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 cinema

Producing 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!

General tips on beach-side movie nights

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.

4 possible technical challenges for any beach movie night and how to solve each

Any beach cinema 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

1- 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.

2- 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.

3- 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.

4- 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.

If anyone has produced an 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!

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