For must of us, when we think of date night, we think dinner and a movie. So when we want to do something special, whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion, it might be hard to think of anything else. As I thought about what I could do for my Husband instead of a regular old movie, I realized it wouldn’t be too hard to make my own Do It Yourself drive-in movie.
What you’ll want to bring:
- Whatever screen you decide to use
- Your projector
- Speakers, if you want them
- Camping Chairs
- Movie Snacks (popcorn, candy, homemade trail mix)
When it comes to the screen, there is a couple different way’s you could go about this. You can make your own screen and stand (this is best if you plan to do it again), hang up a makeshift screen, bring an actual projector screen, or just use your laptop or tablet!
Making your Own Screen and Stand
If you want to make your own screen and stand, there is a really fun video with the instructions on youtube. Basically, you take the following measurements to your closest hardware store, have them cut out what you need, and simply pack it all in your car or truck. You’ll also want a king size white sheet to use as the screen. You’ll fold the sheet in half and pin three of the sides together, leaving the bottom open. This way you can just slide the screen right over the top of the pipes ones it’s all set up. If you want a higher quality image, you may want to look into using a white blackout fabric from your local craft store and have it cut to the size of a King sheet. I would suggest waiting to put the screen together until you arrive at your desired drive-in location.
These are the sizes of 2” PVC pipes you will need.
- 9 2-foot pipes
- 4 4-foot pipes
- 1 8-foot pipe
- 16 joints
- 2 elbow joints
- 6 end caps
This project may be a bit difficult, but it will produce the best end result, especially if you plan to do it more than once!
Hanging up a Make-Shift Screen
This method is much easier than making it all from scratch, but it’s not quite the same quality. For this method, you would simply need a queen size bed sheet (or a white blackout fabric of the same size), some tent stakes, 4 grommets, and some rope. You’ll need to park somewhere close to trees or something similar to hang the screen on (like a park or a camping spot). Pop the grommets into each corner of the sheet. Tie the top corners at your desired height to the trees, and either tie the bottom corners to the trees or stake them down using the tent stakes. Just that easy, your screen is ready!
Using an Actual Projector Screen
If you have your own projector screen laying around at home, this would be an ample time to bring it out. If you don’t have one already, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of making a screen, you can purchase a screen from any local office/home store, or even Walmart. This can be rather expensive, and you’ll want to make sure it’s weatherproof and won’t easily blow over in the wind.
Simply Use a Mobile Device
If all of this screen mumbo jumbo is just too much for you, you might find it easier and more satisfying to simply grab your laptop or tablet and prop it up on your dashboard. This is great if you just want to keep it simple and stay in the warm car. Just make sure to download the movie beforehand in case of bad connection!
Projectors and Speakers
As far as projectors and speakers go, I don’t have much knowledge. (I tried to research it, but it all just goes over my head!) You can go to any home or office store, or even supermarkets like Walmart, and find cheap or good quality projectors and speakers (plus I bet they could tell you how to work it). Hopefully, you have some laying around that you wouldn’t mind propping on the hood of your car. If not, here is a list of mini projectors that might help you find your pick. I’m willing to bet there’s a way to connect the sound to the radio in your car, but in case that’s not the case, here is a list of good speakers too!
Where to Park for the Movie
In the Santa Clara area, there is a nice place to park your car and view the city just 5 miles from our hotel site. The Dixie Overlook Trail Tunnel has a small parking lot right across from the Dixie Rock, where you can get one of the best views of the city. You can see almost as much from the parking lot below it! If you brought your own projector screen or made one with PVC pipe, you would probably want to park in between two parking spots to give your self more room. Park your car however you would like to best see the screen and be the most comfortable. Cuddle with your loved one(s) and enjoy a romantic movie!
No matter how you go about it, we hope you really enjoy your special night with that special someone, and spread the love!