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Outdoor Movie Night!

Follow these steps on how you can make an outdoor movie theater at home.

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It’s a gorgeous evening outside, but you just rented a great flick that you’ve been dying to see all summer. Do you skip the movie and spend the twilight hours relaxing in a hammock? Or do you settle in on the couch in front of your flat-screen television? What do you do?

The solution is simple: build your very own movie theater outside!

All you need is a projector, a laptop computer, some speakers, an inspiring DVD, a bed sheet, and a backyard.

If you don’t have a projector, see if your office will let you borrow one for an evening. Or rent one from a local electronics store. If you want to buy one, decent projectors start at around $500.

Once you’ve got all the requirements, you can get started! Just follow these simple instructions:

1. Pick a spot for your screen.
Your best bets would be a windowless side of a house, a fence, or a deck railing. You can use a bed sheet or a table cloth—either will work as long as it is white or off white.

Tape or clip it to the spot you’ve chosen, and affix it so that the wind won’t ruffle it too much. If you have your own collapsable projector screen, use that instead!

2. Set up the technology.
Place a table or stand 10 feet or less from your screen. On it, put the projector, the laptop and the speakers.

Hook the laptop up to the projector using a cable—the type of cable will depend on what kind of projector and what kind of computer you are using. If you are unsure, go to your local electronics store, or a Best Buy and ask a sales associate for help.

Once you have the appropriate cable, turn on your laptop and turn on the projector. The projector may need to warm up, so while it does, put the movie you want to watch into the laptom and cue it up. Also, plug your speakers into the computer and turn them on.

When the projector is ready to go, aim it directly at the screen. You should see your desktop on the screen! You may have to fiddle with the focus a little to get it to appear to your liking.

3. Sit back, relax and press play!
Make some popcorn and set out some lawnchairs or blankets in front of the screen. Get nice and comfortable. Then start the movie on your laptop’s DVD player and enjoy the show!

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