How to install your outdoor movie cinema on the beach

An evening beach is a great setting for a movie under the stars screening. Any event -- be it an open air festival or an after-sunset screening -- is always a hit. However several technical challenges are there to keep in mind.
Open Air Cinema Inflatable Screen on the Beach

Anchoring the screen in sand (pebbles, boulders.. you name it)

One of the many challenges to installing outdoor movie equipment is the secure anchoring of the inflatable screen. It can get quite windy by the beach at evening hours. So anchoring the screen properly is not to be overlooked.

Open Air Cinema Home screens come with spiral stakes for screen anchoring which are perfect for ground and grass but may easily come loose when used for sandy beaches.

Before your screening on the beach we recommend you double check the anchoring. You might also want to stock up on robust 24'' steel stakes or special camping stakes made for use with sandy surfaces.

Alternatively, if the screening takes place on a pebble beach you might want to tie your inflatable screen to heavy objects instead of anchoring it to the ground.

Also worth noting is that when you place the anchoring stakes into wet sand it might look secure but when the sand dries the stakes will come loose.

Use a tarp

The last thing you want when making an outdoor movie screening on the beach is to dirty the projection surface with sand. We suggest you always use a tarp in such cases.
Beach Cinema in the City - Outdoor Movie Screening
Avoid situations where sand would get sucked into an air blower by placing it on tarp and putting the blower inside the sound dampening blower box.

Don't put your projector on sand

Similar to an air blower, a projector suck in air, for cooling. This is why you will want to keep the projector away from sandy surfaces. Keep in mind that a projector tripod may not be the best solution for sandy beaches because one of the tripod legs might get bogged into the sandy surface.

Place the projector onto the media console set or any similar stable object.

Cleaning outdoor movie equipment after the beach screening

If you used a tarp and detached your screen properly there won't be need to clean it. For screen cleaning tips refer to this article.

Useful tools to get the sand out of your equipment are soft brush, wet wipes and wet fibre cloth. We usually use wet wipes to clean speaker cables and fibre cloth to clean the speakers, media console and projector. For sand removal from the equipment we also recommend compressed air cans.

Open Air Cinema screenings on the beach will be an unforgettable experience for your viewers. Follow our tips above to make the event easy for you.

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2 comments

  • Hey Moonlight Outdoor Movies! Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sure that our community of outdoor movie enthusiasts and professionals will appreciate it. Happy screenings to you guys!

    Nicholas (Open Air Cinema)
  • Hello, in response to this article, I would like to confirm what you mentioned as well as add a few points.

    For starters, it is challenging just to get your equipment onto the sand. Unless you have 4×4 vehicle access, you usually have to haul everything several hundred feet across the sand to the setup area. Beach events require additional manpower which means I have to decline the smaller backyard “hit and run” events which can typically be handled by 1 person.

    As you said, it tends to be very windy on the beach and you need a heavy duty screen like your Elite that can withstand that type of wind. A Home or Pro screen wont handle those winds at all. Also, staking into sand is definitely a challenge and you need to bring iron stakes and a sledgehammer. You also need some type of heavy weights to anchor to the bottom of the screen. I bring (4) 75 lb dumbbells. Movie screens will take off like a sail or parachute if not properly secured.

    Perhaps the biggest issue is dealing with beach events is you have to take extra precautions to safeguard your equipment because sand and electronics don’t mix. The risk of equipment damage is higher on the sand than in a park or in a backyard. I have to spend extra time afterwards cleaning sand off of everything. That is very time consuming. A generator is always required because there’s never power on the beach.

    For those reasons is why we triple our price for all beach movies. I hope you find this response helpful.

    Moonlight Outdoor Movies

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