Introduction: Backyard Theater

First time/long time...Inspired by the Guerrilla Drive-in Instructable by plusbryan, I built a temporary backyard theater. This Instructable will cover the basics on building a projection screen that won't break a budget or be pushed around by an evening breeze.

Step 1: Materials

My vision was a 8' x 16' screen. At the local Lowes I purchased:

4) 4' x 8' sheets of 7/16 OSB ($7 per sheet)
3) 10' 2 x4's ($3-4 per board)
8) 8' 2 x 4's ($2-3 per board)
1) Box of 1 5/8" dry wall screws (coarse thread) ($5/box)
1) tube of painters caulk ($2/tube)
1) partial can of white-ish paint I had around.

Tools --
skill saw
screw gun
tape measure
speed square
various clamps

Other items needed for the final event were donated by friends or I had already

DVD player and amp
Speakers + 50' of speaker wire
Raiders of the Lost Ark DVD
HD Projector (courtesy of my employer).

Step 2: Assembly

Like I said before, the vision was a 8' x 16' screen. Once I mocked this up with the 4 sheets of OSB, I quickly realized there was no freakin' way I could erect this and have it safely stay vertical, without buying more lumber. Change in plans...8' x 12' is manageable and still an impressive size for a backyard.

Step 3: Assembly

After settling on the layout, I then used the 1 5/8" screws at every 2 feet. I wanted to keep this something that can be easily taken a part or modified. On the outside edges of the OSB I screwed into the edge of the 10' 2 x 4. Then where I joined the 2 horizontal sheets with the single vertical sheet, I screwed into the face of the 2 x 4. Probably not needed but it seemed to add surface area to screw to.

Step 4: Paint

I located a partial gallon of white-ish paint we had from some other project. I employed my 11 year-old and 3 year-old to swab the paint on. After the paint dried, I added a bead of caulk at the joints. This should have been done before paint, but the painters could not wait. Caulking the joints is probably not necessary, but I didn't want a rough joint distracting from the movie.

Step 5: Footing Gussets

With the now "extra" 4th sheet of OSB, I cut into a 4' x 4' square and then a diagonal cut for the gussets. Screwed off and moved to the next one.

Step 6: After Paint Assembly

I clamped the 2 x 4 to the face of the screen for temporary support. Tipped the structure up and clamped support legs to the back. Pounded some steaks - screwed the steaks to the legs on the structure to secure.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

This made a fairly impressive outdoor screen for a projector. Next summer when I do this again, I will lay all 3 sheets of OSB vertical and build the frame similar to a wall with common house framing construction...and leave it up for the summer!

Thoughts of hanging speakers from the screen and adding some sort of a sub woofer as well.

As for the event was a huge success. Most of the neighborhood arrived as well has close friends and family. My wife's Wasabi popcorn was a hit! Looking back, Raiders of the Lost Ark probably wasn't the best choice for a family event. My 3 year-old still talks about a dead monkey and some guys face melting???

Thanks for checking out this Instructable! Look for "Phase 2" next spring!!!