Simple and Cheap Outdoor Movies!!

Last year we wanted to go watch a movie at the Drive in Theatre in town only to find out no kids movies were playing at it. So after checking prices at other Drive ins we decided to pick up a projector and slap together a screen and have a campout/movie night and this is now one of our kids favorite things to do on nice nights!

The frame I constructed from 5 2"x4"s

and a 4'x6' sheet of 1/8" hardboard panel

1 1/4" deck screws

2 1/2" deck screws

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Step 1: Starting the Frame

My yard is fairly flat where I wanted to put the screen so I didn't have to worry much about being to fancy on my design.

I started with cutting 2 pieces to 24" (for feet)

2 pieces to 78"

I then marked the middle of the (feet) and drilled 2 countersunk holes in each to attach the uprights with.

I used the 2 1/2" screws.

Step 2: Supporting Stance!

with the upside down T's made I measured down from the top 4' and marked where the bottom of the screen will be so I could determine where I wanted to mount my supporting pieces. The back support I took up to the backside of the screen, The front side is about half as high. Since most of our fun projects are fly by the seat I didn't do proper angles and all when figuring where to cut... If you check out the pictures you can see I laid the boards across the top where I wanted to put them and marked them to cut. (yes not technical but still got the job done) again I used countersink holes where I wanted to attach these supports and this time the 1 1/4" screws were used.

Step 3: Coming Together

To put the screen on I wanted to run 2 supports between the legs. I used a pocket hole jig made by Kreg to attach these to it. I cut my 2 pieces down to 73" as the hardboard I used I had to trim down a little from damage. However if you pick up a full 4'x8' sheet and don't have to trim just trimming about 5" off of 2 of your 2"x4"s will give you the same results. After I had the frame together I laid it on its back and attached the hardboard with 1 1/4" screws and put a couple quick coats of white paint on it.

Step 4: Entertainment Time!

After the screen was made there was still plenty of daylight so I got the sound setup. We use a stereo my wife had as a teenager that still works great and the kids danced in the yard just having a blast for a few hours. I picked up a projector from walmart for like $60 and just brought our dvd player from the living room out.

Our goal on this was to have a good night without breaking the bank and spending 2 hours driving to watch a movie. At the end of the entire project we spent around $80 almost all was projector. Most of the materials for the frame were recycled or discounted from damage.

Now it only takes a few mins to setup and take down each time so it was well worth every penny! I look forward to upgrading the projector and sound system in the future!

If you liked this Instructable give me a vote in the contest! Thanks for your time!

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    2 Discussions

    Great time and the kids love it every time! Were still waiting for someone driving by to stop and hangout but definitely good memories!