Ohio Landscaper Considers Recent Trends in Outdoor Cinema

Outdoor Movies with an Inflatable ScreenThis was taken from Rick Anderson's blog entitled "The Whispering Crane Institute". You can find it at http://whisperingcraneinstitute.wordpress.com/ "Maureen Jenson, the editor of Home Theater magazine, also sees what she calls a huge trend in outdoor movie viewing, particularly in the area of weather-resistant equipment, which is designed to be left outdoors." And we're off . . . it looks like this is a trend that is picking up steam and is not going to be a fad. The quotes are from a NY Times article entitled; The Drive-In Without the Drive, a very catchy and appropriately titled story. The Drive-in theater without the "Drive-in". More evidence that Americans are turning inward and finding ways to entertain themselves at home rather than on the road, or far away from home. Gas prices climb, air-travel becomes more and more user-unfriendly, customer service is not that great in hotels. Stay home . . . why not? I would also venture to guess that most of these folks have some sort of indoor home theater, or a large screen TV. So this becomes a natural progression to move to the outdoors, it's just another venue for the homeowner to entertain themselves. This comes back to a remark I made several weeks ago about Americans having too much money-which is not a bad thing. But some of these guys are spending a lot of money on these set-ups. For example: "Greg Jensen, Engineered Environment's director of engineering, designed a setup in which a 20-foot-wide custom Stewart Filmscreen is hidden beneath a 20-foot teak bench that runs along the side of the pool nearest the beach. . . . . . . The projector, a Digital Projections Mercury 5000HD, drops from the roof of the cabana across from the pool. The cost of the screen was $50,000; the projector was $20,000. Total cost of the Dolby Digital 7.1 theater: $175,000." Way to go Greg; he's spending big money and keeping the economy going. There are also several examples of the DIY'ers and their unique problem solving (I liked the guy with the pipes, and his tailor-nice going). There was another line from the article that will send the Downfall of Gardening lamenters into a tizzy. "Speak to the integrators and you see a backyard future in which one might never be forced to sit in a tiresome garden and sniff a rose again: . . . ." It would be true, the last thing you want to do is worry about trimming some dumb-ol' bushes or pulling stupid weeds when you're setting in the Gazebo and wondering how many more weeks can Cliffie stay on Dancing with the Stars. Obviously this is more prevalent in warmer climates, but that is not going to stop those folks who are outside May-October. In my experience living in a more Northern climate lends to folks appreciating the outdoors even more than those in the South hiding away in their air-conditioning. What does this mean? it means this trend will happen, and will work here, and most likely be very popular. We Designers are going to have to come up with very clever way to design this space(s). You need seating(covered or not), a place for the screen(how is it housed), speakers(what's the set-up?), and backdrop and framing for the screen. This will most likely take place on a hard surface areaat the same time leaving space for those who wish to sprawl on a blanket on the lawn. How does this fit into the rest of the landscape, it will obviously have to be part of a multi-use area. I noticed a few of these were pop-up screens to accommodate those in the pool. What about those who want to watch not in the pool? This is a challenge I look forward too, I have yet to design/install one of these. Questions have been asked, that's as far as it gone. if you put in a elaborate system and designed a landscape around it we'd love to hear about it. Send pictures I'll post ‘em. So the last question I have is . . . what's left? Have we now moved everything outside? ___________________________________________ Etc., 1.) The photo showing the TV on was found at backyardtheater(dot)com, and the thread in the forum where the homeowner talks about this specific set-up. Interesting stuff and he really went into a lot of thought on the project. The backyard-that's another issue. 2.) The inflatable screen from Open Air Cinema (www.openaircinema.us): A description from their website: The Backyard Theater Screen BIG 12′ is constructed from a mesh reinforced, PVC with rust free plastic grommets. A vinyl ground cloth is also included to protect the PVC frame from sharp objects on the ground. The frame inflates in less than 5 minutes with the provided air pump and hose. The 16×9 screen connects to the inflatable frame's plastic grommets using adjustable straps for flexible screen support. The screen is compatible with all types of projectors including 16×9 Widescreen, 4×3 aspect ratio, front projection and rear projection. 3.) If you are looking for that fabric mentioned in the Times story. I found a supplier for Trapeze. It's even listed as a projection fabric. 4.) Lastly, how about a plain ol' weatherproof large screen TV for your outdoor patio?

Join our mailing list

Get the latest outdoor cinema updates and benefits straight to your inbox

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Join our community of 4,000+ Open Air Cinema enthusiasts and professionals. Get exclusive tutorials, guidance and discounts in our weekly email newsletter.

Subscribe now 👇