* Not open to the public
Movies Under the Stars
One of my goals when I built my "swim-in" movie theater was
to be able to leave everything outside 24x7x365. I bought less capable speakers
than I would have bought if I was taking them inside when I am not using
them, but the speakers that are designed to be mounted outside year round
in all weather don't sound as good as the ones that are not weather resistant.
I chose to build the best outdoor theater that I could without needing to
take it down when I'm not using it to protect it from inclement weather.
It's still pretty impressive when I'm showing a movie.
- Three 4 x 8 sheets of plywood painted white and mounted on 4x4's that are
set in the ground with concrete. It's solid and stable and it isn't going
anywhere. Plus it's safe so kids can play around it without getting hurt.
It isn't perfect and I need to fix the front surface so that it's smoother,
but you can't tell that it isn't smooth when the movie is playing.
- InFocus X3 DLP
Projector. This is a 1700 lumen projector. I'm replacing it with a 3000
lumen Dell 2400MP projector
before the end of the summer. It works, but it would be better if it was
brighter which is why I'm springing for the brighter projector.
- DVD Player
- Four or five year old Sony DVD player that was refurbished before I bought
RX-V659 100 Watt per channel 7.1 receiver. Connected to the DVD
player with a digital coaxial cable for true surround sound.
- Center "Speaker"
- A pair of KLH 990A-W indoor outdoor speakers mounted on either side of
- Center Speaker Amplifier
- AudioSource Amp
One A 80 Watt per channel amplifier. Each channel is driving one of
the speakers. I'm using this to protect the receiver from overloading by
driving two speakers on one channel.
- Front speakers
- A pair of KLH 980B indoor outdoor speakers mounted on the fence surrounding
my back yard.
- Rear speakers
- A pair of Phoenix
Gold ATo5 indoor outdoor speakers mounted under the eaves
of my house. They're better speakers than my front speakers are, but they
are not designed to be installed directly in the rain and the KLH speakers
are designed to be installed directly in the rain.
- A pair of HF26
UltraPro Dual Woofer Rock Subwoofers. They are under the deck and they
make the deck vibrate when I turn the receiver up which I rarely do. I
don't feel a pressing need to show the police my theater because the neighbors
called them to complain about the noise.
- Subwoofer Amplifier
- Another AudioSource Amp One A. The subwoofers aren't self powered so I
needed to buy an amplifier to drive them. This one fits the bill. It sounds
great and it's affordable. I have not been able to find another amplifier
that is as good as their amps are in the same price range.
- Speaker wires
- Outdoor rated cables buried under the ground and run along the top of the
- Total investment
- $2,900 plus a lot of elbow grease. Someone else built the screen for $300.
I know that the plywood is going to need to be replaced every couple of years,
but plywood is cheap, sturdy, and safe.