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Screen Play! Backyard Movie Party

Gather friends for dinner and a movie -- in your backyard!

Tonight we're throwing a different kind of party. There will be stars, but only on the big screen: Fashion a makeshift theater in your backyard and invite friends over for a picnic and a movie. Rent a projector and hang a sheet on your fence. The only hard part is picking a movie. Two words for the indecisive: Will Ferrell.


tips + how-tos

Get the Scoop Create your own concession stand by filling big glass jars and vases with assorted candy and snacks. Provide old-fashioned aluminum flour scoops (bakedeco.com) and paper cups so guests can make their own mixes.

Light the Way Make a theater-style aisle leading to the seating area by running two parallel strings of rope lights through the grass. (christmaslightsetc.com). Make sure you tape down extension cords so no one trips!

Pop To It Decorate the table with a popcorn lamp. Place a small candle inside a glass and place the glass inside a larger glass vase. Pour popcorn into the vase to surround the glass. (If the glass is shorter than the vase, just prop it up on a layer of popcorn.)

Showtime Call a local audio-visual store to rent a projector for the night -- or rent one with a built-in DVD player and speakers from Meeting Tomorrow, a nationwide rental service (meetingtomorrow.com). No need to rent a screen -- just hang a sheet on a wall or over a clothesline. Do a test run before the guests arrive!