CBS News Essentials is created independently of the CBS News staff. We may receive commissions on certain product links on this page. Promotions are subject to retailer availability and terms.
Summer 2021 is fast approaching. The nights are getting warmer and our outdoor spaces are more and more welcoming. And this year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more blockbuster movies are heading straight to streaming than ever before. Movies such as“Space Jam: A New Legacy” and “A Quiet Place Part II” will all be streaming in late spring and early summer.
It’s the perfect recipe for an outdoor movie night. Here’s all the popular gear you need to transform your outdoor space into a comfortable and functional space for a movie night. First of all, you will need a projector …
Epson Home Cinema Projector
This 1080p projector easily connects to your favorite laptop or smart device with an HDMI cable. It is bright (3,300 lumens) and has excellent color integrity for the price. It also has an automatic image tilt sensor which will attempt to correct image distortion. This projector also has a built-in speaker, but for a true cinema experience, consider dedicated external sound (more on that later).
GT Getco Tech folding projection screen with stand
No movie night would be complete without a widescreen 16: 9. This foldable option is 150 inches wide and comes with a carrying case to easily store the cinema screen and stand. It also comes with a set of lawn ties and stakes, so your movie won’t be blown away in a breeze.
OontZ Angle 3 speaker
Remember when we were talking about a dedicated speaker? This portable corner speaker has the flexibility to handle any audio system. First of all, this is a compact model which is still very loud to hear from the hum of the projector fan. Second, it has a long battery life, so you can listen to more than one movie without an additional power cable. Perhaps more importantly, it has a 3.5mm auxiliary input; if you’re a fan of flawless audio-video sync, you won’t have to rely on sometimes slow wireless connections. This speaker is also Bluetooth compatible, so it will come in handy when listening to music at your next barbecue.
Large Hodo Picnic Blanket
Of course, you’ll want to provide lawn seating – in the form of a waterproof picnic blanket – for guests who prefer to stretch out while they watch a movie. This blanket literally comes in dozens of colors. It’s a 79 inch square, with an attached handle for easy carrying when folded.
Sportneer folding camping chairs
For those who prefer taller seats, this set of two folding camping chairs provides a good place to relax. Each sturdy aluminum chair – one seat can support up to 350 pounds – is designed to fold into an ultra-compact carrying case that won’t fill your closet or garage. And each chair weighs only two pounds.
West Bend Hot Oil Theater Style Popcorn Popper
No backyard movie night would be complete without handfuls of hot and fresh popcorn. Simply add your favorite grains and oil to this theater-style popper, and in minutes you’ll have about a gallon of fluffy white popcorn – up to four quarts. That’s five to six servings. A stirring rod ensures that more kernels turn into popcorn, instead of lying dormant at the bottom of the popper.
Kedudes Striped Popcorn Boxes
No need to cram around a single bowl of popcorn. When the popper is finished, pour a spoonful of the snack into one of these old-fashioned, flat-bottomed popcorn boxes. This set comes with 20 single-use boxes.
Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish
You will also need gummy candies to fill your backyard concession stand. This variety pack includes six bags each of original Sour Patch Kids, Mini Swedish Fish, and Sour Patch Watermelon.
Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler
After all those movie snacks, guests might get thirsty. This sturdy Yeti cooler, available in eight colors, holds approximately 18 12-ounce cans (with 24 pounds of ice). The interior compartment is also high enough to cool an upright bottle of wine.
Arbrac dimmable outdoor light globes
Now that we’ve got the food and drinks ready, it’s time to set the mood. Fifty feet of pluggable string lights should do the trick, plus a free 6 foot extension cord. This LED string light comes with four spare bulbs and can be adjusted with the appropriate dimmer (not included).
Insect repellent insect candle
Unexpected guests – of the buzzing and biting variety – can ruin an outdoor summer event. So, light lemongrass candles to keep the bugs away. Cutter recommends placing several of these 20-ounce candles around your outdoor space (at least 18 inches apart) to maximize the protective effect. Each candle burns for up to 40 hours.
SmallRT extension strip
Once you’re ready to plug everything in, plug this 16ft plus extension cord into its associated power strip from a nearby outlet to the projector location of your choice. This high-quality surge protector features eight AC outlets and four USB charging ports – plenty of power for your movie setup – plus an overload safety switch.
Ultra HD HDMI Cable
This high speed HDMI cable will provide crystal clear picture from your laptop or device to the projector. And the 6.6ft cable gives you just the right amount of leeway to comfortably assemble your rig.
3.5mm stereo audio cable
Last but not least, if you’re streaming the movie from a laptop or other device that has a 3.5mm audio jack, you’ll want to connect directly to the speaker. This will prevent your audio from getting out of sync with the projector video.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite movies under the stars.