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.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema


Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tips on Hosting a Smooth Downtown Movie Event

Urban Renewal With Outdoor Movies

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Feb 23, 2012 Under Event Productions, Movie Articles

The idea behind urban renewal efforts is to breathe new life into downtown areas that have seen neglect over the years, and to bring people back into these areas. Goals typically include drawing crowds into downtown areas, supporting local business and fostering a connection to the community and its success. Those in charge of planning events as part of redevelopment plans have been turning to outdoor movie events as a creative and effective way to help reach these goals.

Outdoor Movie in a Downtown Setting

In the early 90’s, city planners looking for a way to bring crowds into neglected downtown areas became intrigued with the idea of hosting outdoor movie events. Portable, inflatable movie screens and cinema equipment became available for rent, making these events practical and more affordable.

Outdoor movie events can be funded in a variety of ways. Some areas receive redevelopment grants to aid in urban renewal efforts that can be put toward movie event production costs, or local businesses might be willing to sponsor the event. Local businesses that agree to sponsor this type of event will benefit in a couple of ways; advertising as part of the sponsorship agreement will get their business name out there, and crowds that come into the area might decide to make purchases from some of the local businesses. Vendors can sell movie snacks like popcorn to bring in revenue and create a better cinema experiene.

With smart advertising, both residents of the immediate area and residents of surrounding areas will be drawn to an outdoor movie event. Young families will look forward to an evening of affordable, family friendly fun, and the older crowd will be drawn in by the nostalgic aspect of this type of an event. With the decline in the popularity and success of traditional drive-in movie theatres comes a desire to re-create the fond memories created when drive-in movies were so popular.

After a successful event, local residents will leave with a positive feeling about their community, hopefully feeling more connected to the city and its successful redevelopment. Residents of surrounding areas who attended the event might decide to come back and check out the area again, hopefully bringing sales to local businesses.

Movie screenings can be a one time event , or a series of movie nights can be put on. Summer is a great time for an outdoor movie series since the weather is usually warm, and children are typically out of school. Local residents will enjoy fun summer nights spent under the stars with friends and family, and visitors traveling during the summer months might pass by and decide to see what’s going on, bringing new business to the area.

The keys to success when hosting an event or events aimed at assisting in the redevelopment of an urban area are to attract crowds including locals and those from surrounding areas; and to create a good vibe about the area that will leave locals feeling connected to their community and draw in more business from surrounding areas. An outdoor movie or series of movie nights make a great addition to a city’s urban renewal plans.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound.”


Want to use this article on your website or your own blog? No problem! But here’s what you MUST include:
Southern Outdoor Cinema is the largest producer of PREMIUM outdoor movie events in the country. They are leading the industry with NEW & UNIQUE outdoor movie events. To begin planning your outdoor movie event contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at or visit their online photo gallery at for event ideas.

Tags : , , , , | Comments Off on Urban Renewal With Outdoor Movies

Outdoor Movies On The Market

Posted by Paul Murray on Sunday Sep 12, 2010 Under Event Productions

Downtown has traditionally been the heart of a community. It has been where people work, shop, gather to socialize, engage in civic activities, and often live. A healthy downtown has usually meant a healthy community. In recent decades, downtowns in America have suffered from the proliferation of enclosed malls, strip malls, big box retail outlets and office parks, all components of sprawl. Storefront vacancy signs and boarded up buildings are now too often the face of downtown in many communities. Instead of bringing people together downtown, in one place, development patterns now often dictate that we drive from place to place without much opportunity for gathering or socializing. Our sense of community has been diminished and our communities have lost their economic vitality. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Revitalization – bringing new life to downtown areas, including many aspects from improving roadways, rezoning property and attracting new business. Many downtown revitalization programs include offering community activities such as concerts and outdoor movie series.

“Movies on the Market” are a series of outdoor movie events held in a parking lot near in a small South Carolina downtown market area. The movies series draw guests to the newly redeveloped downtown area which helps bring awareness of the newly renovated downtown area and shops.

All Rights Reserved
Content and pictures may not be copied without permission.
Southern Outdoor Cinema

“Bigger Screens. Brighter Pictures. Crisper Sound.”

Tags : , , , | Comments Off on Outdoor Movies On The Market