Thursday, November 30, 2023


Obnoxious outdoor movie projectors and big screens coming to a campground near you!

Outdoor movie projectors are becoming more and more popular. As campground hosts, we are seeing more and more people setting up huge screens with projectors and playing movies well into the night. This usually involves a number of friends and family. What use is an outside movie night without a large gathering? So much for quiet hours and sitting around the ol’ campfire…

Know your audience

Yes, it is cool. Yes, it is reminiscent of the old drive-in theaters. The kids love it, at least for a while. Adults like it too, if they are the intended audience. The unintended victims are the folks camped in a tent next door. The people across from the screen where not only the light is distracting, the screams of the current Sci-Fi horror movie are threatening to cause nightmares… and not just children’s.

As camp hosts, we have had to ask campers to not only turn it off during quiet hours, but to also shut down the generator running it.

Outdoor movie etiquette

If you decide to run your own theater with an outdoor movie projector, please be aware of the impact around you.

  • Ask your neighbors if they mind. Better yet, invite them!
  • Keep the volume low.
  • Forget the R-rated or even PG-13 flicks. Campgrounds are usually filled with young children.
  • Turn the screen so it is not shining into someone else’s campsite.
  • Book an electric site to not add non-stop generator noise too.
  • Shut it down during quiet hours.

If outdoor camping movie projectors and a big screen are essential camping equipment, be fair to others. Or, perhaps save those for home and try a night around the campfire telling ghost stories and making memories the old-fashioned way.

Editor’s note: Outdoor movie screens and projectors are being sold as a package at big-box stores and on Amazon for as low as $89. The photo above is from one on Amazon. It’s being marketed towards “campers.” Yikes! 



Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.



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Neal Davis (@guest_238835)
5 months ago

Thank you, Nanci!

Stan (@guest_238698)
5 months ago

Thanks for the article. I strongly dislike this activity. I’m choosing nice words, so it’ll be a bit tricky expressing myself. This is the extremity of being selfish and unconcerned about those around you. There is a clear line for what’s acceptable and neighborly in a campground; we all understand that, but some choose to ignore it. And further, I think it is childish and tacky to spend otherwise quality time in an activity that precludes conversation and stocking your life with meaningful memories.

Diane McGovern
5 months ago
Reply to  Stan

You expressed yourself very well, and very tactfully. Thanks, Stan. Have a good evening/night. 😀 –Diane at

Bill Byerly (@guest_238850)
5 months ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern


Joe (@guest_238695)
5 months ago

Oh just great, now instead of having outdoor TV’s blaring all around me now I will have outdoor movie screens with bright screens and amplified sound to contend with.

Last edited 5 months ago by Joe
Karen McKiernan (@guest_238693)
5 months ago

Oh stop! I don’t do it, but I am all for people having fun. We all do this differently. It’s not like we can commune with nature in a packed like sardines campground. Relax, enjoy, and get off your high horse. And YES my name is Karen.

Ron (@guest_238683)
5 months ago

This needs to be BANNED st all campgrounds. If you want to whatch a movie, stay home. Inconsiderate Karen’s.

Don Capellani (@guest_238673)
5 months ago

Fire up that diesel pusher and show them what noise and fumes are all about. that’s what I did and they got the picture turned their crap off

bull (@guest_238681)
5 months ago
Reply to  Don Capellani

When there is an old guy involved there is always a solution!

bull (@guest_238664)
5 months ago


You are OLD and out of touch.

Today our society particularly younger (Meaning 50 and younger) are very visual and totally engaged in visual entertainment. That movie screen is their campfire!

You need to understand that in today’s world “It’s All About Me”!

Why should I care if you want to go to bed at 9:30 when the evenings second movie is just now starting? I paid for my campsite just like you did. Close your {bleeped} blinds if the light from the screen bothers you!

Oh by the way the Brownies you shared with us when we arrived were Yummy!

What’s for breakfast in the morning?

Diane McGovern
5 months ago
Reply to  bull

Hi, Bull. I’m quite a bit older than Nanci. I’m very glad to be OLD, but I’m not out of touch (and neither is she, of course). I think we’re proud to be of an older generation where it wasn’t just about me, me, me, and we have respect and consideration for others. Not all of the younger people today are so selfish, of course, but it’s very sad and depressing that there are so many like that. Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane at

bull (@guest_238672)
5 months ago
Reply to  Diane McGovern

I trust you see the sarcasm in my post above?

Diane McGovern
5 months ago
Reply to  bull

Of course, bull. I saw it and totally understand where you’re coming from. Just didn’t want Nanci to feel like you were picking on her. (Sometimes it’s a good thing to be, and be called, “OLD.”😉) Take care. 😀 –Diane

Steven R Clapp (@guest_238643)
5 months ago

Outdoor movie projectors or televisions; both are irksome. Think I will fire up the campfire and turn up the blues tunes. I wonder if that yappy dog ever shuts up?

