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The movie or the live TV event is only a part of the evening’s experience.  It is important that when the people leave at the end of the evening, they say: “Wow! What a great night!”, “What a blast!”

To give the viewer a fantastic experience, whether they are attending a fundraiser, a free event or a commercial movie night, we recommend combining the movie with other experiences, creating a terrific night out.

As an example, the promoter might decide to screen The Blues Brothers – truly a successful, fantastic and entertaining movie.  But screening it on its own would be a little ho-hum!  Imagine having a live Blues Brothers Band playing, all dressed up in the gear, while the audience is watching the sun going down and waiting for the movie to start.  Add a stall called “Soul Food Café”, serve fried chickens and an Orange Whip, referencing to the movie scenes, and all of a sudden we have a wild and entertaining experience.  The viewers will not forget that night for a long time.  Everyone will also talk a lot and tell all their friends about a great time they had at the outdoor movie night!

Here are some more ideas to make the event/party a really enjoyable evening.

The first is to provide live music playing as people arrive and up to the start of the movie. This is neither difficult nor expensive.  A three piece band, playing music appropriate to the event, gets everybody into the right mood. Normally cool jazz or smooth pop music work really well.  One of the organizers might know somebody who plays in a band. Senior kids from the school are often looking for live experience and will play for that experience and for watching the movie for free! As always, it is just a matter of how you put it to them, or how you sell the idea! Think about it for a moment.

No access to live bands? Use the power of speakers supplied with the system. Play a CD or broadcast a radio station (a great way to promote your local community radio station or get a sponsorship from a famous FM!).

Another idea for a great outdoor movie night is to play console games from producers like Nintendo, PlayStation or Xbox. Games on the big screen are always a big hit.  However, if you have a lot of kids, small or big, then you may have a problem, as not enough kids will get a go. With majority of console games, you can only play up to 4 people at a time.  Fear not, as there is a solution! Use Just Dance, a rhythm game available on all gaming platforms. It can even be played with a smartphone app!  There are no controllers to worry about, and excellent music with a great beat makes everybody move.  Experience shows that almost everybody gets up and dances, from bubs to seniors. It is that captivating!  The good thing about the dance idea is that it does not require a brilliant image on the screen. People understand that the image on the screen will improve as the sun sets.

Outdoor cinema allows connecting the movie with life. Showing a movie about dogs? Allow the dog owners bring their pets and run a little dog show. Screening a film for Valentine’s Day? Add chocolate, flowers and champagne. Showing the movie for the kids? Invite a face painter and a balloon twister; let the little ones jump on the thematic jumping castle.

Whatever you do, you need to create the atmosphere, get everybody into a great mood and relieve people of the day’s pressures. They will soon relax and enjoy themselves.  They will depart saying -what a great evening it was!  The other good part is that the cost of creating a very special outdoor movie night compared to your simple sceening, is minimal, if anything at all.  Enjoy!

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Olga Kustova

Marketing guru, event organiser and blogger, passionate about all things outdoors: hiking, camping, outdoor movies and entertainment.