Outdoor Movie Events: 7 Quick Tips for a Great Viewing

by Kevin Little

Large-scale event planning is something typically left up to professional planners, marketers and organizers. That also rings true in the outdoor film industry: from film festival organizers to outdoor parks departments. The logistics can be tough to plan if you’re new to common industry variables like crowd size, ambient noise or venue popularity. These are pretty common considerations, but there are a few other outdoor movie-specific tips we’ve picked up over the years. Below are a quick sampling to help your outdoor movie event run smoothly.

1. Movie Selection is Everything 

Nothing too terribly dark that blends into the night, dialogue that is too soft may suffer from ambient noise. (Ideally you’ve picked a viewing location where the background noise is minimal.) If there will be a great number of kids present, ensure that the content is not too slow and sluggish – aim for action or comedy.

2. Test your content

Discs scratch and data becomes corrupted. It happens far more often than you may think! If possible, have a backup copy of the disc. If the media isn’t in disc format (in flash or SSD memory, for example) test this before your event for data corruption.At Outdoor Movies, we use our in-house Pro HD or iSeries consoles to mitigate these issues – but even then, we insist on testing media before official display. You’ll thank us when the event goes off without a hitch – it’s always worth it!

 3. Consider Late-Year Viewings

Obviously we can’t control the weather, but one thing we can count on is an earlier dusk in the later months. Bundle up, perhaps sell hot cider and cocoa, and cozy up with some of the best year-end and holiday movies.

4. Prepare for the climate or region 

If you’re in the cooler months, bring a jacket. If it’s in the warmer months, stay hydrated. Bug spray will go a long way in outdoor comfort, too! Remember that you’re outside, at night, and mostly stationary. Mosquitos can be nasty in some areas, and it’s better safe than sorry!

5. Check the area before guests arrive

Make sure your cords are safe and secured with little through-traffic from viewers, power source is ready to go, and that jagged/sharp objects are kept away from the inflatable movie screen. While our AIRSCREEN© models have the most sturdy and durable frames you’ll find on the market, they’re not invincible. Large nails, glass shards and anything long/sharp are best kept away – particularly during setup. (This is also just good guest safety!)

6. Accommodate for parking

You’ll be dealing with a pretty large volume of people (and vehicles) if you’re using one of our inflatable movie screens, so plan on having a few volunteers/staff at hand to direct traffic. If you’re relying on parking garages in the city, make sure attendees are aware of the available parking on the days of the show. Parking rules may change on weekends, etc.

7. Consider the neighborhood

Your outdoor movie screen will have a large, bright image projected onto it. There will also be loud, occasionally booming audio coming from the speakers. Make sure this won’t cause issues for any apartment complexes or housing nearby. In fact, it may be a good opportunity to drum up more attendees with some clever marketing. Check with the proper city officials and property managers if you think the sound and projection will be an issue – and remember that with event planning, it’s always better to ask permission than forgiveness.

We hope that these tips help bring you success on your upcoming outdoor movie screenings. Let us know if you need help to make your outdoor movie event a success over at our contact form, or visit our outdoor movie screen packages to find the right equipment for a full cinematic experience.

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