Outdoor Movies: Finding The Right Equipment Provider So You Can Have a Successful Movie Event

Outdoor movie events on inflatable movie screens re-create the experience of the old drive-in movie. With today’s new technology of inflatable movie screens and portable high-powered projectors, an open air cinema event can be hosted at any outdoor venue. Movie night events are becoming popular for organizations such as schools, churches, businesses and cities. Finding the right equipment provider to produce your movie night event is essential so that your organization produces an event that it is well received by your audience and is stress free to organize.

Before you hire an audio/visual company for your movie night event, you need to know that there are two kinds of companies that produce outdoor movie events:

1.) The first kind of company that produces events are: DJ, Bounce House rental companies, and people who think it showing flicks outdoors is fun as a side businesses to their actual full-time employment.

  • Typically these kind of outdoor movie providers carry no insurance, or say they have insurance, but it does not cover outdoor movie event productions.
  • These kind of companies typically hire people with NO particular skill set to work their outdoor movie events.
  • Equipment from these kind of providers are inexpensive, usually is not commercial grade (but rather equipment meant for personal use) or that is under-powered for an outdoor movie setting. Their equipment is really ment for indoor movie events.

2.) The second type of company that produces outdoor movie events are full-time businesses that specialize only in outdoor cinema productions.

  • Professional companies that produce movie events outdoors will use theatrical grade screen surfaces, professional grade video and audio sound systems. Cinema production companies equipment include HD digital projectors and high-definition sound systems.
  • Employees of professional cinema companies typically have background in working with stage and audio-visual equipment and often work in the film industry.
  • Full time outdoor cinema productions companies will carry General Liability Insurance for exactly what they do which is outdoor movie events.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR HIRING A COMPANY TO PRODUCE YOUR MOVIE EVENT OUTDOORS.

Ask the following questions to the company you are looking to hire:

Do you carry insurance and how much insurance do you carry?

Request a copy of the provider’s insurance and call the insurance agency listed on the paper. Find out if the business is covered for outdoor movie events or is the provider list as something else.

How do I obtain a movie license?

Beware of a companies that tell you do NOT need a movie license for outdoor movie events in public. These providers are asking you to break copyright laws. Via copyright laws all outdoor movie showings require a public performance license to be purchased, except for events shown in your backyard for personal use.

What brand of screen do you use?

Currently there are only three professional manufacturers of inflatable movie screens: AIRSCREEN, Open Air Cinema and EPIC. If a provider can not name their equipment then they do not know a lot about what they are doing. The brand of screen that is being used will both effect the presentation of your movie and safety of your event.

What type of screen surface are you using?

Professional grade screen surfaces will use theatrical grade surfaces, just like in the movie theater. Quality of the screen is measured in gain. Screen surfaces should be highly reflective so to produce a bright and colorful picture image. Big-box store and inexpensive screens will have a cloth or plastic surface that is see-through and not very reflective which will produce a dull or poor image quality.

What type of sound and projection are you using?

Most companies will claim they are using state-of-the-art audio or video, but when was it state-of-the-art? Equipment that was top quality 5 years ago, is not top quality today.

Do you maintaining your projectors? Are you changing the projector bulbs regularly?

Bulbs that are not changed in projectors will get dull over time and effect the image quality at your show.

How do you measure your screen size?

Is one companies 50′ inflatable screen the same as another companies 35′ inflatable screen? Do they measure the screen surface or frame? Are they measuring their inflatable movie screen on the diagonal, width or height? These are important questions to ask when comparing screen systems.

Can you provide references for the last 3 events you produced?

Professional outdoor movie providers should be able to provide references of the last three shows that they produce, not just a select list of references that may be old. Also ask to see pictures of actual events that company has produced.