There’s nothing quite like making the most out of a warm summer evening with an outdoor movie night. Of course, we don’t mean any kind of outdoor movie. You want to make sure you’re throwing an epic movie night complete with chic concession trays, comfy cushions and glam marquee lights. If you aren’t sure where to start, scroll on to find out what all the fuss is about. Thanks to these modern movie essentials, your backyard movie night will be one your friends, family and neighbors will keep talking about long after the credits roll.


1. Daybed: It’s no secret that comfy seating is an essential for a successful outdoor movie. Ensure your backyard event starts and ends strong by providing a comfy daybed for your movie attendees to sit back and really *relax*. To make an instant daybed, throw a mattress onto a wooden platform and comfy it up with plush pillows. (via Proper)

movie list

2. Summer Movie Musts List: Go all out with your decorations with a colorful movie poster. If the movie you’re planning to show is one of the films featured on this list, head on over to Studio DIY to get the free printable. Pro tip: For the most affordable option, print the list out at your local office supply store. (via Studio DIY)

acrylic tray

3. Acrylic Tray: Filled with popcorn, candies, nachos and your favorite drink, snack boxes are a must-have to ensure the ultimate movie experience. Step up the traditional cardboard movie kits with sleek and modern acrylic trays you can get at the Container Store. (via Studio DIY)


4. Fruit Kozys: Turn your favorite summer fruits into fab drink holders with this DIY project. To make this *juicy* fruit variety, you’ll need plain holders, craft foam and sharpies. (via Sugar & Cloth / Julep)

popcorn tub

5. Popcorn Toppings Bar: Your friends will love customizing their own snacks with their favorite toppings thanks to your popcorn bar. For an added personalized touch, create mini labels for each topping using cupcake toppers. (via Studio DIY)


6. Picnic Blankets: Can you believe these vibrant picnic blankets were once plain bed sheets? Head on over to our tutorial to find out how you can create this festive DIY blanket that’s affordable, washable and so cute. (via Brit + Co)

woven floor pouf

7. Woven Floor Pouf: Aside from picnic blankets, you can pretty up your ground seating with plenty of comfy cushions and poufs to go around. Thanks to soft and cushiony accents like this woven floor pouf, discomfort won’t be an issue. (via Brit + Co)


8. Vintage Marquee: Complete your backyard’s transformation into an outdoor theater with festive decorations like this vintage marquee. All you’ll need for this affordable DIY is foam core, poster board and globe lights. (via Oh Happy Day)


9. Benches + Stools: Apart from providing the movie, one of the biggest priorities is ensuring your guests are comfortable. If your primary seating will be benches and stools, add a couple throw pillows and blankets for extra *oomph*. (via vtwonen)

canvas screen

10. Side Tables: On the other hand, if you’ll be sticking to ground seating, add a few side tables or poufs-turned-tables to give your guests a flat surface to place their snacks and drinks. Of course, you can always give your guests options for both ground and chair seating. (via Camille Styles)

epson projector

11. Projector: Amid all the movie night preparations, don’t forget this vital component! If you don’t already have a projector, make sure to test it out one or two days before the big event to make sure things will go smoothly. (via Camille Styles)


12. Sling Beach Chair Makeover: If you don’t have dozens of chairs on hand, you can always ask your friends to bring their own seating. Otherwise, you can DIY basic beach chairs by giving them bright and bold graphic covers using fabric paint. (via Studio DIY)

popcorn bar

13. Popcorn Bar: As we mentioned before, a proper movie night isn’t complete without a popcorn bar. Set aside tubs of different topping options or pre-mix popcorn with various toppings to speed things along before the movie. (via Ruth Eileen Photography / Style Me Pretty)

popcorn cones

14. Popcorn Paper Cones: Whip up plenty of paper cones for added convenience for your friends and family. They’ll appreciate being able to easily scoop a cone full of popcorn before adding their choice of toppings. (via Melissa Esplin)

seat cushions

15. Seat Cushions: Combine color-dipped chairs with these colorfully patterned cushions for the ultimate chic seating option. They’re so pretty you won’t have to worry about what to do with them once your movie night is over — proudly display them as bright home decor. (via Brit + Co)


16. S’mores: Cater to everyone’s favorite part of spending time outdoors by creating a mini s’mores bar. Make a mini one for each group of friends or one designated booth for everyone to gather ’round before the movie. (via Marianne Taylor Photography / Style Me Pretty)

string lights

17. Outdoor Lights: Whether you go with string lights, lanterns or both, make sure you keep your backyard well-lit. The subtle glow will keep friends from tripping over one another or fumbling around in the dark for their food and drink. (via Making Lemonade)

What are your plans for throwing an outdoor movie night? Follow us on Pinterest for more ways to celebrate summer!