Pool Party Idea: Poolside Outdoor Movie Night

Summer often brings with it memories of time spent by the pool, great outdoor barbecues, and evenings at the movies, so why not combine all three in a poolside movie night party? Here are some tips for hosting a movie night by the pool for your friends and neighbors.

Optimize your technical set-up.

You’ll likely want to enlist the help of a tech whiz or two to ensure that the audio and visual elements of your technical set-up run smoothly. For the outdoor projector screen, consider renting an inflatable movie screen and placing it at a sensible location by the pool, or hanging a large white sheet on the side of your house. If you don’t already have a projector or audio equipment on hand, consider borrowing from a friend or, even better, renting equipment from an outfit that could help arm you with everything you’re going to need for the night. Be sure that you set up any technical equipment at a safe distance away from the water and that you do a “test run” beforehand to troubleshoot any issues.

Choose the right time.

Typical movie nights involving outdoor furniture, pillows, and blankets can usually make do with less-than-comfortable nightly temperatures, but for a poolside movie night, you’ll want to make sure that the date you schedule it for is likely to having comfortable nightly temperatures even for those in swimsuits. Of course, seating with blankets that you incorporate outside of the pool can serve those who might be too chilly in the pool regardless. If you’re worried about the night becoming too cool for your outdoor movie showing, consider starting the movie just before it gets dark.

Have ample seating options.

Chances are not everyone is going to want to lounge in the pool while watching the movie. For these guests, make sure that you have ample seating in the form of outdoor furniture (or folding chairs if you need to improvise) located behind the pool. For those in the pool, make sure that you have an abundance of pool floats on hand, enlisting some guests to bring their own if needed.

Choose the right movie.

You’ll want to opt for a crowd-pleasing movie for the night to keep as many guests happy as possible. You should also shy away from horror films and heavy action movies that might induce screaming and be a major distraction for neighbors.

Plan out your refreshments.

Barbecue staples like hamburgers and hot dogs are always a hit at summer parties, and these dinner-type foods could encourage people to eat their refreshments before the movie starts rather than bring them into the pool. Just be sure to stow them away in a cooler or refrigerator when people are done eating instead of leaving them out for hours. If you’re going to have a poolside lounging area for movie viewing as well, you can feel free to include other refreshments like ice cream and popcorn without worrying too much about messy foods being tracked into your pool.

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