How To Host A PTA Outdoor Movie Night

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Oct 8, 2014 Under Tips

How To Host A Pta Outdoor Movie Night

Movies are a language that every generation speaks. From granddad to junior, the silver screen makes a wonderful focal point of a fundraising event. Hosting a movie outdoors, at nighttime, on a huge screen steps things up a notch: it transforms a movie into an event! With an outdoor movie night, everyone is entertained, food and refreshments go hand-in-hand with a film, and having it outdoors adds an element of fun that kids and adults enjoy.

If your PTA is planning to host one of these fun outdoor movie nights, there are a few tricks of the trade to consider to make certain that things run smoothly:

LOCATION
There are a host of places you can host your outdoor movie night. Fields, courtyards, and parking lots are all big, empty spaces that you can reserve for your event, making them prime realty. As with anything else in life, there are benefits to each, and there are also things to consider.

First, let’s consider the essentials: Electricity and bathroom access are the top two things that you need to take into account for an outdoor movie night. You need electricity to show the movie, and you need electricity if you plan to have a concession stand. Your audience is definitely going to need a bathroom; if you don’t have access to an indoor bathroom, you can always rent a porta potty for your audience. If that’s not an option, take that as a sign that you need to select a different location.

Second, let’s consider the impact location can have on people: location sets the mood. A majority of the allure of going to an outdoor movie is being outdoors. The surroundings help make or break a movie-going experience. If you’re setting up in a courtyard or parking lot, either provide chairs or cushions for your audience to sit on. Fields make for a softer seating arrangement—but not if it’s a minefield of rocks. Watch out for insect nests and animal burrows when selecting your location.

Comfortableness is what helps an outdoor movie night shine in the memories of those who attend. Having bathroom access, somewhere comfortable to sit, and an overall pleasant experience is what will encourage them to come back next year when the PTA hosts another annual film under the stars.

EQUIPMENT
You can’t show a movie without a screen, a projector, and a sound system. Not all of these things are made equal; be sure that your equipment is up to the job. With your screen, check wind ratings, know how close it can be to water, and consider the start time of your showing. If you need to start your film before the sun sets to accommodate young children, it takes a higher end screen system to be able to do a quality show before it’s completely dark out. There are even inflatable screens without noisey blowers, which Southern Outdoor Cinema specializes in.

Beyond the mechanical equipment, you need to select a movie to show at your outdoor PTA shindig. This category of “equipment” is the determining factor in how well your event goes and whether or not your audience walks away wanting to come back next year. It is important that you pick something that will keep adults and kids alike interested. Thankfully, there is an entire branch of the film industry dedicated to creating family films. Use ratings and recommendations from your equipment provider as a guide when selecting the movie for the night.

If concessions are part of your plan for the event, you’ll also need to gather equipment for a concession stand, whether it be in a tent or shed or vehicle. Popcorn is a movie classic, but you can also serve other fun things at your outdoor movie night. For the ambitious, you might gear your concessions towards the film you’re showing! Or, you might match your food to the season: for fall film showings, consider hot chocolate, apple cider, apples with caramel, and kettle corn.

SPONSORS
Whether you need to do fundraising to have your movie event, or you’re having a movie event as a fundraiser, a great way to generate some profit is to run sponsors’ ads on the big screen before and after show time. Not only does it work at selling their product and promoting their business for them, but it also gives the audience something to watch before the movie begins.

If you have a concession stand at your event, you could use it as another advertising opportunity for a sponsor. If one of your sponsors is already in the food business, you could transform your concession stand into an outpost for their cuisine for the evening, giving them publicity and stepping up your concessions for the night.

You can also think about putting your sponsors’ logos on invitations for the event, on napkins and cups from the concession stand, and on tickets for the event itself, if you choose to have tickets. If you’re feeling extra creative, sponsors could have their logos emblazoned on seat cushions to hand out so that the audience is extra comfortable for the feature film!

MOVIE LICENSE
You know that part of the dvd you can’t fast forward through at the start of every movie? That FBI warning is letting you know that there are rules you need to follow when you are showing a movie in public. In other words, a public performance license needs to be purchased from the film studio or you will face a large fine: up to $250,000 or up to five years in jail. While there is specific criteria that you can meet to avoid these fines, one of the easiest ways to handle this detail for your outdoor movie event is to hire a professional outdoor movie event equipment provider. Southern Outdoor Cinema takes care of the legal aspect of the movie license so that you don’t have to.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema

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Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Movie Event Highlight of Fundraising Carnival

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Jun 24, 2014 Under Event Productions

Outdoor Movie Fundraising

School carnival fundraisers are an excellent and fun way to earn money that schools need. Recently a school had a spring festival to raise their needed funds. The highlight of this event was an outdoor movie shown on a large inflatable screen. Not only was it fun for students and their families, but it made the fundraiser more attractive for the community. Several residents came out to support the school and enjoy the film.

