General Questions on Open Air Cinema

Q: Can I watch movies in the daylight?

A: As any cinema, an open-air cinema requires low ambient light, and delivers the best quality picture at night. Only the LCD screens can be seen in a broad daylight, competing with the brightness of the sun.  However, there any many activities that can still be held before the night falls, including disco parties and some computer games.

Q: Do I need a movie licence for my event?

A: If you are planning a backyard movie party, you do not need a movie licence. However, if you are organising a public screening event, both paid or free, you would require a licence. Check out our story for more details, links to licensors’ websites and free alternatives.

Q: Where can I buy portable movie screens and outdoor movie projectors?

A: Buy complete systems and portable and inflatable movie screens from our online store, or request for a quote for bigger systems.  Do you want to see the product before you buy? Pop in our Melbourne warehouse located in Bayswater. HandiTheatre Home is also available from selected retail stores of The Outdoor Furniture Specialists. Contact your local TOFS store to find out if the outdoor theatre is in stock!

Inflatable Screens

Q: What is the maximum wind speed tolerated by the inflatable screens?

A: Any inflatable screen, non-dependant on its size, has 35KHP wind rating. In other words, the screen is more tolerant to the wind than the majority of the movie-goers.

Q: Can I leave the inflatable screen outdoors for several days/weeks?

A: It is fine to leave the screen outdoors exposed to wind, rain, or sun for a day or two. However, we would not recommend leaving it under the harsh Australian sun for longer periods, as the material of the frame loses its qualities.

Q: What is the quality of the screen surface?

A: The screen surface we supply is wrinkle and crease free. Smaller movie screens come with theatrical grade lycra screen surface, stretched so that it’s absolutely even and smooth. Touring series screens use PVC fabric which offers the best colour rendering (the accuracy of which the colours are seen on the screen), image contrast and resolution.

Q: Can I leave the inflated screen indoors for long periods?

A: Yes, you can leave your inflated screen indoors for the whole year, if required.

Q: Why are the tethers white?

A: While black tethers may look less intrusive, they pose a safety hazard, both for adults and children, who can run into / trip over the black tethers. We supply white tethers for your safety.

Q: We left the screen inflated overnight, and found it in the morning with the hanging upper part. What has happened?

A: It looks like there was a cool night. The volume of the air inside the screen decreased with the drop of temperature. Wait till it gets warmer – you’ll see the frame becoming straight and even again.

Q: The projection screen got dusty/dirty. How to take care of the fabric of the screen?

A: You can remove the projection surface from the screen (it holds with the zip fasteners). For the screens up to 6 meters wide, it is made of a very lightweight stretch Lycra fabric. You can wash the screen surface in the washing machine, using gentle washing cycle, mild detergent, and 30°C temperature.

Q: How to add my own branding to the screen?

A: The skirt (dark space at the bottom of the screen) has two functions. Firstly, it ensures that every visitor sees the whole screen, and other viewers’ heads are not blocking the screen, and secondly, it provides an option to promote your brand by placing your logo or an advertisement (Parkview and Touring series screens have D-rings in the screen skirt to attach your banner).

For more information on the inflatable screens, see A Peek Behind Outdoor Movie Cinema.

Inflation Blowers

Q: Do you supply the air pump to inflate the screen?

A: We supply all inflatable screens with a blower (air pump) for inflation. HandiTheatre models feature sealed screen, which means you will turn the blower off when you finish inflating the screen. These inflatable screens are similar to an airbed. ParkView and Touring series screens are similar to jumping castles. They require blowers operating constantly, holding the screen in the perfect shape. We supply quality Huawei blowers for constant flow screens.

Q: Are the blowers noisy?

A: While ParkView and Touring series screens require the blowers running constantly, their noise level is compatible with the ambient outdoor noise and will not interfere with the quality of the sound system of your open-air cinema. For indoors, we recommend using SmartFold screens or sealed inflatable screens.


Q: What is a short throw projector?

A: A short throw projector has a short throw lens. The throw determines the distance between the projector and the screen. You can place short throw projector closer to the screen and, as a result, get a brighter image.  Use the short throw projector if space is limited or if you want to show the movie with some ambient light around (in the shopping centre, in the dusk).

Q: In projector models, what does ANSI Lumen stand for?

A: The projectors differ by the light output, which for standardisation is measured in ANSI Lumens. The bigger the number, the brighter is the projector. Projectors with a luminosity of above 3000 Lumens are the high-end projectors typically used at the cinema or movie theatres. They deliver bright picture even with some ambient light in the room.

Q: In projector models, what does 720p stand for?

A: 720p means HD quality.  We also offer 1080p projectors for full HD TV. However, the difference in the quality of the image with 720p or 1080p projectors for Open Air Cinema shown on the big inflatable screen is less prominent compared to the standard home TV, and 720p is sufficient for a great quality image. Blue-ray movies produce a full 1080p HD picture, while if you watch live TV or DVD discs, 720p is the most cost-effective alternative.

Q: What is a rear projection?

A: A rear projection option allows placing the projector together with the cables behind the screen. All you need to do is to set it in the rear projection mode for the picture to appear normal for the viewers.


Q: What do “Powered speakers” mean?

A: Powered, or active, speakers have built-in amplifiers. They have higher fidelity (Hi-Fi) compared to passive speakers and bring better quality sound to your home theatre system.

Q: Do I need a subwoofer with that?

A: A real cinema effect is not possible without good quality sound. To enjoy your movie theatre at its best, we would recommend adding a subwoofer to the system. Better quality sound for your disco party, more thrill watching a movie, and a bigger “WOW factor” – that’s what a good quality subwoofer will give you. We offer powered subwoofers as an option.

Smart Digital

Q: Do you sell screens and movie systems only in Australia?

A: We ship inflatable movie screens and cinema systems to other countries, including New Zealand, Asia Pacific region, Canada, and European countries. Contact us to check the fright costs to your country!

Q: Do you hire portable cinema to the general public?

A: We do not hire our packages, but are happy to recommend you party hire businesses offering inflatable movie screens for your event.

Q: What is a SmartBox?

A: A SmartBox is a portable audio video control system, which has everything you need to run the show, conveniently pre-built and pre-wired, and housed in a light, portable and durable ABS case. Depending on configuration, it includes a Blu-Ray / DVD player, a built-in Set Top Box, microphones, HDMI / MP3 ports, audio mixer, etc. An extra drawer with compartments allows keeping miscellaneous items, like cables, microphones, discs, in one place. We designed SmartBox to assist you in running the show, and can also custom build it to meet your specific requirements.

Q: What is the warranty on your products?

A: We offer a 12-month warranty on all our products, but rest assured the equipment will last for many years, provided you follow care and storage instructions.

Q: Do you have payment plans available?

A: We offer FlexiRent – easy way to take financial pressure off your company.