Going to the drive-ins has become a favorite summer activity for people of all ages. The experience of watching a great movie with other viewers, a loaded concession stand, and enjoying it either from your car or outside definitely has its appeal. But, did you know that you can bring the drive-ins to you? Check out our tips on how to host a drive-in movie night in your backyard. 

  1. Decide on a Movie

    First things first, you need to decide on the most important part of the drive-in movie night, the movie!

    Think about what type of genre you would like your movie to be in. If you are looking for suspense and spooky, go with a horror movie. Or are you looking to laugh all night with  friends? Then pick a comedy. 
    When making a decision on a movie be sure to think about who you will be inviting to your movie night. You should make sure your audience will like the movie and that it will  be an appropriate choice for them to watch. 

    Another thing to take into consideration is the length of the movie. Do you want a shorter movie or one that is a little longer? Do you want to have two back-to-back? 

    If you plan on creating your drive-in movie night with a specific occasion or theme in  mind (Halloween, Birthday, Girl’s Night, Disney, etc.) be sure to pick your movies accordingly, so they fit with the overall theme of the night. Here’s a great list of 101  Themed Movie Night Ideas for the Family. 

  2. Invite Friends and Family to Your Drive-in Movie Night 

    You can’t host a drive-in movie night without inviting friends or family to enjoy it with! Here are some things to consider when inviting people over! 

    Who is the movie suitable for? 
    Consider the people you are inviting when choosing a movie to watch. Will there be kids invited? If so, is the movie content appropriate for them?  

    How much room do you have? 
    Try to visualize or plan out how many people you can fit in your backyard setup for your  movie night. Once you figure out how many people will fit comfortably, you can create  your guestlist and start inviting! 

    Get Creative with Invites or Invite by Word of Mouth 

    Once you decide on your guestlist, start inviting people to your drive-in movie night. You can either invite people by word of mouth or get creative and create invitations. Here are some great free printable movie night invitations. 

  3. Pick a Location in Your Backyard 

    When hosting a drive-in movie night, location is key. There are quite a few things you should consider when picking a location in your backyard for the movie night. 

    Where will there be maximum visibility? 

    Make sure to pick a spot in your backyard that is mostly an open area without any trees or bushes. This will allow your audience to see clearly without any interference.  
    Find a Blank Space or Place to Hang a Sheet 
    You will need a blank space against the side of the house or another spot to put a screen, so keep this in mind when picking your location. 
    Find Easy Terrain for Seating 
    Are your guests going to be sitting on blankets on the ground? Make sure to clear the area of any rocks or roots so your guests can be comfortable. If they are sitting on lawn chairs, be sure to check that the ground is level so they are not tipping in their chairs throughout the movie. 

  4. Check the Weather

    Bad weather could put a huge damper on your movie night plans, be sure to plan ahead. 

    If it is supposed to rain the night of or before your movie night, you might want to put  up a canopy or tent to keep the ground and your guests dry. If it is really downpouring,  you can always reschedule to a nicer night. 

    Heat or Cold 
    Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature as well. You wouldn’t want your guests to be  too cold or hot. If it is too hot, you could always get creative and host a pool party movie-night. If it’s too cold, be sure to have plenty of blankets nearby for your guests and maybe serve some warm drinks like hot apple cider, coffee, or hot chocolate. 

  5. Set up a Display Screen 

    There are many options for a drive-in movie display screen. You can purchase a stand up screen or an inflatable screen. If you don’t want to spend the money you can also use a plain white sheet on a blank wall or side of the house. Here are some other suggestions for setting up a DIY display screen for your drive-in movie night! 

  6. Invest in a Good Projector and Sound System 

    Investing in a good projector will lead to a successful movie night. You want to make sure the quality of your video is good as well as the sound. For sound systems here is a list of The best projectors under $500 In 2021. And to go with your projector, here are some recommended speakers that will pair nicely and allow the ultimate viewing experience. 

  7. Don’t Forget the Concession Stand 

    One of the best parts of a drive-in movie is the snacks. Whether it’s the traditional popcorn treat or an elaborate ice cream sundae bar, everyone loves a good movie concession stand. Here are some other ideas for concession stand treats! 

    Movie Night Dollar Store Popcorn Trays 
    DIY Movie Night Popcorn Bar 
    Retro Drive-in Movie Night Snacks 
    12+ Drive-In Movie Eats