Mark (@guest_238689)
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven R Clapp

Smoke from other peoples campfires is also annoying.

Dr4Film (@guest_238639)
5 months ago

Rules for Thee not for ME! I hate those things and should never be allowed in campgrounds, RV Parks or anywhere in public. Maybe on a BLM site where the nearest neighbor is a half mile away.

Bob P (@guest_238636)
5 months ago

Really this subject could apply to several different things, I have witnessed people outside watching sports on the outside TV, which doesn’t interest me, as long as their TV doesn’t talk beyond their site. I’m sure that person is outside because their DW doesn’t want to him to interfere with her soaps. Point being why do people go camping and insist on living like they do at home. Personally I’m trying to get away from everyday life, I have went camping and didn’t have a TV in the camper and was enjoying myself immensely. If just sitting in my chair and watching people walking by. It’s relaxing, more people would enjoy their lives. And animosity levels would decrease, perfect place for “can’t we all just get a long”.

Jesse Crouse (@guest_238626)
5 months ago

You mean that they should think of someone else and not just themselves.

Jewel (@guest_238624)
5 months ago

I was really surprised to see one being set up at a COE park. There were dozens of people so I can only assume they had several sites. The one thing I noticed was they set up next to a camp host. Not sure if that was by design but I would assume it was allowed to have projector screens. Fortunately for us, it was not close enough to worry about. They had lots of children so I assume it was a family friendly film.

I just think the new wave of RVers and campers has no idea how to camp without noise, lights and gadgets.

Brian Burry (@guest_231048)
7 months ago

Love it, families and friends gather to enjoy this together. It has never bothered us at all. We do have a Class A with dual glazed windows and if it were a noise factor can just close our doors. We use our air conditioner and generally keep our doors and windows closed to keep our cool temperature inside as it is. Some like it, others don’t, no in between apparently.

UPRIG (@guest_229224)
8 months ago

Twenty-five years ago this was fun, exciting, new tech… now, not so much…💥

Lily (@guest_188189)
1 year ago

This makes me so glad that I go to Ontario parks which have Radio-free areas. Some areas are even radio free, dog free and generator free. Awesome.

Herman (@guest_238648)
5 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Yes! Ontario has got it together, especially with their provincial parks.

1 year ago

We do this quite a bit – I camp with a projector and I even have a Spandex outdoor screen that I bring. We use a Bluetooth speaker and I absolutely love sharing movies in the campground.

But this is also why I love to camp in large groups – we just “own” a section of the campground so our drinking, carousing and noise making don’t disturb folks who aren’t part of our group.

Jeff Craig (@guest_171359)
1 year ago

In the summers, we break out our projector and screen in WA State Parks, but only on weekends. We have a canopy that we attach the 10x14ft screen inside of, and have a bluetooth speaker for audio. We always play PG movies (Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc…) and have only had one issue – when the Park Ranger reminded us it was quiet hours (sunset was about 10P, we started at 9:45P). We turned it down some, even though everyone was still out around their campfires.

Lily (@guest_188188)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Just because people aren’t in bed, doesn’t mean they want to listen to your movie. I enjoy the quiet crackling of the campfire and soft conversation and laugher with my family and friends. You can watch tv and movies at home and not bother anyone, why do it outside at a campground? Makes no sense, unless you think it makes people envious? Because it doesn’t, it just annoys others and ruins THEIR good time. (And before people start defending it and saying how they don’t mind, I many people exist like that) It’s just a lot of people also hate it and it ruins the camping experience for them. Is a movie worth ruining other peoples’ camping experiences?

Bob P (@guest_238630)
5 months ago
Reply to  Lily

It does with the ME GENERATION who only think of themselves!

Vanessa Simmons (@guest_171312)
1 year ago

I stayed at a private, owners only, campground last year and they showed a movie on Sat night in the commons area. It was well-advertised that it would happen and was a family movie event. Yes, it was loud but only for that one night, was well attended as I saw when I walked by on my evening stroll and over before 11. Actually sounded more like the rumble of a train but constant. If it had been someone in the campground doing it at their site I would have been upset

TexasScout (@guest_171069)
1 year ago

Just be sure the screen is facing away from others and wear Bluetooth headphones.

Marion (@guest_170970)
1 year ago

We suffered through this at a seaside California campground. The show was so violent it was sickening! It was so close to us we had to go inside to avoid seeing it but it was so loud we couldn’t block out the horrific screams! I couldn’t believe that it was allowed to be shown outdoors. Fortunately we only stayed one night.

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_172970)
1 year ago
Reply to  Marion

Should have given the screen a “flying drop kick”, old wrestling move. Have your husband video tape it.

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