Birthday party idea: Host an outdoor movie night

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During the golden age of outdoor movie viewing, drive-in-movie theaters were a phenomenon, and over the last 40 years or so, the number of drive-in theaters has declined considerably.

However, that doesn’t mean the concept is no longer viable, especially when planning your next birthday party. Outdoor movie enthusiasts can construct an outdoor theater in the comfort of their own backyards by considering the following:

·       When creating an outdoor viewing experience at home, don't forget to make food part of the birthday experience. A classic popcorn maker can keep freshly popped corn ready on demand. In addition, fire up the grill to ensure there are plenty of tasty items available.

·       Projectors enable viewers to display a movie on just about any large, unobscured surface. While a large, hanging sheet can be handy, any smooth surface in your home, such as a large expanse of wall, can do the trick. Projectors now come in various sizes, and there are some pocket-sized varieties that can work with phones and other mobile devices.

·       Create multi-leveled viewing by setting up seating on an incline in the yard, if available. Otherwise, place lawn chairs toward the back and have viewers in the front sit on blankets or towels so they do not obscure the screen for viewers in the back.

·       Choose a family-friendly or kitschy movie to display for the birthday party. Delve into the classics of your movie library. Imagine seeing "Jaws" on a big screen once more or a cult-classic like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

·       Build in some intermission time when everyone can get up from their chairs or picnic blankets and mingle. Also, plan some pre- and post-viewing activities. Drive-in theaters were known to include some additional entertainment to boost attendance. Having a dance party or including some carnival-type games can make for a well-rounded and enjoyable birthday night.

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