How to host an outdoor movie night

Warm summer evenings filled with fireflies and starry skies present the perfect opportunity to throw an outdoor movie party. Watching movies on a giant projector in your backyard is simply more fun than crowding around the living room TV. Plus, being able to spread out on your lawn means you can invite all your family and friends. Send out the party invitations, and follow this guide to throw the perfect outdoor movie night party:

Select a movie everyone will like
OK, so you can’t please everyone no matter what flick you pick, but you can certainly try to satisfy the masses with a little thought. While playing a movie that’s age-appropriate goes without saying, genre preferences will vary as much as the personalities that filter into your backyard. First, think of your audience. Are you hosting a man-cave madness event on your lawn? Is it a girls’ night out? Are you inviting all your kids’ classmates? If you’re mixing different age groups, then my advice is to go with a comedy – everyone loves a good laugh. Scary movies can be too hard to handle for some, and slow dramas probably won’t go over well with restless kids.

Have someone tech-savvy on hand
Whether you own a projector or you’re renting one, trying to set it up can be a bit of a hassle. Since watching the movie outdoors is the main event of the party, it’s important to get this part right. Figure out how to work the projector ahead of time so you can play the movie without a problem. If you’re not very tech-savvy yourself, have one of your technology-minded friends on standby in case the projector decides it doesn’t want to work.

As for the screen, you can make a thrifty big-screen TV by taping a white bed sheet over your garage door. Or, many companies that rent projectors also have blow-up screens available.

Make plenty of snacks
Popcorn is a classic movie snack. It’s easy to make in large quantities, and it’s relatively inexpensive, too. Unless you rent a popcorn maker for the party, you probably won’t be able to serve hot popcorn to everyone. Since it’ll be room-temperature anyway, feel free to make it beforehand so you can enjoy the movie with all your guests. Additionally, single servings are a lot easier to eat when everyone’s sitting down. Equip all the kids with a plastic cup to hold their snacks or pass out paper bags of popcorn.

Provide other entertainment
While some of your guests will be transfixed by your movie selection, others may have trouble sitting through it. Provide other forms of entertainment for those who don’t want to sit through the whole movie. Set up yard games like badminton or Frisbee away from the screen so you’re not getting in the way of those who are actually watching the film.

Keep comfort in mind
Since this is an outdoor movie party, you probably won’t have cushy couches and chairs for guests to sit on. Instead of trying to scavenge for enough lawn chairs and covers, Apartment Therapy suggests encouraging guests to bring their own blankets and pillows. Have some extra supplies on hand for those who forget.

Watching a movie and being outside means the nature of the party will be relaxed, so don’t sweat the small stuff. With a little planning, your party is sure to get great reviews!