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The incomparable Harry Houdini is Howard Hillary, a man who has been frozen in ice for 100 years, now thawed and revived.See the magic of the age of silent movies with accompanist Jeff Rapsis giving a live score. .

Outdoor cinema: how to set up an outdoor projector in your garden

Outdoor projectors start at fairly low prices and even the most affordable models offer enormous picture size potential.Built-in sound systems and makeshift projection surfaces can keep things cheap but dedicated speakers and a proper outdoor projector screen will reap far better AV quality, if in budget.Light pollution may be beyond your control and even big speakers can sound very small in open air.Picking a garden cinema set-up is about identifying the features you need, choosing the right equipment, being mindful of your budget and staying on the right side of your neighbours.Some portable projectors come with a battery built in, but a decent length garden extension cable might provide all the power you need instead.All of these extras – built-in speakers, a smart platform, an internal battery and storage space – they all cost a bit extra, and that generally means less of what you're spending on your chosen outdoor projector goes on the actual picture quality.Add an extension cable and a £50 ($50) media streamer and you'll have a far better and brighter picture than any portable projector under £1000.They might only have luminance ratings in the hundreds, compared with traditional home cinema machines in the thousands, but they have the features to make up for it.Besides, we've found that portable projectors such as the Xgimi Halo are bright enough at around 800 ANSI lumens to get a clear image.They tend to be fairly expensive but could offer a best of both worlds solution for garden cinemas.Designed for living room use, models like the Optoma UHZ65UST and BenQ V6050 are laser-powered UST projectors offering over 3000 ANSI lumens and up to 19W of sound.Another word of warning, though: don't expect your indoor speakers to perform the same way in the open air as you they do in a smaller enclosed space.While dialogue and detail should be clear, they will struggle to produce large scale dynamics and a real sense of bass.For a better level of garden cinema audio, a sound system designed for outdoor use is the way to go.You can buy PA system kits from shops like Gear4music or Amazon or even rent them from a local hire company.Powered speakers can offer some more scale to proceedings with, of course, an outdoor PA system the best choice here.You can take a look at the best powered speakers for indoor use here but remember that something designed for the outdoor would be our top recommendation.Almost everyone has a wireless speaker kicking about somewhere and, as with soundbars, they're an easy and effective way of providing the audio for your outdoor movie theatre, particularly if you're away from home.If you're watching solo, you can wire yourselves right into a portable projector using the headphones socket, and a splitter for any companions, but that's not all.For a bigger event, you can hire a silent disco set-up with a complete package for 25 people at around the £100/$100 mark.We understand that it's tempting to use a blank wall or even a sheet but it's important to realise that these will not compare well to a dedicated projector screen for picture quality.Find out the throw ratio of your projector and, with a quick bit of maths, you'll be able to work out how big you can go.Gain refers to the reflectiveness of your screen and will make a big difference depending on the luminance of your projector and the brightness of your environment.Outdoors, it's important to choose a screen with a higher gain – it is likely to be quite bright and portable projectors don't tend to offer so many ANSI lumens.A gain of 1.0 means that the screen reflects all the light that shines on it, while higher numbers mean that the image on the screen is brighter when viewed from straight ahead but its image suffers when looked at from wider viewing angles.Projector screens are rather like sails – lightweight and with a large surface area – and they'll behave like one given half the chance.It's not cheap, but that price includes the air pump, tether ropes and a carry case to pack it all away in too.Folding frame screens are constructed from metal pole kits and will pack away into smaller, more manageable bags than their inflatable cousins.You've got your projector, screen and sound sorted, but it's worth picking up a couple of extras to complete your garden cinema toolkit.That way you'll have enough for your projector, sound system, air pump and maybe even a popcorn machine or drinks mixer (see below).Most portable projectors do not have zoom lenses so setting them up at the right distance and angle for an image that fills your screen takes a fair bit of precision.Many of the bright indoor projectors won't have smart platforms and even the portable ones are often missing big-hitting apps like Netflix.Plug a cheap media streamer into one of the HDMI sockets and you'll have content for days, so long as your home network is still in touching distance.That's all your outdoor cinema tech taken care of, but if there's anything left in your budget, there are plenty of ways to add some more style.A couple of hundred pounds/dollars will get you use of a hot tub for a long weekend, including professional installation and removal.There are even gourmet popcorn subscriptions for some crafty/artisanal flavours, including toffee apple and cinnamon, caramel and Belgian chocolate. .

