How To Set Up A Backyard Movie Night

What You Need For A Backyard Movie Night

Whether you’re camping, at home in your backyard, poolside or in the neighborhood cul-de-sac, there’s just something about watching a movie under the stars.  Here’s what you need to easily set up an outdoor movie night.


First of all you’ll need a projector. There are a bunch of different options on the market.  We decided on the VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Projector. This projector has WIFI and is compatible with both IOS and Androids.  It also has an HDMI port allowing you to connect your Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, and most gaming consoles. 

backyard movie projector

The picture output has been great and it’s price point is a lot lower than we expected. We have taken it camping and have used it for backyard movie nights.


You could shine the projector on a blank wall or white sheet, but to get a clear image we really recommend purchasing a screen. We have this screen.  It’s made out of a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle and easily stretches tight.  This one is 104″ x 58″.  It has eyelets along the sides to easily hang it up.
We have hung the screen from the awning of our RV and also from our soccer goal out back.  It also comes with little removable hooks to hang it up on a wall or from a garage door etc.  We also use these reusable velcro straps to help secure it when hanging it.
These removable command hooks  should also work great if you are hanging it somewhere like garage door or external wall.
Make sure you plan out where you will most likely set up the screen.  If you don’t think you have anywhere to hang the screen, we suggest purchasing a screen with a stand.  Most of the stands are collapsible and easily stored.


A lot of projectors like our VANKYO have a speaker built into the projector.  We usually hook up external speaker to make it a little louder, but it’s not necessary if your projector has a built in speaker.

If you do plan on using an external speaker make sure that it has a headphone jack port.  When we are home we usually drag out one of our house speakers and plug it into the projector, but we have been eyeing this Anker speaker that’s both affordable and small enough to easily take with us in the RV.

To connect an external speaker to the projector you’ll also need one of these speaker cords.  They are small and can easily be stored in the projector case so you won’t forget it.

Movie Night Setup Tips

Make sure that you start setting up while still light outside.  You won’t be able to see the image wonderfully on the screen yet, but it’s so much easier to get everything set up and all the cords where they need to be before it gets dark.

Keep in mind that with some streaming platforms we have needed to connect our computer rather than the phone to the projector because of the security protocols. These are things that are much easier to figure out when it’s still daylight and you have time to troubleshoot rather than while everyone is staring at the screen waiting for the movie to start.

Set the projector on a small table or something similar to hold the projector steady throughout your movie.

You’ll most likely need to run an extension cord to the projector for power.  Since we were using an external speaker and chromecast, we also needed a power strip to plug in multiple cords to the power.

Bring everything you might need during the movie out before starting the movie. Set up any snacks, drinks etc, on a table behind the seating so no one will be tripping over cords.

We got a fire going in our solo stove bonfire fire pit.  This has seriously been one of our favorite purchases this year. We bring it with us camping and have used it multiple times at home as well.

We always have some outdoor blankets available too.  Seems no matter what the season, everyone ends up bundled by the end of the movie. We love our llbean outdoor blankets.

Checklist For Your Backyard Movie Night

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