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!
- Basic RV etiquette that isn’t always talked about, but makes all the difference
- Campground etiquette: PLEASE turn off that noisy generator!