Hosting A Backyard Theater Party

We love watching movies as a family curled up on the couch with big bowls of popcorn. The drive-in-theater is a special treat, I will always remember the night we went with my friend’s family. All of us kids sat in the back of our grandparent’s truck on a blow-up mattress eating cupcakes (it was my friend’s birthday) and pizza. Or the time we went to see Prince Caspian with my grandmother, we made a bed in the back of our mini-van and ate way too much popcorn.
We would go way more often than we normally do, but not all the movies they show we want to see. Bummer right? So we decided to make our own outdoor theater- no screaming kids, no obnoxious teens talking through the movie and no snoring *looking at Mr. Cottage* and we only show what we want to watch. Score!
 Mr. & Mrs. Cottage bought Brianna and I an ANDYER mini projector for our birthday (if you missed that party you have to check it out!)  because we have been wanting to do this FOREVER! Unfortunately, it called for rain on the day of the party so we couldn’t set it up outside, but we got to play with it on the living room wall. I have to say it’s a great little projector. Super easy to set up, and connects a bunch of ways so you can play your movie. We watched Casablanca (that movie has an AMAZING soundtrack and looks awesome that big) on the wall in the living room.


Backyard theater sign

After looking at Pinterest *WARNING WARNING* I decided we needed a sign (doesn’t everyone?) to announce what we are showing. So I borrowed the base to one of the cabinets that we took out during the Kitchen Remodel that Mr. Cottage was going to trash *Seriously sometimes he has no imagination!*

After cleaning it up a bit (it was in the trash pile for a couple of weeks) I hit it with a couple of coats of chalkboard spray paint *That stuff is so much fun!*. I sprayed down the sides with regular black spray paint that we had left over from another project let it dry and it was ready for chalk.

backyard theater

We set up a table with these fun movie camera lights, and giant lanterns we picked up at Ross a few years ago to give people a bit of light to grab a snack.

popcorn seasoning

backyard movie theaterIf you haven’t guessed it by now, we have quite a collection of baskets (kind of a must with the orchard), we lined one with wax paper and filled it with popcorn and a scoop for people to grab some and discourage the use of fingers. We filled a mix-match collection of salt shakers with seasonings for the popcorn and taped tags beneath each. We used another basket to stair-step them and add a splash of color.


popcorn and seasonings

We covered the table with a black tablecloth we picked up at Dollar Tree. Which really popped the black on the salt shakers. PS. Download our labels for free!

Outdoor moviecookies

We made these delicious Molasses Cookies (recipe coming soon) for a hint of fall, which is very appropriate for the end of summer. We mimicked the popcorn on the other side of the table and filled a basket lined with waxed paper with these delicious cookies.

backyard theater

For drinks, we served ice water and sweet tea (this is the south after all!) in our pioneer woman twin drink dispensers and these fun milk bottle glasses.

outdoor theater screen

We used the clothesline *shhh! Don’t tell Mrs. Cottage!* and clothes pinned a white sheet onto it to make a screen.

movie screen

We strung outdoor lights over the screen to give it an old movie theater feel and ensure everyone gets to their seat safely before the movie starts.

picnic blankets and garden benches


blankets and garden benches

We decided to do mismatched seating and skip the hay bales and simply spread blankets on the ground with these fun reclining pillows garden benches.

backyard movie theater seating

The butterfly benches are from Kirkland’s *Love that store so much!* and Home Goods. They are such a cute addition and I love the splash of color the blue one adds.

And Lights. Roll film!
Have you ever done a backyard theater? What do you think of our setup?

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