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Outdoor Movie How-to: Beach Cinema

Beach Cinema
We are starting a new series of posts on the OAC blog, directed at helping outdoor movie enthusiasts discover new ways to enjoy their inflatable movie screen! One thing we are excited to discuss is the many places you can set up your portable movie screen. It is always enjoyable to watch a backyard cinema movie with your Open Air Cinema Screen, but a little adventure can add a lot to your outdoor movie experience!

Open Air Cinema has many customers around the world who use their inflatable screen and outdoor projector on the beach. We’ve found that those who do so often prefer our Pro or Elite screens, as they are extra durable and can handle the sand and dirt. But if you’re looking for a special place to hold your family or company party, and want to use your Open Air Cinema Home Screen, it will hold up great. If you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Virginia Beach, Florida, Texas, or anywhere with a beach, setting up your outdoor movie screen near your favorite surfing spot will be a total blast!

beach cinemaProducing an outdoor movie on the beach can be highly rewarding, as it is a great environment to relax and enjoy the pleasures of outdoor movies under the stars. The cool evening breeze and soft sand will make for a comfortable experience for you and your guests. And the slope of most beaches provides a natural stadium style seating that will enable everyone to have a great view! Here are a few reminders for what to bring or remember for your Beach Side Outdoor Movie!

  • Make sure to identify your power source ahead of time.  You may need to bring a generator to power your fan, outdoor projector, and outdoor speakers.
  • Bring extra extension cords if you’re plugging in from your beach house or public power supply.
  • Blankets and wicker mats will keep the sand off your guests, and will provide comfortable seating.  Beach chairs work well too, especially if your audience is older.
  • Choose a movie that reflects the environment (it will make the evening extra-special): Jaws, The beach, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, etc.
  • Depending on the season and your location, provide treats that will add to the ambiance: sno-cones, Popsicles or ice-cream, barbecue and lemonade!
  • Consider building a fire after the screening of the film.  Make sure to provide enough distance between the fire and the screen! Don’t forget the firewood.

If anyone has produced a outdoor cinema beach event, post your story to the comments section below! We’d love to hear how it went.

Also, if you are interested in acquiring an outdoor movie system, contact us today, and we’ll help you find a system that will meet your needs and budget!


Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movies: Jaws

One of the final films on our Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movies list is Jaws, the 1975 thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s wildly successful novel of the same name. Jaws is a great selection for your annual Halloween outdoor movie party, but before we tell you why, here is the theatrical release trailer for the film:

In Jaws, Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen. After a young 23 year old goes missing, it is determined that she was killed by a shark, and Hooper wants to close the beach in order to protect vacationers from the deadly predator. But his decision is overturned by the city council, and Jaws continues in a fast-paced thriller that will bring the spirit of Halloween to your annual party!

JawsJaws presents some great opportunities to make your outdoor movie screen event memorable for your guests or family. Specializing the setting for your outdoor movie always makes for a great experience, so if you are in a boating community, this movie is for you! We’ve seen a number of Open Air Cinema customers who have produced beach-side screenings, where they’ve set up their pro or elite screen right on the sand!

JawsWe’ve also seen boat drive in setups, where the audience will watch an outdoor screen movie from their individual boats, listening to the sound through their radio transmitters. This requires the event producer to get a powerful transmitter that will produce a strong enough signal so everyone can hear the audio loud and clear. If you are unfamiliar with such transmitters, fell free to contact us at Open Air Cinema, and we’d be happy to explain more!

Also, don’t forget the refreshments! Bringing a few snacks for your audience will significantly add to their outdoor movie experience. And if you’re screening Jaws for your Halloween event, apple cider and candied apples would make great refreshments.

If you are interested in investing in an air screen for your next community get-together, contact us today, and we’ll get right back with you! Happy Halloween!


Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movie: Scream

One of the final films on our Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movies list is Scream, the 1996 Horror film that single handedly revitalized the slasher horror genre in the 1990’s, and produced a number of sequel and knock off films. Scream is a great selection for your annual Halloween Outdoor movie this weekend! The film is probably not a great pick if you’re having small children attend your event, but is perfect for a scary evening with close friends or family. Here’s the theatrical release trailer for Scream:

Scream is set in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, (filmed in Santa Rosa California) where high school student Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) is murdered by a killer named Ghostface who questions her about horror film cliches. Casey’s friends are understandably upset about the incident, and quickly become of interest to the killer. The entire town is thrown into terror, and Scream continues in a scary narrative that will keep your audience screaming and on the edges of their seats.

ScreamThe best part about screening Scream on your Open Air Cinema inflatable movie screen, is that there are some really great ways that you can make the event memorable for your audience. For starters, you could have a horror movie cliche quiz or survey (just like Ghostface’s list in Scream), with the winner getting a special Halloween prize for getting all the answers right! You could also host the event wearing a Ghostface mask, making the screening extra scary as you dish out refreshments during the film. There are a myriad of games and activities that would make the screening special for your guests.

