Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

* Not open to the public

Saturday Night

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 it.
Yamaha 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 the screen.
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 fence.
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.