How to DIY Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

For many of us, that joy came to an abrupt halt at the onset of the pandemic, and even though restrictions have eased, some people still might not be comfortable going into a movie theater for a while.Instead of holing up in your living room (which has gotten pretty old by now), why not enjoy the summer weather and build a better cinema experience in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard.Though it’s possible to haul your TV outside for the occasional movie night, it’s not going to have the “wow” factor of a big-screen projection system.Modern home theater projectors offer excellent picture quality, and usually a far brighter image than you’d expect—not bright enough to watch outside during the day, mind you, but ample for a movie night under the stars.All of the picks from our guide to the best budget projector for a home theater also work in an outdoor setting.It delivers accurate color and good detail, and it has an Android TV stick built in so you may not need to attach an external media player.The one thing to consider with the 2250 is that you’ll need at least 10 feet of space between the projector and the screen to create a 100-inch image.If your backyard is shaped or sized in a way that this won’t work, the BenQ HT2150ST uses a short-throw lens that lets you place it as close as 4.9 feet away from your screen to create a 100-inch image.It has a decent built-in speaker, supports Bluetooth audio output, and even comes with some built-in streaming apps, so there’s no need to attach a separate media player.There are a ton of even less expensive projectors on the market, but they probably won’t be as bright, they may have a lower resolution, and they may just have worse image quality—so they aren’t going to look as good when showing movies on a large screen.The simplest way to watch an outdoor movie is, of course, to just shine the projected image on a wall of your house, but we don’t recommend this approach.Even a slight breeze will cause your screen to move, though, so for the best, least-distracting experience, you’ll want to pull the material as taut as possible when attaching it to a wall or homemade frame.We got surprisingly good performance from these Target sheets when we tested them for our guide to outdoor movie screens.It’s related to one of our favorite indoor screens and comes with a sturdy frame and ground stakes, so it won’t blow over if your backyard gets a little windy.The Epson Home Cinema 2250 mentioned above has a USB connection on the back for this very purpose, as do many modern projectors.However, this approach may create a noticeable lip-sync issue, wherein you see something happen on screen and hear it through the speaker an instant later.Some cords have multiple outlets at the end, letting you run just one cable while still being able to plug in numerous devices.If you’re trying to stream video outdoors and your Wi-Fi signal isn’t strong or stable enough, your home’s Wi-Fi network may need a little help.For a full list of everything we recommend to build an outdoor movie theater, check out the post below. .

Outdoor cinema: How to make an outdoor cinema in your garden

Sitting in the garden at night during the warmer months is magical, and it’s a time to really appreciate all the hard work you’ve put into your borders and beds throughout the year.And what could be more enchanting than having an outdoor cinema movie night under the stars to make the most of your garden in summer?Festoon lights twinkle and bunting flutters in the branches of a magnolia tree.The warming scent of your Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ mingled with that of Jasminum officinale and freshly cut grass lingers in the air.The score for Moulin Rouge plays out across your manicured lawn, where friends and family are lounging on blankets and cushions, nibbling popcorn watching the big screen.You need to transform an area of your garden into a cosy outdoor living room for the evening – a few chairs scattered about will not cut the mustard.Cushions, blankets, deckchairs and rugs are ideal – and will keep everyone warm if the temperatures drop.Having places to rest drinks and candles (citronella will help keep the insects at bay) while watching the film, such as old apple crates is another consideration.Attention to detail and thoughtfulness always goes down well at a party and this is a chance to show of your hosting skills.Don’t worry about going too mad with food, as guests will only expect snacks for your outdoor cinema.To guide your guests, dot lanterns and tea light holders along pathways and walls.No doubt, you’ll want to show your garden off at its best, so don’t hold back with plants and flowers.Think about moving planted containers close to the seating and food areas, and display home-grown flowers in jam jars and vases.A few pots of lavender or clipped box placed along the bottom of the cinema screen will add a touch of theatricality. .

AMC Garden State Plaza 16

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