Outdoor Projector Buyer Guide

Outdoor Movie Theater Projector Guide

Yes, ‘man-caves’ are extremely cool, but being a recluse, hermit or hikikomori isn’t great for your health. It’s time to choose the projector celebration outside.


The 1 thing you will need to know about using projectors outdoors is that it has to be DARK. Unfortunately, they still have not made a projector which is brighter than the sun, so your best bet is to wait until the sun has set. Preferably, behind the screen. Have a look at the case right here – this is only a simulation, but it should provide you a good idea of what to expect. Now, with that out of the way, let us continue!

You may create your outdoor movie theater as high-tech or simple as you like.

Unlike those super sensitive flat screen televisions, a projector can easily be moved outside for a day of entertainment under the stars. Wow your neighbors and friends with epic movies, music and sports — all from the comfort of your own backyard. You could even bring your projector with you on camping or tailgating excursions and take things to another level!

Read on to learn more about setting up your outdoor movie theater

Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents:

Start looking for the excess referee holding the beverage to get a sense of size.

Best Projectors for Outdoor Movie Theaters [ top ]

There are currently no projectors designed solely for outdoor use. However, the majority of our home theater projectors, as well as a few of our business models, can easily be installed outside.

There are no projectors designed especially for outdoor use, but it is possible to bring most home theater versions out. Just do not forget to bring them inside when you are done!

To find those gigantic, vibrant images projectors are known for, we highly suggest using an HD model on your outdoor theater. The majority of our home theater projectors are 720p or 1080p and will more than fit the bill. You could also try to find a business model with a resolution of 1280 x 800 or greater.

Non-HD projectors will also work well outside, but the picture quality will not be quite as spectacular as their high resolution sisters and brothers.

For the video source, there are lots of alternatives available — If you are close enough to your own wireless router, a Roku stick, Amazon Fire TV stick or Apple TV are great streaming video solutions. If that’s not feasible, you may use a notebook with HDMI out, a mobile Blu-ray participant, or just grab some really long wires and connect directly to your indoor home entertainment system.

Use our sorting features to get the best projector for your outdoor theatre. Or call 1-888-248-0675 to talk to a Projector Expert.

This is what we call a pool party!

Quick Tip! No matter how many times you use your outdoor theater, we don’t recommend leaving your projector out after usage. Same goes for your display.

Backyard Movie Theater Projector Specs:

  • Brightness : 2,000 lumens or better
  • Resolution : HD (720p or 1080p)
  • Connectivity : HDMI
  • Projector Audio: Some HD projectors such as the Epson MovieMate 85HD include built-in speakers. If your projector does not, or if you need extra sound power, attempt Anchor powered speakers, which feature built-in amplifiers.

Backyard Movie Theater Recommendations:

Could I Have a Backyard Movie Theater Without a Screen?

You can create your own display, or establish a professional version for a more polished appearance.

You betcha! You can create your own screen by means of a sheet, the other side of your home, the garage door, painter’s tarp, you name it. Some of the best outside movie theaters we have seen were just a projector and a sheet hung between two trees.

Having said that, you might want a more polished look for your outdoor theatre. Producers have recently come out with a ton of cheap outdoor screens. By cinema-grade material you can attach to your garage to freestanding displays that set up in moments, there’s guaranteed to be an outdoor screen that suits your needs and budget.

Recommended Screens for Outdoor Theater Use:

Yard Master Collection

(2 Reviews)

Elite came by our office recently and we asked them to show us how simple the Yard Experts would be to install. Watch this movie to get a closer look:

All-In-One Outdoor Movie Theater Projector Solutions

Besides creating your garden the coolest on the block, projectors also add rich visual value to events such as outdoor concerts.

It’s summer – let’s do the homework for you. We have created a review of the best outdoor projectors, which have all the bells and whistles you need for a night of theatre under the stars. Save time and money!

Prefer to pick out your own projector and accessories? Projector People can make an all-in-one package that will please even the pickiest of backyard theater aficionados. Call 1-888-248-0675

Don’t forget…

  • A power strip
  • Extension cord
  • Inexpensive upconverting DVD or Blu-ray participant (if not included in your projector)
  • Exciting movie
  • External speakers (such as this convenient outdoor bluetooth party speaker)
  • Food and drinks (drinks and meals should be kept away from all electronic equipment)

Advice for the Best Outdoor Theater

One of our clients recently had his outside theater featured in the LA Times. Read more

  • Invite your neighbors, or at least inform them that there’ll be life size images on your backyard and possibly some excess sound.
  • Don’t charge admission without consent of the film distributor. Though tempting, it’s against the law. See your regional regulations.
  • Backyard events will probably be best when started around dusk (just like in the drive-in).
  • Keep power cords out of the way as far as possible.
  • Beware of inclement weather.
  • Keep electronics away from pools, BBQs, your neighbor’s dog and that annoying kid from another block.
  • Switch off your sprinkler system before setup.
  • Remember: your projector isn’t a coaster.
  • Consult your projector owner’s manual for specifications on outside use.