Why It’s Important to Start an Outdoor Movie Before Dark

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Aug 7, 2013 Under Tips

SOC-Outdoor-Movie-Before-dark Enjoying a free outdoor movie is a great end to a full day of summer activities. Since we’ve been at this for a long time, we show our movies around dusk, which is up to 60 minutes earlier than other companies.

Why?

There’s just enough ambient light to get settled with snacks and not trip over anyone. The surrounding environment is still visible enough to be enjoyed.

Plus, the movie is done earlier so you and your family can get to bed in time to sleep off an awesome day at the movies. After all, summer days are long! On the East Coast, you may not see sunset until nearly 9 p.m.!

Do you really want to wait that long to start an outdoor movie?

Yeah, we didn’t think so.

We try to think of every little detail to create a fabulous outdoor movie experience. Have you ever thought of the following reasons why an early start time is best?

A Better Bang For Your Buck

If you’re planning the event, an early start time means more time for sponsor ads to be shown! We get set up right away so that advertisers can have a good 20 minutes of screen time, ensuring they are getting the most value out of working with you.

Volunteers who are helping with concessions or other activities aren’t up too late and can get some much deserved rest! This may also save you money on venue and labor costs. You won’t have to pay any one overtime for having a late night event.

Did you realize that outdoor movie providers who have a late start time may be using inexpensive equipment?

Think about it! If their equipment can’t achieve a crisp, colorful image before it’s fully dark, you may be using an unprofessional provider. Remember to wow moviegoers with the best audiovisual equipment available.

These same results can be achieved when you are showing a movie indoors as well.

An Experience That’s Bigger than the Movie

If you’re attending the event, it can be tough to not get bored (in the dark, no less) when you’re waiting an hour or two before the movie starts.

We’ve all been to events like that. The kids are running around, because all of the toys and games you’ve brought no longer capture their attention.

It seems to be getting hotter and hotter as time passes so, so slowly. Nobody wants a summer outing to end on a sour note like that. We want attendees to be entertained as much as you do!

Ever have the little ones (or you) fall asleep during the movie and miss it? Even if it’s a movie we’ve seen before, the experience is lost when you doze off.

We know the cutest summer photos are of the little ones tuckered out after a great event. But we want that to happen after the movie is over!

Check it out: You’ll find even more tips on why outdoor movie start times are important on our blog.

 

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

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Avoid A Four-Legged Fiasco & Other Movie Event Flubs

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Jul 24, 2013 Under Event Productions, Tips

Pets at outdoor movie events Don’t let Fido and friends cause an outdoor movie fiasco.

Forgetting the details can cause a big problem for movie events, particularly when they are held outdoors.

Learn from the cautionary tale of the Fulton River Park movie series in Chicago. Dog feces has become such a problem at the park, not only were movie attendees offended, so were the event sponsors. In fact, one of them pulled their advertising and the movie series had to be cut back.

Leash law enforcement at this park has been lax, and it is turning people away from the park. This in turn means lack of funding for the movie series’ event planners. It’s the worst possible scenario for a problem that may have been avoided.

Heed the following do’s and don’ts about the details in your movie event planning.

Before Booking the Venue

Do some research! Check for reviews, news stories (like the unfortunate one in Chicago), anything you can find. If the particular venue or its owners have been investigated before or have been the defendants in a lawsuit, these are red flags.

Don’t forget about safety. What is the crime rate like near these venues? Most newspapers and local law enforcement agencies provide a report of crimes happening in the area. Consider alternative venues if anything seems suspicious.

Do ask around. Contact the planners of other events at the venue and ask about their experiences. Some venues may offer references before booking.

After Booking the Venue

Don’t skim over the fine print. Reading the contract terms, rules and regulations (such as leash laws!) several times is another important factor before the movie event begins. Do not miss a single detail and ask as many questions as possible.  Write down any questions or concerns and make notes as they are addressed.

Do remember to keep everyone abreast of the details. If vendors or advertisers involved, go over your findings with them or have representatives do a walkthrough (more on that later). If Southern Outdoor Cinema has used the venue before, we would be happy to give you tips on what to expect.

Do a site visit and a run-through of the event. Depending on the movie event, more than one walkthrough may be required. Check to see if the area is well lit, and there is nothing obstructing the view. The Fulton River Park movie series folks had to move trees so folks could see the movie. This is something that can be avoided if planned in advance.

Before the Event

Don’t forget to check the weather. It’s not just about checking for rain! Make sure the temperature and humidity will be comfortable for guests. If it’s going to be a scorcher, make plans to provide refreshments such as bottled water or a sno-cone machine.

Do provide back-up plans well in advance of the event. Utilize social media and on-site volunteers to make sure everything goes smoothly.

After the Event

Do leave the area better than you found it. That’s a mantra for any situation involving the clean-up process. This will please your guests, those in charge of the venue and your sponsors.

