Create your own garden cinema

Rather than depending on a public outdoor cinema event, why not create your very own outdoor cinema in your back garden? You can choose the film, pause it whenever you like, and choose the perfect clear evening – rather than battling through the summer’s drizzle.

It can be quite simple, and makes for a very special date to treat a loved one with, or you could gather friends together after an early evening barbecue.

You will need:

A projector (between £50 – £600 available online, or you could even hire one)
Laptop or dvd player (to run the film on)
Speakers (stereo or computer speakers are fine)
Projector screen (you can often buy one second hand on ebay for about £20)
A good film

We would recommend:

For a date: Amelie, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Top Gun, The Theory of Everything, The Wedding Singer, Ghost

With friends: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Big Lebowski, Grease, Dirty Dancing, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Fargo, High Fidelity

Suitable if the neighbours are close by: Spirited Away, Stand By Me, The King’s Speech, Edward Scissorhands

Refreshments

Even in the middle of summer, it gets pretty chilly at night – so warm yourself with flasks of chilli hot chocolate, maybe with a few shots of your favourite tipple. Bring some marshmallows and chunks of chocolate to dip in. A large bowl of popcorn is a must – you could pop your own and add your own flavours – sugar, salt, chili powder, cinnamon. And then plenty of your favourite booze, a warming bottle of red or a locally brewed ale is perfect.

Setting

Even if you have a tiny garden or roof terrace, you can still make it inviting; just bring all your home comforts outside – blankets, cushions, even your duvet. Add some atmosphere with outdoor fairy lights, bunting or glass lanterns scattered through the garden.

Screening

Before everyone arrives, test that everything is working okay and get everything set up: Place the speakers under the screen, point the projector towards it, turn everything on and press play on your film. Just as the sun starts to set, get comfortable with your beverages and snacks of choice, sit back and relax.