Outdoor Movie Screen


Here are two versions of an inexpensive, homemade, outdoor movie screen for camping.

Make your own outdoor movie screen and Revive the drive in theatre, from days gone by. Instead of pulling up a car, why not a quad or just pull up a lawn lounge and enjoy the show.


outdoor-movie-screen-for-camping

First version:

Age: Adult
Time scale: 2 out of 5
Difficulty:  Easy


Supplies:

  • Awning hooks
  • 3 carpet tubes
  • Packing tape 
  • measuring tape
  • Sharp knife or handsaw
  • Stapler and staples
  • Two 4 foot round fence posts with pointed ends
  • Sledge hammer
  • 12 foot roll of white cotton material 55 inches wide


Cut two 12 foot carpet tubes to 8 feet in length and the other one, 10 feet long.

Lay the carpet tubes on the ground. The 10 foot piece, will be the top and the 8 foot pieces will be the legs. Put the 10 foot carpet tube, across the top of the 8 foot pieces. Wrap with packing tape to hold in place.

Pound the fence posts into the ground the same distance apart as the carpet tube legs.

Stand up the carpet tube frame and put down over top of the fence posts.

Stretch the white material across and staple to the top and sides of the carpet tubes.


Outdoor Movie Screen: Version Two


Second version:

This requires an rv with an awning...so slightly more expensive. If you have to buy the rv., a little more than slightly. I'm really assuming, you already have one.

homemade-rv-drive-in-theatre

Supplies:

  • Square
  • Pen
  • Awning hooks
  • Measuring tape
  • 1/4 inch grommets (eyelets) with kit
  • hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Small wooden block
  • White duct tape
  • 2.5 yards White vinyl material 55 inches wide
  • 12 feet of heavy string or lightweight rope.
  • 2 tent pegs
  • 3 wide rubber bands


When you purchase the vinyl, ask the fabric store if they have an empty cardboard fabric tube. After the vinyl has been cut, immediately roll it around this cardboard tube to prevent creases. This 30 second task will save you from headaches, later.

Use a square and make sure to mark a straight edge on each end of the vinyl. Cut to even it up. (Sometimes it comes from the fabric store a little wonky!)

Run a strip of white duct tape along the length of the top edge, on the front and backside of the vinyl.

Put a 3 inch strip of duct tape on the bottom edge, on both sides of the vinyl, on each corner. Now put one in the center.
Mark with a pen, 1 inch in from the edges.

Poke holes on the pen marks with a sharp knife or a hole punch. 

Use a pen to mark 1 inch in and 1 inch down from the top edge, on the vinyl. Measure across to the other side and mark with a felt pen, where to put the remaining grommets. Make sure they will be evenly spaced with the last mark 1 inch in from the other side.

Find out more about how to install grommets

What about spacing when you hate math?

Here is an easy way to get the grommets even:

Measure full length of vinyl; divide in half to find center. Make a mark here, also centered on the width of the duct tape. Make a mark on each end, one inch in from edges. Use a hole punch to make holes on these marks. Install the grommets.

Now measure from the center of the outside grommet to center of middle one. Divide this in half and mark. Do the same on the other side. Once again, make the hole and add the other grommets.
Do this one more time between each of the holes. For 108 inches in length you should end up with 9 in total for the top edge.

Install a grommet on each of the bottom corners and center of he vinyl.

It's now ready to hang up on your R.V. awning....

hook-screen-to-awning

Slide the awning hooks into the slot on the awning.
Hang the vinyl up on the hooks.

Tie heavy string or lightweight rope, through the grommets in the center and bottom corners.

Put tent pegs in the ground and attach the strings.

wrapping-for-storage

For storage, roll the vinyl around the cardboard fabric tube and secure with 3 wide rubber bands.

Actually, rolling this up is the hardest part of the whole project! ( It tends to want to roll crooked)

using-carpet-tube-to-store

For extra protection, slide the outdoor movie screen, inside a carpet tube.

We used the plastic lid from an icy square container as a cap. It fit perfectly on the end of the carpet tube. 


To use your outdoor movie screen, you will need a projector, a laptop and some good speakers.
The Epson 3 LCD projector EX3212 has a fairly good picture and is quite reasonably priced.

If you live to the north, it stays light until quite late in the summer. It is important to get a projector with a sharp picture, otherwise you will have to wait until it's really late, to start the movie.

If use your outdoor movie screen for a late night movie, you may have to invite all your camping neighbors, so they won't care about the noise!





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