Do not forget to include everyone in future planning. The Fulton River Park folks may have benefited from polling their guests and sponsors every year after the event. If dog feces was a recurring problem, changes could have been made, and they would still have their movie series intact.

What are some other details to remember when planning an outdoor movie event? Let us know in the comments.

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

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5 Reasons to Host A Movie Event at Camp

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday May 15, 2013 Under Tips

outdoor movie camping Swimming, bunking with new friends, enjoying the great outdoors. These are the kinds of things we associate with camp. We’d like to introduce a new tradition: big, beautifully projected, outdoor movies.

It may seem like an unusual combination at first glance. Isn’t camping about getting away from it all, including technology?

But we enjoy being a little bold in that arena. Melding awesome activities with great movies is what we do. We’re good at it, we really love it and, of course, our clients love it too.

Here are the top five reasons why it’s a seriously fun idea to have an outdoor movie event at camp:

1) A “camp-in”, as we like to call it, gives kids a taste of the creature comforts they miss from home. We understand putting a hiatus on cell phones, computer games and other devices that keeps us glued to screens and away from each other and the outdoors. But showing a movie is a great way to incorporate both.

Are your campers sleeping in tents? Here’s a chance to show a big-screen movie as the last activity before vittles or bedtime.

Will you be having camp during the ultra-hot summer months where the kids are dying to be inside? Have an indoor movie event inside a large facility to beat the summer heat! The kids will have a movie theater experience at camp, which would be a blast for them and camp planners.

We’ve even had clients have a camp-in on the beach! For cool nights, our clients have improvised to stay toasty by building small campfires in drums.

2) Having a big movie event at camp can serve as a reward for a long day of activities. Depending on the type of camp you are operating, it seems pretty likely your kids will be totally tuckered out. A movie on our theater-quality projection screens is just the thing to surprise your campers and give them an opportunity to relax.

3) What would make for a great close-of-camp experience than to show a great flick? Perhaps this could be the last activity the campers can enjoy before going home. Or maybe this is an event where you can invite the kids’ parents and other family members along.

Memorizing a farewell camp song or putting on an impromptu play for the grown-ups is fun, but treating them to a free movie is simply the ultimate thank-you.

4) If your movie ends up being a big event for more than just your campers, you can incorporate sponsors or have concessions open to raise money for the camp or alleviate the costs of screening. S’mores supplies for the campfire, hot dogs, popcorn, candy, cold beverages, you name it. These yummies can also be a reward to your campers!

5) Camp-ins are the ultimate opportunities to pull out classic camping flicks! Our favorite camp movies include: “The Parent Trap” (either version is awesome), “Camp Nowhere,” “Space Camp” and “Heavyweights.”

Having an outdoor (or indoor!) movie event at camp is ideal for local organizations, day camps, summer camps and neighborhood associations.

Did we forget any awesome camp movies? What would have been your favorite movie to watch when you went to camp? Talk to us on our Facebook page!

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Southern Outdoor Cinema
www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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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
www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

 

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Where to Hang an Event Poster

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 Under Tips

Event posters are one of the simplest and cheapest ways to promote your outdoor movie event, but it is important to choose the right places to hang your posters to attract the best turnout. Here are some tips for choosing the right locations to hang your outdoor movie event posters to effectively advertise your event.

Choose high traffic areas. When a large amount of people see the posters, you are more likely to have a good turnout. For a neighborhood event, like one put on by a homeowner’s association, hang posters in the community club house. For other organizations, choose high traffic areas like the main entrance or hallways. If your organization has a bulletin board, then be sure to prominently display a poster there.

If your outdoor movie event is open to the public you should advertise by hanging posters on public bulletin boards in places like county parks. Target your desired audience by partnering with local businesses that serve your desired audience. For a family friendly event, ask for permission to hang posters promoting your event at local daycare centers and pediatrician’s offices. If your event is geared more towards teens, then hang a poster at a local teen center, bowling alley or other popular teen hangout.

Be creative and choose a variety of places to advertise your outdoor movie event, but keep in mind that there are some places that are not appropriate for advertising. Never hang movie event posters on private property or fences, or leave them on cars.

Besides choosing the right places to hang your posters, you must also choose the best material for hanging them. Never use duct tape, since it can cause damage when it is removed; instead use painter’s or double sided tape to hang your posters. You do not want to damage any property when taking the posters down, especially if you hang posters at local businesses.

There are many ways to advertise an outdoor movie event, including utilizing new methods like social networking. The basic poster is still effective, though, and should be included in your outdoor movie event marketing strategy. Use these tips to make the most of your outdoor movie event posters by choosing the best locations to hang them.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema

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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 www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com or visit their online photo gallery at www.facebook.com/SouthernOutdoorCinema for event ideas.

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