From fun themes to top technology: Here's what you need for an epic backyard movie night

(BPT) - Canceled camps, postponed trips, closed pools and more — summer 2020 is shaping up to be very different for families across the country. While you may not be able to do some activities, that doesn't mean you can't make lasting memories while enjoying time together. You just have to think creatively and plan unique events at home!

One way to inspire smiles is to turn your backyard, patio or even balcony into your own outdoor movie theater. Whether it's a family fun day, a cozy evening with your partner or a night in with roommates, an outdoor home movie experience is the perfect way to make memories. The experts from TiVo share insider tips for making it the best outdoor movie experience ever:

Lights, camera, action: Technology checklist for an awesome backyard movie night

Projector and sound: If you don't already have a projector, research options within your budget. Keep sound in mind as well. Depending on the projector purchased, you may want to add a portable speaker or sound bar.

Wi-Fi: Make sure the signal is strong enough for the viewing area. Test before movie night to make sure there aren't any weak spots and adjust accordingly.

Streaming player: Forget time-consuming searches and bothersome delays with the right player. TiVo Stream 4k eliminates app switching and makes it easy to find your favorite movies with a single search and includes 4K UHD, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos for the ideal viewing experience.

Streaming services: Explore options, like free, ad-supported services like Pluto TV, Tubi TV, IMDb TV, and TiVo+ found on TiVo Stream 4K. There are also subscription-based streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+. Video-on-demand services like Vudu and Fandango are also popular because you can rent or purchase a broad range of new and classic films.

Screen: A large white wall works just fine, but if that isn't available, hang a white bed sheet or white blackout cloth from your local craft store. For serious outdoor movie buffs, consider purchasing a projection screen.

Rolling on set: Fun themes for movie night

Now that you have the right equipment and technologies, you can make your event even more special by choosing a theme. Here are some fun options for memorable movie night themes:

  • Family movie night: "Finding Nemo," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" or "Spy Kids"
  • Red, white and blue: "Captain America: The First Avenger" or "Independence Day"
  • Backyard fright night: "Friday the 13th," "Fantasy Island" or "A Quiet Place"
  • Summer Lovin': "Dirty Dancing," "500 Days of Summer" or "Mystic Pizza"
  • Midnight showings: "Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Pink Flamingos" or "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes"

Extra, extra: Ideas to make your outdoor movie event extra memorable

Concessions: Classic movie snacks are sure to enhance your event. Consider setting up a buffet table with popcorn and boxed candy so everyone can grab what they want before settling in for the film. Another option is to select snacks to go with your theme, such as fish-shaped crackers for ocean themes or American pops for patriotic movies. Don't forget helpful supplies like napkins and paper bowls!

Comfort: Make sure everyone gets a good view while keeping comfort in mind. Set out blankets or air mattresses closer to the screen so people can sit down low. Further back you can have chairs and tables as needed. Don't forget plenty of blankets and pillows so everyone can get comfortable.

Pre-movie activities: To extend the fun and amp up the excitement, some activities before the movie can be a real treat. For example, adults might enjoy some movie-related trivia. Kids can enjoy a craft, such as decorating printed movie tickets or transforming cardboard boxes into their own personal cars that they can sit in during the film to mimic a drive-in movie theater experience.

That's a wrap: Use these tips to plan your next movie extravaganza

Enjoying the beautiful summer weather and a movie outdoors is sure to make the top memory list for summer 2020. With these tips and your TiVo Stream 4K on hand, you'll be ready to search across platforms for the perfect flick that will make everyone smile. To learn more visit www.tivo.com.