Tips on Hosting a Smooth Downtown Movie Event

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Apr 17, 2013 Under Tips

outdoor movie downtown movie

“Outside of downtown, yes. But not outside and downtown!”

This was one funny response when we posed this question via social media: “Have you attended movies downtown?”

Chambers of Commerce and downtown development districts typically host outdoor movies during the summer months, so it’s time to start prepping!

Though we did find a few folks who have never attended a movie downtown, we also found a lot of folks who have.

Are you thinking about hosting a movie at a downtown location?

Here are tips from attendees to make sure you have a successful event and how we can help.

“I’m not really an outdoorsy kind of gal so as a reader, I’d like to read something that would convince me to give it a try.”

That’s right. Print media can assist in getting your event known. Contact local newspapers (along with radio and TV stations) to get the word out about your event. SOC is always a phone call away to assist with your event marketing.

“Be weather prepared and bug proof. Can you bring a picnic?”

Make sure you suggest bringing comfy chairs, blankets and bug spray for the summer. Have food and water available or allow moviegoers to bring some sustenance for the warm summer movie showing.

“I’d say set up early and do a dry run of playing the movie to be sure everything is okay before the set movie time.”

No problem! We always set up during the day where there’s still ambient light. This allows for any technical difficulties to be hashed out, and folks can get comfy without worrying about the dark.

Another awesome benefit: if you get sponsors, their ads can be shown on the screens before the movie starts.

Here are some of our tips and benefits to putting together a downtown movie event.

1) If you’re a shop owner, you can work together with other businesses to pool together for funds. Then you can advertise on our screens before the event!

2) Smaller screens are utilized well here. This allows more space for seating and makes the event ever so cozy.

3) If space is an issue, consider setting up in a store parking lot. Careful! Asphalt can get hot during the summer months. Also be sure to hash out proper permission to use parking lots.

4) So your downtown area tends to clear out after 5 p.m.? This is the best way to keep folks in town after work. Get the word out early and organize outdoor store sales or other special activities before and after the movie to keep the people flowing.

For other ideas and tips for hosting downtown-area outdoor movies, check out our other blog posts related to these events.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema


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Blue Trees At An Outdoor Film Screening

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Apr 9, 2013 Under Event Productions

Blue Trees in the Park of Atlanta

Sometimes when a client hires us for an event they leave out some of the details. We obtain the important aspects like what is being shown and where and the equipment that is needed. The logistics. But when we arrived at a venue this past weekend in a north Atlanta park, we noticed the trees where different. The trees where blue!

We were setting up to show a screening of the independent film that talked about “deforestation” in a park where the trees were painted blue. Australian artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos paints the trees blue in hopes that his art project brings awareness to global deforestation and its global impact.

Independent Film Screen in the Park

During a presentation before the film screening, Dimopoulos explains that he and and a group of volunteers spent a few days painting the trees with biologically safe pigmented water. He choose blue, because it is not a natural color seen on trees and would stand out.

Sitting in a park, listening to Dimopoulos talk about the trees got me thinking. I’ve never noticed that there were so many trees around me. They fade into the background. It wasn’t until I saw the blue trees, that I stopped to notice that there are so many tress around us providing us beauty and clean air. I am fortunate to have so many around me and to be involved with such great community projects. Dimopoulos pointed out during his presentation to the crowd that each year an area at least the size of Belgium of native forests is cleared from around the planet.

Blue Trees in Norcross Georgia

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Movies in the Park™ Canton GA Dates Announced

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday Apr 8, 2013 Under Company News

Movies in the Park - Canton GA

Movies in the Park™ returns to North Georgia for another year of free outdoor movies under the stars. The multi-city outdoor movie tour features free children’s activities and family-friendly outdoor movies which are shown in unique and historic settings around Atlanta.

The Canton series which is Sponsored by Northside Hospital Cherokee in association with Southern Outdoor Cinema and The City of Canton, will be hosted in the heart of downtown Canton at Browns Park located off of Elizabeth Street. The park, which is the former site of Governor Brown home, features views of the 1925 City Hall as well as a Memorial Arch (dedicated in 1923).

The Northside Hospital Cherokee’s Movies in the Park™ Canton series is as followed:

August 10 – The Croods (movie @ 8:30)
September 7 – Epic (movie @ 8:00)
October 12 – TBD (movie @ 7:00)

Movies in the Park™ is Atlanta’s most kid-friendly outdoor movie series. All movies are shown in high-definition on Southern Outdoor Cinema’s giant inflatable movie screens just before sundown in picturesque venues. Free pre-movie activities kick off one hours before movie start and include face-painting by Families are encouraged to bring blankets or low-back lawn chairs. Movie snacks will be available during the movie.

