HAVE FUN WITH THESE OUTDOOR PARTY IDEAS:
How To Watch A Movie Outside During The Day
The best way to watch a move outdoors during the day is to create a shade with umbrella or a tent. Then, you will need to adjust your screen brightness up or down, based on the best way to see a movie during sunlight. However, the best way to have a private outdoor movie screening party is to have movie themed foods and movie games guests can play until it gets dark. Then, show the movie outside once the sun starts to go down.
How do you do a movie night party?
What’s better than watching a great movie on a warm summer night? Doing it with friends and family, of course!
If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to entertain your loved ones, why not try hosting an outdoor movie party right in your own backyard? Outdoor movie parties are fun for guests of all ages!
Here are outdoor movie night ideas at home…
Ideas For Outdoor Movie Party
Outdoor movie party ideas:
1. GET A MOVIE PROJECTOR.
You will need an outdoor movie night projector. Search outdoor movie party near me rentals (there are companies that do outdoor movie party rental supplies) or you can purchase your own like this, which may be cheaper if you plan on using the projector multiple times.
There are many different projector for outdoor movie night, so make sure you get the one that works with your laptop and/or phone (or whatever you’re using to show the movie) and any other outdoor movie night accessories you need for showing the film.
2. MAKE A DIY MOVIE SCREEN.
To save money on a screen for your backyard movie party ideas, use a white sheet stretched across a fence or the side of the house. However, outdoor screens are super affordable now and may be worth purchasing one like this.
(Also, look for projector movie night ideas kits that include everything you need!)
3. TEST YOUR OUTDOOR MOVIE SETUP!
Test out your outdoor movie night set up days before the party and then again a few hours before the party. Some movie projector cameras can be finicky and may require special adapters.
Be sure you have them all and test them out before the party! (There’s nothing worse than having an entire party waiting for a movie to start and then to have a delay due to technical difficulties.)
4. CONSIDER MOVIE SOUND.
Think about sound and speakers for outdoor movie night. Projectors often have built-in speakers, but if you have a large crowd you may need additional sound movie options. (This movie project kit comes with everything, including projector, speakers, screen, and adapters.)
5. CHOOSE YOUR BACK YARD MOVIES.
Decide on what to show for your movie in backyard. (Don’t forget to rent or buy the movie!)
Make sure to pick a flick that everyone will enjoy and that is appropriate for the ages of your guests. If you’re not sure what to watch, consider a classic family movie.
The best movies for outdoor movie night are the ones that can be shown to all your guests, so take ages into consideration!
6. SCHEDULE PARTY TIME AND INTERMISSION.
If you’re showing multiple movies at your movie night outdoor party, take an intermission in between so guests can stretch their legs, talk, and get movie snacks.
7. KEEP BACKYARD MOVIE DECORATIONS SIMPLE.
Outdoor movie night decorations can be simple: twinkle lights, movie theme products, and a NOW SHOWING board is all you need!
8. LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW WHAT TO BRING ON THE BACKYARD MOVIE INVITATIONS.
On your outdoor movie party invitations, recommend that guests bring a lawn chair, bug spray, and a sweater or light, outdoor blanket in case it gets chilly!
Outdoor Movie Night Seating Ideas
Outdoor movie night DIY should include lots of different seating options. On the invitation, you should ask guests to bring their camping or lawn chairs, but you should also provide different movie seating options spread in front of the movie screen. Put taller lawn chairs and camping chairs in the back and then spread picnic blankets and outdoor cushions on the lawn in front of the screen.
The goal for seating for outdoor movie night should be to offer a variety of movie seats for all different comfort levels!
What should I make for a movie night at home?
Outdoor movie night food ideas:
- Popcorn (this is a super fun idea for outdoor movies parties!)
- Popcorn bar with different toppings like this
- Candy bar
- Cookie and brownie platters
- Hot dog bar
- Nacho bar
- Movie theme snacks (based on the movie you’re showing)
- Colored chocolate popcorn
- Cotton candy
- Hot chocolate bar (if a fall movie night)
- Infused water or lemonade bar (if a summer movie night)
- Toffee popcorn
- Homemade kettle corn
40 Best Movies for an Outdoor Movie Night for a Variety of Ages
What movies you show for your outdoor party movies will depend, of course, on the guests’ age ranges. We’ve listed a variety of great movies for your outdoor film party, but be sure to check the movie ratings and that they’re appropriate for your guests.
OUTDOOR MOVIE PARTY TIP: List the movies you’re showing on the invitation, that way parents can decide if they want to bring the kids or leave them at home!
What can I show for a movie night at home?
Movie night backyard ideas:
- The Goonies
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- National Lampoon’s Vacation
- The Sandlot
- Alice In Wonderland
- The Princess Bride
- Adventures In Babysitting
- The Outsiders
- Stand by Me
- The Karate Kid
- The Wizard of Oz
- Toy Story
- Back to the Future
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Despicable Me
- Hocus Pocus
- The Little Mermaid
- The Lion King
- The Hunger Games
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Sound of Music
- Dirty Dancing
- Pretty Woman
- Top Gun
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Jurassic Park
- Harry Potter
- The Shawshank Redemption
- Forrest Gump
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- The Lego Movie
Tried a party idea or have your own tips for how to host a movie night? We’d love to hear your outdoor movie theater party ideas!