By JEAN McCLELLAND

For HD Media

Back in the 1950s and 1960s going to the drive-in movie with the family was common entertainment. Mom would pop a big bag of corn and make some Kool-Aid while Dad loaded lawn chairs and blankets in the car. Once there, the family could watch the movie from the car or sit on lawn chairs in front of their station wagons while the little ones chased lightening bugs. Those times are gone but not forgotten - today they are being re-invented in the back yard.

By having an outdoor movie in the back yard, one does need to give up the car but the rest of the good time can still take place. One can purchase an entire outdoor movie system to make this experience happen, however it's not necessary when an inexpensive trial run would be so easy to organize. For minimal bucks, one can create a screen from PVC pipes and a sheet, rent a projector with Wi-Fi capabilities and spread out a few lawn chairs in the yard to get a taste of watching a video outside.

This is a great example of whatever is old is new again and you really can create it yourself. To have such an evening the first thing to do is to make a screen from a well ironed sheet, PVC pipes and two poles secured in two buckets of concrete. DIY has a great video documenting the steps to a completed project. If this is more creative than your comfort zone can stand look into renting an outdoor screen along with the projector.

Next a projector with Wi-Fi capabilities needs to be secured. If this is a first-time activity, renting a machine is probably the best course of action. As you choose your outdoor projector make sure it has all the bells and whistles to make this idea work - the company from which you rent should be able to advise you. This will help educate you so if you buy an outdoor system down the road you will have a general idea as to what features it should have.

While you are at the rental agency you might look into speakers that will work with the projector. Some of the techy people out there may be able to adapt what they have indoors for this outdoor project. Once all the technical details are accomplished, set up the lawn chairs, bring out the snacks, light a candle or three to defray the bug population and you are ready to relax with summer fun.

If this is going to be a neighborhood party invite everyone to bring a comfortable seat, their own blanket and a snack. Add some extra zing to this outdoor party by pitching a tent for the kids to use while watching the video. Finally, pop up lots of popcorn for everyone and enjoy a magical evening watching a movie under the stars with friends and family!

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