Outdoor Movie Party

Ideas for planning an outdoor movie party

Grab a blanket, some popcorn, and your best pals for an outdoor movie party! If you’re feeling nostalgic for the big screen excitement of a drive-in theater, a backyard movie night under the stars is just the ticket!


Outdoor Movie Party Invitations

Sending great invitations can make your guests feel special before the party even starts.

You can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite,

Here are some fun invitations and decorations that would be perfect for your backyard movie party:

Lights, Camera, Action Invitations
Lights, Camera, Action Invitations
Film Canister Invitation
Film Canister Invitations

** For best viewing, your backyard movie party should start when the sun goes down (usually no earlier than 8:30 or 9:00pm). If you are inviting a large crowd, consider asking your guests to provide their own blankets or lawn chairs for seating so that everyone can be comfortable.

Setting Up for an Outdoor Movie Party

When planning your party, the most important things to consider are where and how to show the movie. Here’s what you will need:

A MOVIE SCREEN (Here are some options:)

  • outdoor movie party

    Two white tablecloths work perfectly as a screen when projecting from behind!

    You can make your own outdoor movie screen by nailing strips of plywood to the top and bottom edges of a king size white bed sheet and hanging it from the back of your house.

  • For a really easy option, try hanging a few white plastic tablecloths or a white shower curtain.
  • You can purchase an inflatable movie screen or a fabric screen relatively inexpensively.
  • You can call an outdoor movie rental service such as Fun Flicks that will come, set up a screen and all the projection equipment you need, and help you with all the technical elements of the party.



  • To show your movie, download your favorite flick onto your laptop and hook it into a  video projector to display.
  • Projection systems are also usually available for rental at your local party supply or AV rental shop.



Since you will be broadcasting this movie into the neighborhood, it should be a family friendly option. Consider your audience… Classics such as Star Wars or The Wizard of Oz are good multi-age choices. If you have a younger crowd, Disney has a huge variety of hits to choose from.

Outdoor Movie Party Decorations

outdoor movie party decorations

A great thing about an outdoor movie night is that you won’t need too many decorations to make it look fabulous. Your screen will give you an instant focal point. Here are some ideas to take things from great to extraordinary!

  • SEATING — Be sure to set up your screen in a place that allows enough space for people to be seated and watch comfortably. You can create the effect of stadium style seating by setting up blankets with throw pillows closest to the screen, bean bags and low sand chairs in the middle, and lawn chairs in the rear. (**If you are having a large crowd, you might consider asking your guests to provide their own blankets and chairs.)
  • Outdoor movie party

    At our party, the girls baked cookies, painted their nails, and chatted long after the movie was over.

    LIGHTING — You want things to be as dark as possible so that your movie will show up clearly; however, be sure to provide enough illumination so that guests can find their way to a bathroom or food area. Twinkle lights and tiki torches can be fun party additions that give off just enough light to set the mood.

  • CONCESSIONS — Setting up a table or booth to look like a movie concession stand is a great idea for an outdoor movie night. You can include brown bags of popcorn, assorted candies, and personal sized containers of water, juice or pop. If you want to go all out, you might consider renting or buying an old fashioned popcorn cart.
  • BUG CONTROL — Don’t let pesky mosquitoes ruin your evening. Consider setting out a few citronella candles or baskets containing bottles of insect repellent for your guests to use.
  • TRASH — If you are offering snacks, you will probably have some trash. Putting out a few strategically placed trash cans throughout your party area can be a big help when it’s time to clean up.

Other Ideas for an Outdoor Movie Night

  • Host an Intermission Raffle — Take a break from the action to raffle off some fun mementos from the evening. Some ideas could include:
    • Jumbo sized candy bars
    • Funny tee shirts from the party or with the movie logo
    • 2 free passes to your local movie theater
    • DVDs
  • Set up a Photo Booth — Create a photo backdrop area, set out some fun props and let your guests transform themselves into stars on film! You could either have someone take photos or set out a basket of disposable cameras. Send these photos to your friends later as a memory of the night.
  • Make the Party Last all Night — Since movie parties usually tend to go fairly late into the evening, why not set up a few tents and turn your event into a campout!
  • Dive-In Movie — Do you have a pool in your yard? A great way to host an outdoor movie night is by floating some inner tubes in the pool and letting your guests watch the film while leisurely floating around.


An outdoor movie party is a great option to gather the gang on a warm summer night. Hope you found some helpful backyard movie party ideas on this page. Have fun!

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  1. Larissa, we love these ideas! We’re planning company parties all of the time and a movie night is perfect!! Thank you! 


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