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What is the bare minimum equipment for an outdoor movie screening

There might be several reasons to think about the bare minimum of outdoor movie equipment required to make an outdoor movie night. Outdoor movie professionals could benefit from a minimalist setup to produce a multi-venue roadshow across the country. Aspiring outdoor movie enthusiasts might want to try the overall experience before investing in an outdoor movie system that has all the bells and whistles.
Set of outdoor movie equipment under an inflatable structure
To understand what one would need to make an outdoor movie night at a minimum let's break the process down. There has to be a reflective surface to project onto.  Obviously there should be a projector in place. When these two requirements are fulfilled you are already capable of showing retro silent-era movies. But what if you want to screen a recent blockbuster, with sound FXs and thought-provoking dialog. Think, an audio system with sufficient loudness and clarity.

To sum up, a projector screen, projector and a speaker set are what you basically need to pull off a movie event. To be precise, you will also need a source of electrical power to power it all up and some sort of a media player which can be your phone or laptop. And a set of cables to connect the system together.  

This all might sound simple before we get into the details. Ask yourself a question: are all projection surfaces equal in terms image quality and viewing angles?  Obviously this is not the case. A quality projection screen capable of accommodating larger audiences and reflecting proper tints and colours properly is what you are going to need to entertain large crowds.  
Large crowd watching a movie outdoors
We at Big Screen Pro recommend a pair of speakers with at least 800W of power each, for audiences of 100+. Another question would be: will any outdoor-rated projector do? It's not that simple. Your choice of an outdoor movie projector model has to correspond with the outdoor movie screen size. The larger your screen is the brighter the projector needs to be. Besides that, depending on your audience seating plan, you might want to consider a projector with a short throw or long throw lens.  

What if you want the outdoor projector to be on the opposite side from the audience. Get yourself a rear projection outdoor movie screen. At the next stage of your outdoor movie producer journey you will gravitate towards convenience.

Being able to show content from various sources like Blu-ray players and streaming HDMI sticks, ability to regulate volume from your projection control position at the venue, remotely. A wireless mike to make announcements for your audience, an additional pair of outdoor speakers to distribute the movie sound equally across the audience seating area.  

Understanding a minimum set of equipment tailored to your specific outdoor movie event needs is a useful mental exercise for an outdoor movie producer of any skill level.  By doing, backyard movie hobbyists may come up with new ideas on how to make their open air cinema experience more exciting and convenient.

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