How to entertain, educate, and engage communities with help of a cinema screen

With invention of inflatable movie screens 20 years ago, open-air cinema made a strong comeback to our lives. Local councils embraced the idea and started inviting the residents to the Movies in the Park events. However, there’s much more to the outdoor inflatable screens than a collective watching of the latest Disney block-baster. Below are some ideas to help you bring the entertainment to the new level, educate and engage your community – with help of an outdoor movie system.

Bring entertainment to the new level

  • Turn community movie night into the party with a theme, dress-up competition, and activities to match. Bring the market stalls and involve local businesses.
  • Organising a concert? Install a big inflatable screen to allow the crowd to see the stage closer.
  • For Christmas Carols, use the screen before and after the live concert, to create the mood with the records of the festive songs and videos.
  • Bring people together for a themed disco party – Halloween, New Year, Bollywood, retro, futuristic, Valentine Day.
  • Attract more patrons to the local swimming pools with movie by the pool events.
  • Use smaller outdoor cinema screens to bring the movies to remote places, with “Movie on the move” program.

Use cinema to educate both young and old

The words “Of all the arts, for us, the cinema is the most important” belong to the political theorist and communist revolutionary, who used cinema as a propaganda tool. Which means movies can be used efficiently for a good cause.

  • Screen classic Australian films at the libraries – educate children about our past and remind the viewers about changing society, fashion, and technology.
  • Bring film festivals from the capitals to the small cities. While Australian Capitals are enjoying the variety of film festivals – short, international, independent, kids, and so on, regional Australians are missing out.
  • Worried about high obesity levels in your area? Promote good exercising and eating habits, organise free medical check-ups and show “That sugar film” or “Supersize Me”.
  • Attract more visitors to public galleries and museums organising movie nights in these venues.
  • Invite people for cultural nights, bringing modern art, dance, and music to the streets.

Engage Community with help of a Big Screen

While watching movies sitting on a lawn in a big company creates the sense of community, nothing bonds people together better than action.

  • Engage the youth in movie making and organise the film festival showcasing local talents.
  • Promote new ideas and concepts with documentary films. Showcase inspirational grass roots solutions (“Edible City”, “That’s Christmas Lights”, “Miss Representation”, “Carbon Nation”, and many more).
  • Run a Movie Conversation Café, with a discussion following the movie on the hot topic, like disability, violence, racism, youth and community.
  • Occupy pre-teens and teenagers with educational computer games, like Smarty Pants, Big Brain Academy, My Word Coach, National Geographic Challenge, and numerous others.

With the wonderful weather spoiling us so many days and nights per year, the great Aussie outdoors concept can be pushed even further with wider use of open air cinemas. With the wise planning, outdoor movie events will help people learn more, change their opinions or teach others, communicate with each other, and simply enjoy better lives.

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Olga Kustova

Olga Kustova

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