Sunday, June 1, 2014

the big screen

For hubby's birthday back in April, we got him an outdoor movie setup. It got it's first public showing the last day of school.  It was also Lou's last baseball game.  We hosted the end of season celebration at our house since Hubby coached the team.   We had 12 baseball boys and their families over. 
Perfect time to bring out the theater.  And, another good use for the hill in the backyard- built in stadium seating. 
 Here's how we did it.  The projector and speakers sit on a cart that connects with the dvd player through a stereo system.  There is the option to hook up the laptop if we want to stream Netflix or iTunes movies.  That's the simplified version of that cart part.  Hubby was in charge of the cart, I was in charge of the screen.  I can tell you more about the cart if you're interested.

I bought a piece of "black out tenting" material from a tent company in southern Indiana.  Here's the company, I happened to be driving by and they have an outlet shop open to the public and were able to cut just what I needed.  I've seen people use white tarp, drop cloth, or even a sheet.  Ours is 8ft x5 ft.  The ratio from the projector is 19:6, so I wanted something that could be similar in ratio.    I screwed the top and bottom onto 1x3.   I think they boards were 12 foot boards and we cut off 6-8 inches on each side.  The additional bottom piece was really just to weight it down a bit.  We wanted it portable and it does roll up for storage and transport. 

Hubby added another board to the side of the swing set that we added a few brackets to.  The top of the screen simply slides down into the brackets.  The screen can be set up and taken down in just a few minutes.   The first instillation of screen to frame boards had to be redone once.  The screen had a shiny side and a matte side.  The sales woman told me she thought the shiny side made more sense, turns out the matte is a better viewing side.  Also, I did the first time myself and hubby did the second himself.  He's more a precision guy... I eyeball everything. 

The speakers get turned towards us and I've asked the neighbors, and they said they could hear much, even with their windows open.  We really had it loud so I was a little concerned.  We can start it as soon as the sun starts setting, but don't have to wait for dark. 

But, it's totally better after dark.  Our guests watched a bit, ran around, watched a little more, ran around some more, and then crashed on the blankets for the last bit of movie.

We also discovered that Lou and Bee both have a perfect view from their windows.  Take note!  Hubby and I were getting ready to watch "I am Legend" after the kids went to bed one evening and discovered this.  Good catch!

I have about $35.00 in the screen system.  Hubby had most of the items needed for the cart already on hand.  He did buy a new projector using two years worth of Best Buy gift cards. We discovered, the thing to look for in the projector is the luminosity (bulb brightness) and bulb life.  I think it's a pay for what you get sort of thing. 

Lou has asked for his birthday party to be a swimming moving party.  I think we can do that!

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