ScreamIf you are interested in investing in an Open Air Cinema inflatable movie screen system, contact us today! We’ll be in touch with you soon.

And finally, if anyone screens Scream this week at their outdoor screen party, please post your story to the comments section below! We’d love to hear how things went. Happy Halloween!


Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movie: Paranormal Activity

The next Top 25 Halloween Outdoor Movie is Paranormal Actiivty, the horror film that took 2009 by storm, thrilling audiences across the nation! The film was directed by Oren Peli, and premiered at the Screamfest Film Festival while later being screened at the Slamdance Festival during Sundance 2008. Paranormal Activity was a nearly no-budget film, and became one of the most profitable films of all time, raking in nearly $200 million worldwide! This film is probably not suitable for young children, as it is pretty intense and really scary, but it is the perfect selection for your outdoor movie Halloween party with friends! Here’s a trailer for Paranormal Activity:


Paranormal Activity is about Katie (Katie Featherston) and her boyfriend, Micah (Micah Sloat), who move into a new home in suburban San Diego, California. We quickly learn of Katie’s history of a ghostly presence that has followed her during her life, a presence which she believes has come to their new paranormal activityhome. She hires a psychic Dr. Fredrichs (Mark Fredrichs), who tells her that the being is not a ghost, but indeed a demon, and cautions them not to taunt the demon, but to contact demonologist Dr. Johan Averies.

Micah doesn’t believe a word of what Frederichs said, and instead decides to point his video camera at their bedroom at night in order to capture footage of the demon. But things get scary as his footage reveals actual evidence of the paranormal activity. Increased taunting produces a flurry of activity, and the young couple are significantly disturbed and frightened.

paranormal activityBy screening Paranormal Activity at your Halloween party, you’ll leave your friends or family with an experience they’ll never forget! If you really want to scare your audience, you could plant a friend or family member around the periphery of the screening area, making strange sounds and moving objects in a paranormal fashion!

If anyone has screened Paranormal Activity as an outdoor movie, please share your story by posting to the comments section below! We’d love to see how you’re using your Open Air Cinema backyard movie equipment!


Outdoor Movie Idea: Days of Thunder

A great pick for your next outdoor movie is Days of Thunder, the 1990 Paramount film about NASCAR racing starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes and Michael Rooker. The film is a great movie for the entire family, and would draw out many people from your community if NASCAR is popular in your area! Earlier this year, the film was screened with the aid of Open Air Entertainment before a NASCAR race at the Toyota Speedway in Los Angeles, California. Here is the theatrical release trailer for Days of Thunder.

Days of Thunder follows Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise), an aspiring race-car driver who hopes to someday race in NASCAR. Tim Daland (Randy Quaid), a wealthy NASCAR team owner, sees Trickle race, and believes he has the potential for greatness. Daland convinces Harry (Robert Duval), a retired racing coach, to watch Trickle during a test lap. Trickle beats the current NASCAR champion, Rowdy Burn, with his own car, to get the fastest test lap of the day.

Harry agrees to come out of retirement, as he also believes Trickle has great potential. But Trickle has a long way to go, and he doesn’t do so well in his first few races. But with help from Harry, he’s soon at the front of the pack – at least until a massive crash gets him and Burn injured to the point of needing rehabilitation. Days of Thunder continues in an action-packed narrative that will entertain your entire community, especially if they are NASCAR fans!

As we noted above, Open Air Entertainment screened Days of Thunder at the Toyota Speedway in Los Angeles earlier this year. Here are a few images from their event:

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U.S. Military Buys Portable Outdoor Movie Theaters

US Military Using Open Air Cinema Screens

US Military Using Open Air Cinema Screens

Open Air Cinema, a global leader in outdoor cinema equipment, today announced that several military and government organizations including the U.S. Marines, Camp Pendleton and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan have recently purchased inflatable movie screens and other cinema equipment to boost morale, relieve stress and help build a strong sense of military community.

From the time movies were first produced, the armed forces have turned to them as a way to help the troops unwind and relax during peacetime and times of conflict. Today, Open Air Cinema systems can be found showing movies on ships, bases, forts and camps throughout the world.

“Outdoor cinema equipment that is portable, durable and easy to use is particularly appealing to the military for their Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs,” said Brandon Purdie, president of Open Air Cinema. “With our giant screens, bases and units don’t need to invest in a dedicated building to house a theater. Any open space, from the deck of an aircraft carrier to a field in Afghanistan, can be turned into an outdoor theater for either entertainment or training.”

The Marines recently purchased 13 Cinebox systems, each with a 16-foot inflatable movie screen and the US Embassy in Kabul purchased 15 Cinebox systems, each with a 16-foot screen. In July, Camp Pendleton purchased two systems with 30-foot screens.

The Cinebox system includes everything needed to host an outdoor cinema event including a projector, speakers, DVD player, sound mixer and a giant screen with a theatrical-grade projection surface to provide users with an excellent viewing experience.

