Published 12:06 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Turn your backyard into an outdoor movie theater and have fun, family nights throughout the summer. | Courtesy photo

Turn your backyard into an outdoor movie theater and have fun, family nights throughout the summer. | Courtesy photo

Make your own backyard theater

Looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to do with your family during the summer?

Why not make your own outdoor theater?

Taking a road trip to visits a drive-in theater can be an entertaining adventure, but making one in the comforts of your own backyard can be a fun, family project.

Parents and grandparents can remember the golden age of outdoor movie viewing when drive-in movie theaters were a phenomenon.

In fact, during the late 1950s, one-third of theaters in the country were drive-ins. Now, there are fewer than 400 nationwide, including on about an honor away in Wicksburg.

Here’s how to make your own outdoor theater:

• Projectors enable viewers to display a movie on just about any large, unobscured surface. While a large, hanging sheet can be handy, any smooth surface on your home, such as a large expanse of wall, can do the trick. Projectors now come in various sizes and there are some pocket-sized varieties that can work with phones and other mobile devices.

• Create multi-leveled viewing by setting up seating on an incline in the yard, if available. Otherwise, place lawn chairs toward the back and have viewers in the front sit on blankets or towels so they do not obscure the screen for viewers in the back.

• Choose a family-friendly or kitschy movie to display. Delve into the classic of your movie library, including “Jaws” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If you have smaller kids, don’t be afraid to break out your Disney or Pixar collections.

• Build in some intermission time when everyone can get up from his/her chair or picnic blankets and mingle. Also, plan some pre-and post-viewing activities. Drive-in theaters were known to include some additional entertainment to boost attendance. Having a dance party or including some carnival-type games can make for a well-rounded and enjoyable night. If you have a gaming system, consider playing “Just Dance” or having a karaoke competition among the family.

• Don’t forget to make food a part of the experience. Popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and more are the perfect touches.