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Throw a Backyard Movie Party!

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Lucy RilesOutings to the movies can get expensive -- so bring the drama to your own backyard!

With the weather nice enough to spend the evenings outdoors, this is a great chance for you to host your next birthday party, sleepover, ladies' night or romantic date night under the stars with your special someone -- and the silver screen!

Family watching movie

Setting the Scene: Send out invitations that look like movie tickets. Rent a projection screen and a projector that is DVD compatible. You can usually rent these at a local photography store; if you're having trouble finding them, look up a local wedding DJ -- he or she will either have the equipment or will know who does. If your house has a white outer wall or a white garage door, you can use that in lieu of the projection screen. And if you want to get even thriftier, hang a big white sheet from a clothesline or wall to act as the screen.

Comfy Seating: Lay out blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and lawn chairs so your guests can be comfortable for the screening. If it's a ladies' night or a romantic date with your hubby, light candles and scatter rose petals to set the mood. If it's a kids' party, put out a bunch of beanbag chairs for them to lounge on.

Movie Treats: Serve up popcorn and pop, and make a sweet-tooth station stocked with Sno-Caps, Milk Duds, Reese's Pieces, Twizzlers ... all the items that one might find at a movie theater. As a party favor, give each of your guests a separate popcorn box so they can help themselves at the sweet-tooth station.

It's Showtime!: Wait until it gets dark to show the movie, turn off the backyard lights to add that extra element of drama ... then let the movie roll. It's important to have the sound high enough so that everyone can hear and it doesn't get upstaged by planes, trains and automobiles.

Movie Suggestions

For a kids' party: "Mary Poppins," "Annie," "The Goonies," "Transformers," "Harry Potter" or "Twilight."

For a ladies' night: "He's Just Not That Into You," "Bridget Jones's Diary," "Sex and the City," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Mamma Mia" or "Shag."

For a romantic date night: "Casablanca," "Say Anything," "There's Something About Mary," "50 First Dates," "Sleepless in Seattle" or "Gone with the Wind."

What movies do you suggest?

next: 'You're (Not) Havin' My Baby': 10 Songs about Bad Parenting and Rough Childhoods
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Helen Anne August 4, 2010, 9:23 AM

Great article!

If you need ideas for your backyard theater, check out the entries in our backyard theater contest.

Vote for your favorite through Aug 11. Two winners will receive a free Cisco Flip camera.

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