outdoor theatre essentials

Having an outdoor theatre means you can invite friends and family over to watch movies under the stars. It’s easier than you’d think to set one up, and you can have it in every type of home or take one with you on the go. All you’ll need are a few essentials, some accessories, a way to make snacks, and a bunch of movies to enjoy outside.

Define your outdoor theatre space


Whether you have a large backyard backing onto a forest or a 10 x 10 area behind your condo or townhouse, you can create an outdoor theatre. In fact, you don’t even need a backyard at all as long as you have the right setup for your space. You could bring a portable projector and projector screen to take with you to the park or camping. Think of where you would like to set up an outdoor theatre, and then choose the equipment and accessories you need to make the most of your outdoor movie nights.

samsung the freestyle for outdoor theatre

Outdoor projectors vs outdoor TVs

The most essential component for an outdoor theatre is an outdoor TV or outdoor projector. To decide between the two you’ll want to take a look at the features you’d like and decide whether or not you need a portable or a permanent device. An outdoor TV is more permanent than an outdoor projector as it needs to be mounted to a wall or set up on a stand.

Lumens and brightness in an outdoor projector

Spotlight: Samsung The Freestyle

samsung the freestyle

Perfect for an outdoor movie night or to project stars on the ceiling on a rainy day, Samsung The Freestyle can stream bright, sharp images onto any surface, indoors or outdoors.

Lumens are the measure of brightness produced by your projector. To enhance the image quality your projector can produce inside your home, you can control the ambient light by pulling the blinds or having blackout curtains. When you’re outside you can’t control ambient light so it’s important to have an outdoor projector that can produce the brightest picture quality possible.

Different outdoor projectors offer different levels of brightness. To enhance colour and contrast when viewing outside at night, you’ll want to have a projector that can produce a minimum of 2500 lumens. If you plan on watching movies outside during the day and you don’t want your image quality to look washed out, an outdoor projector that can produce 3000 to 4500 lumens is a good choice.

Outdoor projectors are a great choice if you’d like to watch movies in a group or project the biggest image possible. Some types of outdoor projectors can project images up to 300 inches, with most offering you the option of watching a big screen that’s at least 120 inches.

Outdoor TVs are plug and play

outdoor tv for outdoor theatre

If size isn’t a concern for you or you’re not worried about taking your outdoor movies to different locations, an outdoor TV is a great choice for an outdoor theatre. You can mount an outdoor TV on your home’s wall or place it on a stand in a gazebo or on your porch. Outdoor TVs are similar to indoor TVs in size and design, so there are 55”, 65”, or 75” options. You’ll also find the same type of technology in outdoor and indoor TVs including models with QLED backlight.

The main difference between an outdoor vs an indoor TV is the outdoor TV has weather resistance built-in. You can put it on your patio, backyard deck, or your boat and you won’t have to worry about it sustaining the occasional drop of water. When choosing an outdoor TV you’ll want to make sure it’s protected when you’re not watching it with an outdoor dust cover.

You can add all of the same gaming devices or cable boxes to your outdoor TV if you’d like to. Just make sure you have enough HDMI cables and you’ll be ready to game or watch a Blu-ray outside.

Outdoor theatre accessories

The type of outdoor theatre accessories you choose will depend on whether you’ve chosen an outdoor TV or outdoor projector.

1. Outdoor projector screens

If you’ve chosen an outdoor projector, you’ll also need an outdoor projector screen. For a low-budget option, you can DIY an outdoor screen using a sheet tacked to your wall or mounted on a piece of wood. If you’d rather have an outdoor projector screen that enhances the image quality and brightness of your projector, you can choose one of the many weatherproof screens that are available.

There are inflatable outdoor projector screens, fixed mount screens, and outdoor projector screens on stands. They are easy to set up, are designed with weatherproof materials, and they usually come with stakes or tie downs so your screen stays in place in all kinds of weather.

One of the great benefits of choosing a portable outdoor projector screen and combining it with a portable projector is that you can take it with you when you travel, go camping, or are spending time with friends at a local park.

2. Weatherproof speakers for your outdoor theatre

Audio is just as important in an outside home theatre as it is inside. Even if you have a projector or TV capable of producing good sound quality, you may want to be able to turn up the volume for a crowd or use it to play music outside.

You can choose from a variety of different waterproof outdoor speakers including wired outdoor speakers or wireless outdoor speakers. Both types are weather resistant so they can stand up to all types of weather. Wired outdoor speakers need to be connected to a receiver or amp, so you may want to have a receiver placed undercover outside or have your wires connected to an indoor receiver.

Wireless outdoor speakers offer you a bit more flexibility in placement. They stream via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and don’t need to be wired to a receiver if you are only using one speaker, but if you’d like to connect several speakers together you can choose to connect to an amp or receiver.

If you have a lot of parties or you’d like to stream your favourite playlists outside, you can also choose an outdoor party speaker. Some types have lights built-in and allow multiple Bluetooth connections so everyone can be the DJ. Make sure to read this article to learn more about the different types of outdoor speakers to help you find the right one for you.

3. Add outdoor lighting to your home theatre

Watching a movie outside under the stars is a summer experience everyone should have. To add to the atmosphere for movie nights or parties outside, you can add outdoor lighting. There are all types of outdoor lighting including outdoor smart lights that change colour via an app, outdoor hanging lights to lighten up a dark area, or outdoor landscape lights that light up the walkway around your deck or outdoor space.

Some outdoor lighting will let you create a party atmosphere while others will be functional. If, for example, you’d like to dim all lights when it’s time to watch a movie, you can use smart lights with an app to turn everything off at once

4. Other accessories to enhance your outdoor theatre

A smart outdoor plug will let you turn any outdoor device into a smart device. If you have landscape lighting or an outdoor fountain you’d like to control via an app, you can plug it into a smart plug and you’ll be able to turn it off and on from anywhere.

If your projector doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi or smart features, you can add a media streamer. Media streamers have a full suite of apps to choose from so you can connect to your Netflix account, stream videos on YouTube, or watch Disney+.

There are also different projector accessories you can add if you’re choosing an outdoor projector. You can find carrying cases for portable projectors, cables to connect your computer to the projector, and much more.

Get comfortable in your outdoor theatre

Once you have your media ready to stream, you’re going to need a place to sit. For comfortable outdoor theatre seating you can choose different seating options including comfortable camping chairs or Adirondack chairs.

To make sure everyone stays warm on a chilly night outside, you can add a blanket or throw to each chair. You could also add a patio heater beside your seating area. Patio heaters come in all shapes and sizes and run on propane, so you can choose the right one for your outdoor space.

Last, but not least, you’ll need a way to make snacks outside. With a small rechargeable appliance like a popcorn maker, smoothie blender, or soda maker, you won’t have to run inside and outside for drinks and snacks.

Set up your outdoor theatre now

The best time to set up your outdoor theatre is right now, and once you’re set up you can head outside for a movie whenever you have good weather or want to host a get-together. You’ll find everything you need for an outdoor theatre at Best Buy.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


  1. Helpful! By using movie projector and screen, you can take your entertainment to the next level. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ha ha i love this so much. My daughter tried with our old projector onto our backyard wall with shower curtains sitting and watching in a tent. I’d love yo win to this for kids dad, watch in style. We dont need a big tv, 55 inch is good, with jbl and of course a comfy outdoor sitting for him possibly for all 5 kids a beautiful lantern and popcorn machine. Sounds just perfect for him❤️

Comments are closed.