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Summer is just around the corner, and, if you’re lucky, that means it’s time to enjoy outdoor movies under the stars. Whether you’re heading to a movie at a park in your town, a church movie event, or even a backyard movie night, these tips will help you make the most of the outdoor movie night experience.

First, you will want to arrive early to the event. The movie will start at sunset, so plan to arrive between 30-45 minutes before. Getting there early allows time to park and reserve a spot on the lawn with a great view of the inflatable movie screen.

After you arrive, be sure to use the restroom before the movie experience begins. The place can be crowded, making it difficult to go to the bathroom in the dark. Before the movie is also a time to think about movie food. It is a good idea to bring food and water. If you want to buy tickets on the spot, do so before the movie starts to avoid long waits. There is always a long line for popcorn at the beginning of the movie.

You will want to bring something comfortable to stay. Items like chairs, blankets, air mattresses, bean bags and floor pillows are all good options. If you choose a seat, make sure it is low back so that others sitting behind you can see the inflatable movie screen. Also out of consideration for others, be sure to silence your phone.

For comfort, make sure you dress appropriately. Outdoor summer movies can sometimes get into the high 90s, even at night. For autumn events, bring a jacket. After the sun sets in the fall, the temperature drops and it can get cold. Dressing in regular layers is a good idea, if the weather changes during the event. Also be sure to bring bug spray for the summer outside movie scenes to prevent uncomfortable bug bites.

Security is another matter. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you so you can find a safe way to the car after the event. You will also want to make sure to check the surrounding area for anything that may have fallen into your pockets.

Many outdoor movie experiences are family friendly. Sometimes a movie theater can be packed with hundreds, if not thousands of people. If you have young children in the procession, show your children to the designated area and instruct them to go there if they get lost or cannot find their way back to where you are seated. The presenter of the project may have a microphone to make the announcement.

A movie under the stars with friends and family is a great way to spend a warm summer night, or a cool fall or summer evening. Use these simple tips in order to have the best possible outdoor movie experience.

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