Outdoor movies and video games can seem like a niche activity, but it's a unique experience that is a great crowd pleaser if you have a large outdoor space. Once you start using it, going back to your old TV seems different altogether. It's quite fun to set up an X-box and play Guitar Hero or Call of Duty outside in a larger-than-life screen, with surround sound and room to move around. Plus movies are always better on a bigger screen and when you save money on snacks out of your home kitchen (and drinks), this investment pays for itself in a few uses. 

My friend Dan and i bought a projector for around $550 (Epson 5210X I think) in place of buying playoff hockey tickets last year which were priced about $250 each. We watched the game at home on his wall and had a blast, but we decided we needed a better long term outdoor solution. 

This is a really simple design, and the materials cost around a total of $150 for the screen. It was an investment, but a worthy one, because the robust nature of PVC piping holds up to a lot of winter weather conditions, and is fairly easy to assemble and disassemble for storage.

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

For this build, we used rugged and sturdy 2" diameter Schedule 40 PVC piping. About any size over that would be a bit overkill, as the pipe has to stand up to it's own weight as well as support itself against wind gusts (the screen will become like a giant sail). 

The general size of the screen started with the actual size of the screen itself. We used a plain white top sheet from Target ($20) which made us a screen about 6' tall by 10' long. This sheet is wider than this, but this length is needed to wrap around the top and bottom posts of the screen for removing it to store indoors (bed sheets and water = mildew and ruined screen. In the future of this build, perhaps a tougher weather-resistant material like Tyvek or Canvas could be used, but the bed sheet was cheap, readily available  the proper size, and not that heavy so that the frame could easily support it).

For the PVC pipe sizes, those 2' cut sections are rather convenient for making the legs, and the 10' sections are needed for the top and bottom of the screen frame itself. I would recommend getting 4 of these and cutting two of them down to 6' for the side posts of the screen frame rather than doing as we did which was using three 2' sections with couplers for the 6' sides, but this option works well too. 

Our BOM looked something like this:

2 x 10' schedule 2" dia 40 PVC pipe
12 x 2' section 2" dia PVC pipe
(needed 6 x 2" dia PVC straight couplers)
4 x 2" dia PVC pipe cap
4 x 2" dia PVC 90 deg tee (with plain fittings not threaded fittings! threads would be hard to line up, though it's worth a shot if you are looking for very quick assembly/dissasembly)
2 x 2" dia PVC 90 deg elbows
1 x PVC cement (you can use primer first if desired for stronger fit)
1 x White King Size flat sheet (the top sheet with no elastic)
36 x metal fabric snaps, with anvil 
12-24 x metal grommets, 1/2" dia or larger (for sides to weave bungee cord through or OneWrap Velcro for attachment to sides
OneWrap Velcro (about 12 long pieces or 20' roll) OR bungee cord or other strong cord

Tools and equipment:
A few willing friends to help (very key to final assembly)
Sharpie marker
Sandpaper, for roughing up the joints before gluing
hammer aka "persuader" for fitting the snaps into the fabric
Rubber Mallet aka "gentle persuader" (for making good solid joints)
8' to 10' A frame ladder (for when you're putting this together. the more ladders you have, the easier it is with a few folks to get it together, but we were able to assemble it with one 8' ladder)
Drill with ~ 1/4" drill bit (for drilling drainage holes in the bottom of the base. It tends to fill up with water)
Tape measure or soft fabric ruler would be ideal (tailor's ruler) for marking out locations for snaps and grommets
Tee-Square or Framing Square is useful for marking snap and grommet positions

great build. Made this for my backyard projector and its perfect. only complaint is that it is difficult to use grommits on sheets, I ended up using hundreds of safety pins and just layering the sheet which worked really well and gave it a smooth look. Great instructable! Thanks for sharing!<br><br>
<p>We used some of your ideas and others to build our own. We used thinner pvc 1&quot; but would recommend the 2&quot; as you describe.Tried to save a few pennies but ended up with some bowing pvc.</p><p>We had <br> a great time outside with this screen! Very cool to see it showing a <br>movie. We also set up Photo Booth. Kids took pictures of themselves on <br>the big screen. Great Fun!!</p>
<p>your screen looks great, could you share what you did,I like the curved screen. What materials did you use?</p>
Thank you! We used 1&quot; pvc pipe but basically followed the instructions on instructables. We ended hanging the screen on a pop up canopy frame.
hey, awesome build! thanks for sharing; and i'm glad you had some outdoor movies! The photo booth is also a cool idea, and it's great to see others running with and improvising from these builds. <br><br>Great stuff, and thanks for commenting!
If the feet are glued and capped, you could fill them with water to temporarily stabilize it.
To help stabilize the whole thing, I would recommend filling the lowest pieces with sand, or cement.
Looks great! I plan to make one at some point for doing interactive light shows. I'm thinking it would be easier to stitch a casing on the top and bottom (like what curtains and wall hangings have) rather than installing snaps. Then you just slide the poles in and out. Do you think that would pose any problems? I also plan to use rip-stop nylon: tough, lightweight, and fairly cheap with a coupon. <br> <br>Thanks for posting! :)
Great ideas. I think that making the hem would work as well. You would need to disassemble the frame if you wanted to remove the screen but if its the rip stop nylon that should be fairly robust in the weather. Post some pics when you build it! And the garden stakes are a clever solution I'll have to try out as well. Thanks for the comments!
And I think some U-shaped garden stakes would be an elegant way to hold the legs down.
I woke up this morning thinking about building an outdoor patio theatre (seriously!)... and here's your Instructable. In 2 words: WOW &amp; weird! <br> <br>Thanks for sharing your build!!!
cool idea, thanks!
This is pretty great. I wonder if I made it out of steel pipe if the it would be more wind-sturdy....
The design would work in theory with any pipe material. I chose PVC mostly because it was cheap, weather resistant, and durable. My best recommendation for improving stability (using any material) would be to widen the legs. If you expand the support polygon, the screen will be more stable.

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