An outdoor movie is generally seen at an outdoor cinema that either has a digital or analog movie projector. They are most common in the United States, Canada, Singapore, and Australia.

This comes as no surprise since the weather and temperature need to be conducive enough to watch a movie outside.

The History of Outdoor Movies

Even though outdoor movies are quite popular in the countries we have just mentioned, Outdoor movies first came into existence in Berlin, Germany in 1916.[1]

The format was so successful that it eventually spread to the United States. In 1933, the world’s first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, New Jersey, becoming a worldwide sensation.

Excited motorists would park their cars on the grounds of Camden Drive located on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken.[2]

Moviegoers used to take a warm blanket as they say and watched movie premieres and at the time some of the stars used to attend and watch the screenings too.

What’s So Great about Outdoor Movies?

Let’s face it, going to an outdoor movie is a unique experience. If you attend a local screening it will likely be free to attend. The only thing you would need to do is purchase your own food and drink.

Does it feel different watching movies outside than inside?

Watching movies outside gives you a sense of nature and has more of an openness to it. Whereas indoor movies make you feel quite confined and enclosed and the are not really that social if you are going in a group.

It really is nice watching a film around a natural backdrop of nature.

Short films

Cinema reel and popcorn

Many local filmmakers choose these outdoor cinemas to preview the upcoming release of their short films.

This allows them to garner a response and also get some constructive feedback on their films before general release.

Also, since the movies are so short, you have the opportunity to watch several short movies in one night, rather than one long movie.

Bring your own food and drink

Most of the time when you are attending an outdoor movie you are allowed to bring your own food and drink. This makes it a lot cheaper to go since you are not paying for overpriced popcorn and drinks.

Opportunity to play and socialise

When watching an outdoor movie, you are not restricted to just staying in your seat for the whole duration. You also have the opportunity to talk, laugh and play games away from the screen and then go and sit back down when you are ready.

Be part of a community

Whether you are new to the community or not, outdoor movies are a social event that brings people together.

It is also common for giveaways to occur, so you may even walk away with some free gifts!

Take the kids to an outdoor movie

Kids love watching cartoons and animated films outside in open play areas. They do not have to be confined indoors inside cinema theaters, while parents can enjoy the outdoor experience and still be with their children.

Having a family outing at an outdoor movie is a great way to spend quality time together.

You can take your pet

The great thing about outdoor movies is the fact that you are allowed to bring your pet. It is a lot of fun to take your furry friend with you and watch a family movie.

Also, if you want to take them for a walk before the movie begins, you can do so without disrupting anyone.

The only downside about outdoor movies is that if it starts to rain, then the screening would have to be postponed or canceled for safety reasons.

So come rain or shine, an outdoor movie will always be a great way to spend your evening with family and friends.

Outdoor Home Movies

With a decrease in the price of the technology used in projectors, more and more people were able to afford the equipment needed to make a backyard projector.

In today’s world, you can buy a basic projector from Amazon for under $150 and some larger models as well as accessories for as little as $300.


  1. Open air cinemas (2012-06-01). “The History of Open-Air Cinema”Open air cinema. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  2. First, drive-in movie theater opens (2009-11-13).
a couple sitting watching a movie at an outdoor cinema.
Outdoor Cinema
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