This school carnival fundraiser was organized by the PTA. They wanted to create an event that both the children and their parents could enjoy together. They decided to include a variety of activities throughout the afternoon. A rock climbing wall was brought in for the students to use, and several bounce houses were set up on the school grounds. Fun carnival games were included in the lineup, along with an old fashioned dunk tank. Students loved the opportunity to dunk their favorite teachers and grown-ups.

SPORTING ACTIVITIES
Sporting activities provided plenty of outdoor exercise for the kids and their families. A sack race that the kids could participate in added to the excitement. They even included a small miniature golf putting green and a small scale soccer practice area. A local Taekwondo school gave demonstrations and showed children how to do a few basic moves.

Inflatable Sports Arena

PHOTOBOOTH
Photo ops were plentiful. The PTA made arrangements for a photo booth where small groups could have a great time creating silly poses. A tee pee made the ideal backdrop for still photos.

DIY  photobooth

OUTDOOR MOVIE
The day was topped off with a movie event. It was held outdoors where a large inflatable screen was set up. Guests brought blankets to spread out, along with lawn chairs for seating. It was a relaxing and casual setting, perfect for an evening of family entertainment. After spending the day playing the games, participating in the sports, and taking advantage of the photo ops, students and their parents were presented with a blockbuster film.

Outdoor Movie at school during carnival

FOOD TRUCKS
No one went hungry during the movie. Food trucks partnered with the school in order to provide tasty meal options for this special event. It was the perfect way to fill up after enjoying all of the day’s other events.

Food Truck

FUNDRAISE WITH TICKETS
Tickets were sold to each guest as they arrived. These tickets allowed them to have unlimited access to all the great carnival activities. It also included admission to the evening movie event. It was the ideal way to earn money for the school’s needs.

Potato Sack

This school’s spring fundraiser carnival was a huge success. The community loved being able to come out for the day and enjoy time together doing family friendly activities. After a good meal, they all settled down for a little relaxing while watching the movie on the inflatable screen. Everyone agreed that the movie was the highlight of the event, and it was a great ending to a fun filled day.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC
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About Southern Outdoor Cinema
Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Fund-raising Movie Night

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday Apr 28, 2014 Under Event Productions

Fund-raising movie night at school

Every school has a parent teacher organization that is always looking for terrific ways to raise money. The best events are ones that both the parents and students will find fun to go to, as well as help out with. One school came up with an extremely successful way of accomplishing this.

Rather than holding yet another bake sale, craft fair, or the likes, this school came up with the idea of a movie night at the school. Although it may at first sound like a huge undertaking, these types of events are actually fun for the whole family and easy to organize. Best of all the school earned quite a bit of much needed money.

To pull it all together, the PTA got busy planning. They contacted several local people and businesses to be sponsors. In return, their message or ad was shown on the inflatable screen before the main feature began. Their organizing paid off with enough funds to cover the movie production and licensing fees. There was even some left over to show for their fund raising efforts. This was added to money brought in from activities, food sales, and silent auctions that made the movie night a huge success.

To get the school ready for the event, teachers and parents worked together to recreate a theater setting inside of the school. The gymnasium was used as the area for the actual movie viewing. It worked out perfectly. An inflatable screen was set up, and plenty of mats and chairs were made available for seating.

Movie night and games at school

Before the family friendly movie was played, guests could take part in numerous games such as the ring toss and cake walk. Classrooms were utilized as designated spots for each activity. One room was set up as a game room with foosball and air hockey that the younger students really enjoyed playing. Another was used for karaoke that both the kids and adults had a great time participating in.

Auction during movie night

The teachers were able to help out even more so by offering their services for a silent auction. Many offered themselves for picnic or pizza lunches that the winner and a friend could enjoy with them. A paper was hung up with their picture, name, and offering. Underneath was a clip board where guests could “bid.” It was an excellent way to earn additional funds while getting to know their students families better.

The PTA knew that food is a big part of the movie night experience. Concession stands were set up that mimicked ones found in the movie theaters. They sold all sorts of movie time snacks such as bags of popcorn and candy. Beverages such as Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and bottled water were also available. Each item was sold for a dollar with proceeds benefiting the fund raiser. Outside there was a food truck selling pizza and a shaved ice cart located near plenty of benches for customers to sit on while enjoying their treats.

Movie Night Snacks

After lots of socializing, game playing, and eating, everyone gathered in front of the inflatable screen in the gymnasium for their main attraction. A family friendly movie that was appropriate for all ages was shown.

Photobooth during Movie Night at school

Once the movie night came to a conclusion, all agreed that it truly was a successful PTA fundraiser in every way. The community had fun organizing it and attending it, and best of all, they were able to raise a nice amount of money for their school.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC

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About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Creative Ways to Raise Money For Your Outdoor Movie Night

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Aug 28, 2013 Under Tips

Outdoor Movie - Atlanta If you are considering an outdoor movie event at your school this year, there will be some planning involved to make the event a success. You will, of course, need to choose an equipment provider, select a movie, pick a date and a location, and get the word out to students and parents about the event, but what about paying for your movie night? Coming up with the money to fund special events is always an issue for PTA and PTO groups. Here are some creative ideas to fund a special outdoor movie night at your elementary school.