Purdie continued, “Our troops have a tough job to do. We are honored to help support our men and women in uniform and feel proud that our equipment can be used to provide them with an instant venue for entertainment and relaxation.”

Open Air Cinema screens are made in the USA and can be purchased through the GSA. Open Air Cinema’s GSA contract is GS-07F-9650S.

For more information about Open Air Cinema and its outdoor movie equipment for home, corporate, government and military use, see www.openaircinema.us.

About Open Air Cinema

Open Air Cinema is the premier global supplier of outdoor cinema equipment. Open Air Cinema has taken its expertise in outdoor productions to produce the highest quality, most concise, easiest to use, theatrical-grade outdoor theater systems on the market. It is also a leading innovator in providing developing nations with educational outdoor screens and open air cinema equipment.


Top 25 Outdoor Movie: Star Wars

The final movie on our Top 25 Outdoor Movies of All Time List, is the six-part film series Star Wars.  The series that began in 1977, has changed movie making forever, while enchanting millions of Star Wars fans.  Here is the original theatrical release trailer for the 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

The original Star Wars trilogy changed movie making in many ways. The special effects were state-of-the-art, and continue to be pretty amazing, even by today’s standards. When the original Star Wars was released in 1977, it blew out the box office, with nearly half a billion dollars in ticket sales in the United States alone (making it the #4 top grossing film in US history). Collectively, the six Star Wars films have grossed nearly 4.5 billion dollars! Beyond the huge ticket sales, Star Wars is a series that is about the struggle between good and evil, light and dark, and is a wholesome series that will certainly draw out large numbers of your community!

star warsThe six Star Wars films make the perfect selection for an outdoor movie film series, and by the end of the festival, you’d have quite a bit of hype surrounding your event. You’d certainly get quite a bit of attention in your local press, and would be able to galvanize your community in a very real way. There aren’t many people that don’t love Star Wars, and there probably isn’t a better group of films that would be as universally loved by just about any community. The themes that run throughout the series are able to be likened across a broad variety of world-views, and thus will help bring your community together in significant ways.

star warsWith characters such as Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and R2-D2 – the series presents one of the best opportunities for a costume contest as a pre-show activity. You could have a best-costume award for each of the films, with a grand winner for all of the events. Prizes could be given for each of the individual film winners (the awards being donated by local businesses), with a much large prize for the overall winner. You’re guaranteed to have dozens of little Yodas and Luke Sywalkers running around with light sabers in their brown jedi cloaks!

Has anyone shown one of the Star Wars films, or all of them in a series as a part of their Outdoor Movie events? If so we’d love to see pictures, and to hear your story. Please post your comments to the comment section below. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!


Top 25 Outdoor Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life

We only have a couple movies left on our list of Top 25 Outdoor Movies of All Time, and although we didn’t intend to save the best for last, the 1946 classic It’s a Beautiful Life is definitely at the top of our list. Before we tell you why this film will captivate your community, here is the original theatrical release trailer for the film (trailers have sure come a long way since 1946!):

It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for 5 Oscars, but ultimately did not win. However the American Film Institute has classified it as one of the 100 Best American Films Ever Made, and placed it as number one on their list of the most inspirational American films of all time! The story follows George Bailey (played by James Stewart), as he is down and depressed after a several turns of bad luck. Through the prayers of his family and friends, a guardian angel named Clarence Odbody, Angel Second Class (played by Henry Travers) is sent to watch over him. Before being sent, Odbody is shown the past life of George, at which point the film follows the narrative of his life’s events. As we watch George growing up, we witness an individual of great character, who always puts himself above others. George even saves a couple lives, and through his heroic actions is able to change the course of life for many.

Eventually the vision catches up to the situation that opened the film, and Clarence the angel is tasked with saving George’s life in the face of his suicidal thoughts. It’s a Wonderful Life highlights the difficult and meaningful moments of life, and shows our weaknesses, but ultimately reminds one that through the values of faith and love, life can be a beautiful experience that is highly fulfilling. This is one of those films that will really bring your community together, both in physical numbers of persons and families, but also in spirit as they contemplate the simple things in life. It’s no wonder this film is loved by so many!

There are many ways that one could really engage their community with It’s a Beautiful Life. As with many movies on our Top 25 list, this film presents a perfect opportunity for a costume contest! You could have a best dressed vintage (or maybe it’s classic?) fashion show, with categories for the ladies and the men! This would be a great film to do a drive-in outdoor movie with. And with a 40′ Open Air Cinema Elite Screen, you’d be in great shape to have a huge turnout with families in their cars. If you’ve never done a drive in movie with your inflatable movie screen, give us a call and we’d be more than glad to explain the technicalities (866-802-8202).

It’s a Beautiful Life is sure to bring back memories for all who have seen the film before. If anyone has screened this film before, and wants to share their story with how the event went, post your comments to the comments section below! We’d love to hear your story.