SHMO's outdoor movie trailer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-19-2011, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I built this last year. It is based on a car trailer that I no longer used, along with a lot of aluminum tubing and a used vinyl billboard. The screen size is 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide, which allows me to play most all aspect ratios and still produce a large image by slightly overshooting the screen. The bottom of the screen is approximately 5 feet off the ground, making the screen quite tall when set up, almost as tall as a 2 story building. It folds for transporting and storage. Initially, I was worried about projecting a nice image, but after the first viewing I was pleasantly surprised with the picture quality. It is fairly stunning, especially for a slightly used billboard placed on backwards...haha.... Please excuse my fuzzy pictures. Some are old and some are new, most taken with my camera phone. No professional quality screen shots here......Setup takes roughly 30-45min, with only 20-30 minutes required to take it all down and put it away. We try to show movies every Friday night throughout the summer. On a good night, we can get have roughly 120 viewers. On a bad night, it rains..haha

For equipment, I use an Epson 705hp projector, Samsung Blu ray and a standard DVD player that I can switch between through a Beringher MX882 mixer for use when showing pre-show intro reels. Sound is fed through a Crown XLS402 amp powering a pair of EV Sx300 speakers . I also run a JBL EON 18" powered subwoofer when I am showing movies that require a substantial bass track. A Furman power conditioner allows me to power everything and adds light to all the flight case mounted components. Future plans are to add a curtain (or skirt) to cover the trailer and give the screen a more tailored look....Anyway...pictures are what this thread is all about .....
























































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post #2 of 15 Old 07-19-2011, 09:27 AM
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Great setup and great pics. Hope you add the newer pics to BYT.com.

Infamous last words: "Hold my beer. Watch this!"
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-19-2011, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Newer pics are already there.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 12:33 PM
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OMAIGAWD!!! would like a link to the BYT thread. (hands trembling.....)
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 02:35 PM
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some more research yielded even more questions. seems BYT has a healthy amount of people ordering used billboard vinyl as screen material. i double checked a few of your pics and im assuming thats whats up on your correct? if so looking at one of your pics, it looks like you created a "pocket" for presumably a steel rod, by folding over an end of the vinyl. if thats how you done did it, did you simply stitch the fold? the tension of the tie-downs seem like it would rip apart a normal stitch. maybe you heat-sealed it? im also assuming you might have purchased material from billboardtarps.com.

plus nice sign. boat rentals.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 02:50 PM
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even further inspection revealed that billboard reseller to hem the edges of the vinyl:

These tarps have 3 channel pockets that run along all four sides of the tarp. The channels allow you to run pipe, cable or rope through them for even distribution. There are small notches every few feet on the channel so you can feed the cable or pipe through.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-21-2011, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't have an actual "build thread" on BYT. I have it broken into different aspects of focus on different threads. If you search "SHMO", you will find all of my information regarding the entire setup. However, here is a link to my screen thread. http://backyardtheater.com/forums/in...p?topic=5309.0

My billboard material came pre-made with two pockets, for top and bottom. I simply ran a piece of electrical conduit down through pockets and sliced some holes in the vinyl to attach tie down straps. This material is EXTREMELY durable. For instance, to gain tension on the sides of my screen, I just took a razor knife and cut some holes in it. I then attached tie down straps (the ratcheting type) directly to the vinyl. I cinched it down until I felt the strap was at it limits. You could play the tie down straps like a guitar string on my entire screen. The vinyl material barely stretched a little at the openings. I have had it attached this way for well over a year and the material is not letting go anymore now than it did the day I strapped it down. To clean the screen, I just scrub the heck out of it a few times a year with soap and water using a scrub brush. Plus, it sits outdoors 12 months out of the year, and it is hardly showing any signs of wear. The picture quality, I feel, is really good. Some say BOC provides a better image, and I am sure it does. However, this setup is bullet proof for outdoor use, and it still looks AMAZING on a scale this large.




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post #8 of 15 Old 07-21-2011, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
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In this pic right here, you can see the horizontal straps. These are the ones that are attached to just holes cut through the material. This stuff is that tough. It also has a decent amount of stretch to it, allowing you to achieve a pretty taught screen once it is cinched down. I think it is actually designed to be fastened this way. If you get a chance to check out the installation on some actual billboards, you would shake your head...

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-02-2011, 10:46 AM
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I would love the contact information for the person the built this screen. I work for the City of Albuquerque and have been unhappy with our inflatable screen. The trailer/screen setup I just viewed is what I have been dreaming of! My contact info is cmalagodi@cabq.gov 505-768-2453
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-02-2011, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I built the screen myself. Short story is, I framed the structure at 10 feet by 20 feet using 1 1/2" aluminum round tube, miter cut on the ends. This allowed me a round surface in which to pull the screen taught. The remainder of the framework consists or 2x4 aluminum boxed tubing for the uprights, 1/2 plates for the upright feet, some assorted round, square and rectangular tubing was also used for bracing. Aluminum hinges and brackets were welded in to allow the screen to hinge down. The overall width of the screen when folded is 101", making it street legal. For height and placement, I kind of winged it. Viewer angle in realtion to the screen turned out ideal for our slightly sloping area, with the bottom of the screen being 5 feet from the ground. With the exception of the trailer, which I had on hand from another project, I have roughly $600-$800 invested.

Currently, I am planning my next stage which will be some skirting to hide the trailer when the screen is in use. I am also working on ideas to motorize the screen so that I can erect it and take it down on my own. Currently it is a two person process to raise and lower the screen.

The main reasoning I built this screen was to avoid the need for troublesome inflatables....can't stand them. The viewing quality and durability of this unit greatly exceeds any inflatable I have seen. The only drawback is that I am unable to rear project my images due to the billboard vinyl (I originally intended to use trapeze which is a spandex type material), and the structures bracing which would cause shadowing.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to help out.

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post #11 of 15 Old 09-20-2011, 04:52 AM
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All i can say is FREAKING AWESOME your welds are beautiful damn nice use of the trailer the frame is perfect! im a tradesman for 30 plus years and i know nice work when i see it good job! my wife was looking over my shoulder at the pics and i was already told no lol. great set up.
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 07:33 PM
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Very nice, indeed! Great job on your build!!!

I would agree, generally, that your set-up will provide better quality then "most" inflatables. There are a few on the pro level though that utilize actual cinema grade screens from the largest manufacturer of brick and mortar cinema screens. They are also rock solid in winds of 25-30 mph. Of course cost would be nearly 10 times that of what you have quoted for your system...

Chris
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-27-2012, 02:07 PM
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Way cool setup. Is it mostly just neighbors and friends that come to watch?
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-27-2012, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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There may be an inflatable screen out there that offers a better image, however I have personally never seen one. All the inflatables I have viewed drastically fall in comparison. The picture quality still impresses me almost every time I view it.

With that said, my biggest appreciation for my screen is durability, simplicity and ease of setup. I just couldn't get the performance from an inflatable on a routine basis. I couldn't deal with the pumps, patches, stakes, ropes, etc...not to mention the time it takes to setup and tear down. With my setup, I drive up, flip the screen up, throw on some straps and done. Taking it down goes even faster... just so simple and quick.

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post #15 of 15 Old 01-27-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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The main use is for our Campground, with a viewing audience in the 50-150 person range. However, it has seen duty in my backyard on several occasions. The neighbors love it. To be honest though, it is a little overwhelming to view it much closer than about 30 feet away. If I were to build one for my backyard, I would shoot for something smaller

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