Texas Living

Hosting Your Own Dive-In Movie

By Kristy Alpert 6.12.17

Shake things up this summer by combining the nostalgia of a drive-in movie experience with the fun of floating in a pool by hosting a dive-in movie night in your backyard!

It’s a great way to gather friends and neighbors together for a fun night of films, floating, and food, but hosting this cool summer party doesn’t mean hauling your flat-screen out on the patio. The refreshing relief of kicking up your boots and watching a flick from the comfort of your own backyard is just a mere bed sheet and movie projector away. From DIY cardboard boxcars for little tykes to tips on hoisting your “screen,” check out these four quick tips for hosting your own dive-in movie night this summer.

  1. Create the screen. While you could rent an inflatable movie screen from a company like FunFlicks Outdoor Movies or buy one, you can just as easily make your own screen with a plain white bed sheet (or even just a white wall) and a movie projector. Simply select a spot in your backyard that is easily visible from the watching zones and then hang your white sheet, making sure the edges are pulled tightly so there are no wrinkles in the screen. You can try using clothespins to clip the corners to something like your gutters or fence, or knot the ends of the sheet and tie them with twine to backyard items like swing sets or trees. Test your equipment before guests arrive to make sure the sound and image are clear.
  2. Set the scene. Have some fun with your outdoor cinema by setting up a snack bar in a corner of your backyard with movie theater candies, a popcorn stand, and movie treats like hotdogs and nachos. Don’t forget to stock your pool with plenty of pool noodles, funky floats (think inflatable doughnuts, flamingos, popsicles, and more), and maybe even some floating lights to create a little ambiance for your floating theater.
  3. Select your film. The movie you choose can help direct the night’s theme. For instance, you can plan a treasure hunt for kids before settling in to watch Pirates of the Caribbean or serve up Swedish Fish in blue JELL-O cups for Finding Dory. Other great options include The Little Mermaid, Splash, and The Sandlot.
  4. Put safety first. Tired kiddos and water don’t mix, so if you’re planning to host your pool party after the sun goes down, consider creating a tiny Texan-friendly watching zone for the little ones with a classic drive-in atmosphere with these DIY cardboard boxcars.

Make sure your pool is in tip-top shape, both fun- and safety-wise, before guests arrive by following these pool-prep basics.