Movie night at the pool is not the easiest event you’ll pull off all summer, but it’s such a great memory for the kids that it’s totally worth the upfront time to get it all put together. This is the kind of event your members will remember all year long and look forward to from year to year.
What you’ll need:
- Movie screen
- Sound system
There are lots of options for outdoor movie screens.
Pre-built screens – just unfold or set up and you’re ready
- A simple Amazon search for “outdoor movie screen” will give lots of options
Inflatables – just blow up and you’re ready
- A simple Amazon search for “outdoor movie screen inflatable” will give lots of options
DIY – you’ll have to build these yourself, but they may prove the cheapest option
- PVC pipes and a white sheet (here’s a video tutorial)
- Hang a sheet between 2 trees
- Hang a sheet on the clubhouse wall
- For the DIY options, make sure you have something black behind the sheet otherwise the projection will simply pass through the sheet. If you hang a sheet on a wall, you’re all set. If you’re building your own setup or hanging a sheet between trees, you should think about putting a black sheet or back trash bags behind the white sheet.
First, see if any club members have a projector at home. If not, there are some relatively cheap options on the market. Again, a simple Amazon search for “outdoor movie projector” gives lots of options. This is a great time for a crowd-funded product in your store – set up a new product in your Pool Dues store and have people chip in some money to buy the club a projector.
Some things to think about when you’re looking at projectors:
- You need a minimum of 2,000 lumens. If you go higher than 2,000 you can start the movie earlier. In other words, 2,000 is the lower limit for brightness that will show up on a large screen, but you’ll have to wait until it is completely dark to start the movie. Choose a projector with 3,000 lumens and you can start the movie shortly after sunset (i.e., before it’s truly dark out).
- Make sure the projector can connect to whatever device you’re using to access the movie. You’ll need a cable to connect the projector to your laptop to show Netflix or Amazon Prime movies, or to connect to your Apple TV or your Amazon Fire TV if you want to show movies from your iTunes account or other online movie databases. Some projectors even connect to your iPhone. Most projectors these days come with the correct cords, but double check that the projector comes with the right cord for your needs.
There’s a good chance someone at the club has wireless Bluetooth speakers they can donate for the night. If not, here’s another time you can put a crowd-funded product in your Pool Dues store!
You can also buy outdoor speakers that can connect right into the projector.
What’s more fun than lying in a pool on an inflatable flamingo while watching a movie?? Encourage members to bring their inflatable rafts to make for a laid-back movie watching experience.
With that said, we understand that some clubs have rules about inflatables in the pool, and we also understand the very real safety issues with inflatables in the pool. Particularly when there are a lot of inflatables in the pool and it’s dark, it’s way too easy for a child to slip under and not been seen under all the floats. It’s super important that movie night is highly supervised by parents and lifeguards, and it may be worthwhile to set an age limit on the event (like tweens and up).
Obviously, you’re gonna need glow-in-the-dark bracelets and glow sticks! And popcorn! And soda! And candy! And all the fun things!!
One Final Thought
If you’re going to charge money for movie night, it’s important that you only charge for the food, extra lifeguards, purchased items (e.g., projector, inflatables, etc.). By law, you cannot charge money for the movie itself – that is copyright infringement. But you already knew that, right?! Your neighborhood club is not a for-profit venture – you’re there to provide a place for safe and fun family time. Any money charged for an event (whether it is movie night, a BBQ, a keg, or tween night) is money that members are paying to help fund the event, not to make your club a profit. By law, you are not allowed to make a profit off showing a movie unless you have copyright permission from the studio.