Here is another backyard screen story for you all to review. After seeing the outdoor movie thread resurrected, I decided it was time to have a go. Last year I tested the waters using an old slide screen, old work presentation LCD projector (600 lumens) and my trusty laptop. Other than the typical Bill Gates 3 finger salute everything went well and my showing of Pirates of the Caribbean was the talk of the subdivision. It was late in the year, and we only had time for one additional showing of Godzilla. Seemed to me that was a must watch outside.
I began planning last month, which helped ease my wife into the idea of a more sizeable screen. My goals were keeping costs to a minimum, creating a structure I felt was safe and stable, and most importantly east to set-up, take down, and store. Based on these criteria I selected 1.5 PCV pipe for the frame. This would be broken into 4 separate stands, and 3 sections for the screen frame. Each section would be K or cross braced for stability and connected to each other using hitch pins. To stand the screen I opted to use 60lb tube sand bags which require no tent stakes, or rope. The screen fabric is 110 black out cloth with ½ grommets and tied to the screen frame using bungee cords every 24.
As my project progressed my wife accepted the thought of a new brighter projector and realized there was no talking me out of it. I selected a new Dell 5.5lb 3000 lumen model which was available for 0% over 30 months. Of course there was the occasional it will never work which just drove me harder and at one point I wondered the same myself. It always amazes me how you can measure the same length 2 times and still have it off in the end. My neighbors got an ear full as I let the heat and PVC glue get the best of my temper while assembling the cross braces.
Finally last Wednesday we test fit sections together and placed the screen over the frame. Everything went flawlessly, other than letting go the bungee without fully hooking the grommet. Almost took out my friend who was helping on the opposite side of the screen. OOPS. Now came the critical moment. Could this large and heavy structure be lifted into place and withstand the load? Four of us began to lift and pivot the screen into place with no issues. It couldn't have gone any better! The screen popped into place, and even stood without additional weight placed on the stands. We moved the sand bags onto the stands, and watched Roger Rabbit. The entire process took less than 30 min even our first time. The wife acceptance level, as I have seen it called here, is great now. She even decided we needed a popcorn cart.
Saturday was our grand opening and we selected Raiders of the lost Ark as the initial title. I purchased the Elite Drive-In DVDs so I could edit the classic commercials in, added some current Quicktime movie trailers and a Donald Duck cartoon. It was a great night. Our friends brought Junior Mints, Hot Tamales and other movie candy.
Now my only problem is deciding what to watch next.