1. Pre-sell Meals

A Friday night movie night at school can be a great bonding experience for students and their families, but busy schedules can make it difficult for some families to attend. Parents coming home from work, turning around and coming right back out to the school for the movie event will not have time to make dinner. Offering pizza or hot dog packages is a great way to encourage more families to attend and to raise money for event production costs.

2. Silent Auctions

A silent auction, featuring items donated by local businesses, is a fun way to involve the community in your event and raise money. Many local business will be happy to support the school and will welcome the advertising opportunity. The silent auction table also offers something for parents to do before the movie begins.

3. On-Screen Sponsor Ads

You can also offer local businesses the opportunity to purchase on-screen advertisement space. Before the movie starts, show ads of the participating businesses, just like in the movie theater. Family-friendly restaurants, children and family activity centers, and local stores where parents and families might shop are good choices when it comes to selecting businesses for on-screen advertisements.

Family events are important for creating a positive school atmosphere. Young children like bringing their parents to school, showing them around and introducing them to their friends. Putting on special events takes money, though, and it can sometimes be difficult to raise the money needed to cover the costs of extra school events. These creative ideas for covering outdoor movie event production costs are a good place to start. Raising money in ways that can also increase convenience for families, like selling meals for the event, is a win-win. Use these ideas as a starting point and take your school’s families and culture into consideration as you decide what will work best at your school.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC

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About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema takes the stress and guess work out of hosting a movie theater-quality event outdoors and under the stars. Southern Outdoor Cinema doesn’t just rent movie screen equipment, but instead we share nearly a decade of movie event production experience with our clients to help them produce outdoor movie nights that are extraordinary. For a free consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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Outdoor Movie Fundraising: How To NOT Lose Sponsors in One Day

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Jun 20, 2013 Under Tips

Outdoor Movie Sponsor Details make or break an event, right? And movie event sponsors are the most important detail. They are the lifeblood of a great get-together or fundraiser such as an outdoor (or indoor!) movie event.

Don’t let an opportunity slip away to make your movie event sponsors happy.

Don’t allow a less than professional outdoor movie rental company put a bad taste in your sponsors’ mouths.

These sponsors helped make your movie event possible, and they deserve to be in the spotlight. Plus, you want to retain them for future events!

Here’s how to please your outdoor movie event advertisers just as if they bought (much pricier) ad packages from a traditional movie theater.

1) Make sure the ads look professional on screen: Sharp, eye-catching sponsor ads is one of the keys to pulling off a high-quality movie event.

Skewed, stretched or unreadable ads? Well, they make advertisers flinch and put away their check books next time.

Eek.

Just imagining a messed-up ad (and the looks on the faces of attending sponsors) makes you squirm a bit, right?

This isn’t a marketing project to face alone. We have you covered. We have a professional graphic artist on our staff to prepare sponsor ads and ensure they are shown on-screen in a proper and professional way.

The sponsors will also be delighted at how well their ads look on our theatrical-grade, elegant outdoor screen. Going pro means going big for your event, right?

2) Give your sponsors premium screen time: Your goal is to make those sponsor dollars valuable. To give your event sponsors the best bang for their buck, make sure the ads are shown well in advance of the movie.

Many outdoor movie rental providers don’t have projectors powerful enough to show sponsor ads for longer than three minutes.

Yep, just three minutes.

Why so little time? Their low-powered projectors can only be used in the dark, which is usually 40 to 60 minutes after the sun sets.

This means that depending on the number of ads shown, attendees may only get one opportunity to see the ads.

That’s it.

Our bright, outdoor projection screen can display advertisements for 20 minutes before the movie starts, while there is still ambient light.

Your movie attendees can see your sponsor messages multiple times while milling about and settling in for the flick.
This means more time for ads to be seen, and your movie can start right at sundown! (Great for families who need to get the kids to bed.)

Why do we help you so much with marketing efforts? Because we want you to enjoy the day of the outdoor movie event too! We don’t just stop by the day of, rustle up a screen and take off. We work with you during the entire event planning process before you even start publicizing.

Pleasing your advertisers is just as important as pleasing your attendees. Make sure you can put on more fun movie events by following these tips!

What other suggestions would you give event planners for increasing sponsor satisfaction for an outdoor movie event. Talk to us in the comments!

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Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound”

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About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema takes the stress and guess work out of hosting a movie theater-quality event outdoors and under the stars. Southern Outdoor Cinema doesn’t just rent movie screen equipment, but instead we share nearly a decade of movie event production experience with our clients to help them produce outdoor movie nights that are extraordinary. For a free consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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