For a listing of Movies in the Park™ events in other Atlanta cities as well a movie titles and directions, visit Georgia Movies in the Park™ on Facebook and Twitter.

Movies in the Park™ Canton - August

Movies in the Park

About Northside Hospital
Voted “Atlanta’s Most Preferred Hospital for All Health Care Needs” for 15 consecutive years, Northside offers a full range of services and has become an ambassador of women’s health issues. More babies are delivered, more surgeries are performed, and more cases of breast and gynecological cancer are diagnosed at Northside than at any other community hospital in Georgia. We are committed to balancing clinical excellence with compassionate care.

About Southern Outdoor Cinema
Southern Outdoor Cinema, based in Alpharetta, GA, is the largest high-quality outdoor movie event provider in the Country for professional sports teams, movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies and cities. Using cutting edge outdoor cinema equipment paired with a proprietary event planning system, Southern Outdoor Cinema helps clients create highly successful and highly entertaining outdoor movie events. To sponsor a Movies in the Park™ event contact

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College Attracts Students With Unique Campus Tour

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Apr 4, 2013 Under Event Productions, Tips

SOC Picking a college event

As colleges and universities try to attract prospective students and their families, administrators are hosting unique tours to make their institution memoriable. While academics, location, and tuition are all important factors for students to consider when choosing a college, students also are looking for campus with amazing extracurricular activities. Many college admissions offices are coordinating with the student actiivities offices to plan campus tours during times when specials on-campus events are scheduled. Touring students and families after a day of touring a campus are treated to a relaxing outdoor movie events. A movie under the stars experience on blankets and chairs helps build the feeling of belong to campus life.

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta offers turn-key high-quality outdoor movie event productions throughout the South. To arrange an outdoor movie night on your college or university campus during tour week, contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at

Blankets are setup in front of an inflatable movie screen on campus for a movie

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Quick Tips For Obtaining Outdoor Movie Event Sponsors

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Apr 3, 2013 Under Tips

outdoor school movie event The phrase “movies under the stars” conjures up images of dozens of families bringing out their blankets and snacks to a community park to watch a free flick, generally put on by the city or another large organization.

But who says you can’t put this on just for your students and their families?

Sure, parks and recreation departments enjoy our full turnkey event production and theatrical-grade screens. But school administrators can take advantage of our audio/visual services as well and host their own movie night.

Wait. Are those dollar signs floating above your head? Though it may sound like something you’ll have to add a line item for in next year’s school budget, it can be done with little or no budget set aside.  So what’s the secret to hosting an affordable, family-friendly movie event for your students? Event sponsors!

If you’ve been reading our blog, you already know one great way to help ease the costs of an outdoor (or indoor!) movie is to obtain sponsorships or make the event a fundraiser. It’s time to think outside of the popcorn box! (Sorry, had to say it.)

Check out local dance studios, pediatricians, restaurants, particularly businesses near your school. We recommend finding sponsors who market to families with young children. When approaching sponsors, let them know how Southern Outdoor Cinema is a truly unique way to advertise their business:

  • We have a professional graphic artist on staff who will create artwork for an advertisement to the sponsor’s specifications. That means less work for you and for the potential sponsor.
  • These ads will be up and projecting before the movie begins. The difference between us and other equipment providers is we can have this set up ahead of time, while there is still ambient light. So your sponsor can have their message displayed 20 minutes ahead of time in order to have a sundown start time. (This also means families aren’t up late watching the flick and can get your students to bed on time!)

school outdoor movie night One of our favorite clients had some great tips about using sponsors for their movie events. She said though the slow economy has been an issue with maintaining sponsors, they have used several methods over the years to obtain funds.

“We have offered vendor spots for a flat fee as well as a percentage of sales donation. We also include their logo on the screen prior to the movie, as well as including their logo in our school paper and flyers.”

If you need assistance, another part of our unique experience is we can provide marketing materials to present to sponsors and to show off to families. We are with you every step of the event planning process. This isn’t something you have to do alone.

Part of the joy we experience in bringing Hollywood to you is helping you create movie magic without any stress. Hopefully these tips will help you with your next sponsored event.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema

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