Screen Options for Outdoor Movies
Children and adults alike will love an outdoor movie theater with a 220" outdoor projection screen! Notice the kids in the foreground? Whether you are standing next to your favorite animated character, boxer, football player, or video game character, a large screen has impact!
But screens come in many shapes and forms. Some general options include:
- Do-it-yourself Screens
- OutStanding Screens
- Solid Frame Screens
- Inflatable Screens
Do-it-yourself Screens - After you have everything else ready, it's time to throw that image up onto your screen! Of course we would love to have you use our OutStanding Screens 220" outdoor projection screen, but there are
other options. Many people create do-it-yourself screens with mixed results. Not everyone has the skills, the tools, or the inclination to build their own screen. At OutStanding Screens we have done all the thinking and building for you.
Do-it-yourself screens can be made out of anything you have to work with. A great source for ideas is backyard theater.com. Scroll down the page and you will find photos of about every shape and size screen that you can imagine. They also have extensive forums about screen materials and countless other ideas. It's a very worthwhile read if you are considering your own construction.
Many of the do-it-yourself screens incorporate pvc pipe. The problem with pvc is that is isn't as rigid as one might think, but it can get heavy and cumbersome in a hurry. Many of the structures are placed in heavy cement buckets and require a lot of construction. Once the structure is built, it doesn't easily come down. In addition your next challenge is stretching the fabric in such a way that you minimize wrinkles.
Another approach suspends a screen in the air between two points. The screen can drape over a rope, or it can be suspended in a frame of some sort. The problem with frames is that they can bow under the strain of the tension of the screen. A very simple and good solution if you have the option is to paint a wall or side of a building white and project there. Others hang a sheet on the side of their homes for the screen. Whatever your approach, be creative, and have fun. Worst case scenario is that you learn something new for the next movie night. If you have a problem with any part of an outdoor movie theater, please feel free to contact us for help.
OutStanding Screens - It's hard to be impartial when it comes to large screens. Our 16'x9' screen is light-weight, portable, sturdy, and the least expensive 220" screen on the market. It stores easily, is weather resistant, machine washable and can be set-up and taken down by a single person. But don't take our word for it:
“THE VERDICT – Affordable, easy to set up, and convenient to transport, this huge screen has an awesome picture and provides more fun than just about anything else you can do outdoors with your clothes on. What more could you want?” – Darryl Wilkinson, Sound & Vision Magazine Review
Solid Frame Screens - Solid frame screens are commercially available screens that rely on a structure of some sort to keep taught and upright. These screens are sturdy and often used in commercial rental set-ups. For the consumer they are a bit on the cumbersome side and require construction before the movie and deconstruction after the movie. They generally have a good quality screen. Another screen utilizes a pneumatic structure, or one that "pops-up". You see this type of frame in a lot of trade show applications. If you are looking for a large screen, take a look at the OutStanding Screens, if you want something smaller, a solid frame may suit your application better. Solid frames generally run about mid-range in price compared to other 220" screens.
Inflatable Screens - Inflatable screens rely on fans to inflate the screen and keep it inflated during your movie. They are rather simple in concept. Plug it in, and let it blow up. After it is standing you also tether it to the ground. You do have to have a power source, and the sound of the fans is also a consideration. There are multiple manufacturers of inflatable screens. Some can be rear projected and others not. There are mixed reviews when it comes to a taught screen for viewing. Other concerns with inflatable screens are leaks or punctures, or if the family dog decides to mark a corner of the screen. If you go for the 16' variety, you will be working with two fans and about 93 pounds of screen to put away at the end of the night. Inflatable screens come in a variety of sizes, but do pay attention to the screen size you are purchasing and not the structure size.
Summary - Whatever type of screen you choose to use, bear in mind that there are two components that really have combined impact. First is a big bright picture, and the second is a clear bold sound. Here is a link to a screen considerations article that may be helpful as you shop for your screen. If you visit our Pinterest page you will see images of other outdoor theater arrangements and their screens. If we can offer any help, please don't hesitate to contact us. We built our screens because we love the outdoor movie experience. We think you will too! We know that our customers do. Enjoy.