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How to create your own garden cinema

The arrival of long, balmy evenings gives us the perfect opportunity to transform our gardens into home cinemas and host an open-air screening. Your own garden cinema can create a cosy space to relax outdoors and socialise with family and friends. From technical tips to delicious cocktail recipes to enjoy alongside the films, here’s everything you need to create your own outdoor cinema space. Don’t worry, we’ve got the epic films covered!

Outdoor cinema films

1. Invest in a projector

For the best outdoor cinema experience, invest in a decent projector. For the best quality picture, aim for one that has 3,000 lumens — this will give a bright and crisp display — but anything above 1,500 lumens will do the job! Remember that you might need an extension cable if you're planning on setting up somewhere away from the house. No projector? No problem! You can always bring your TV screen outside temporarily or move your TV to the edge of your house by the open door or window.

Outdoor cinema films

2. Get connected

Prop the projector on a stable table, or a stack of books, in front of the screen and hook it up from a laptop, TV or phone to the HDMI, VGA, USB, Micro SD, RCA, AV ports that your projector is compatible with. If you want the full experience, you can connect a speaker through your projector’s jack, or if your projector has Bluetooth, you can connect wirelessly to a soundbar or speaker. For more information and to test your set up click here:

Outdoor cinema films

3. Set up your screen

Once you’ve got your projector sorted, the next task is assembling the screen. This can be done easily with a plain white bed sheet. You can peg this to a washing line or tape it to a wall. If the bottom of the sheet is touching the floor, secure it with heavy objects on either side such as plant pots or stones, just in case it gets breezy and the wind ruins the picture.

Outdoor cinema films

4. Create a cosy atmosphere

We all like to be cosy and warm when watching films so the more blankets and cushions the better. If the best spot is on the lawn, we recommend laying a groundsheet on the grass to protect against any moisture or uncomfortable rocks and stones, then layer blankets, cushions and beanbags for maximum comfort. If you have any spare fairy lights you can hang these in the nearby trees. Set out some chairs, benches or even hammocks to relax on and make sure everyone can see the screen. Put some blankets aside or perhaps light a fire pit in case it gets a bit chilly. For full instructions on how to make your own firepit check out our blog here:

Outdoor cinema films

5. Grab some drinks and snacks

The best thing about bringing the cinema to you, is that you can eat and drink whatever you like. For us, that's a great excuse to bring the shaker out with a homemade cocktail or two.

Why not make yourself one of our favourite campfire cocktails? Click on the cocktails below for the recipes.

Hot Gin Punch
Download PDF • 225KB
Vanilla Cider
Download PDF • 128KB
Smokey Bourbon
Download PDF • 425KB

Now fill your bowls with popcorn or ice cream, sit back and enjoy the films!

Outdoor cinema films

Win a mini projector for your own garden cinema experience when you buy a pass to any show in our Spring Series of live virtual events here. Firepit, cocktails and inspirational films… now that’s a garden party with a difference! And we’d love to see your set-up, share it with us at #BackyardSpringSeries.


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