R egardless of how immersed you are in the world of the movie you view, comfy seating is important for the experience to be pleasant and keep you focused on the action. And let’s face it, since most movies have a lengthy runtime of 2-3 hours, it would be torture to sit on an uncomfortable surface or in an awkward position.
With outdoor movie night, the matter of seating is all the more important compared to viewing a movie inside. Indoors, you would likely sit on the couch and rest your bones properly throughout the film. On the other hand, outside, you need seating space that tailors to the experience at hand, and you likely lack it momentarily.
In the following, I will leave you with some ingenious ideas for outdoor movie night seating fit for all budgets. As an extra, I will share some of the movies I consider worth viewing on this special night depending on the type of seating you pick to help make your experience as pleasant as possible.
Poufs and ottomans are usually used indoors to prop the feel while relaxing on the couch. However, as you already know, they make for perfect extra seating solutions. Get them outside and arrange these space-saving, comfortable seating solutions in front of the projection screen, and you won’t feel the time fly while watching your movie pick of the day. For a viewing experience tailored to remind you of the Great Ottoman Empire, a 144-inch outdoor movie screen is your go-to. The larger the screen is, the better since you will feel like you’re at the cinema, all without leaving your cozy backyard setup. Plus, the contrast between the small seats and the large screen is quite eye-catching.
Movie suggestions while sitting on an ottoman: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Depending on their size, bean bags cost from $50 to $600, larger models being on the expensive end. Fun and incredibly comfortable, these seating solutions are popular for outdoor movie nights thanks to how they cuddle the body when you sink in them. What makes bean bags all the more appealing is that you can customize the back support by repositioning yourself to make sure your viewing experience is flawless from beginning to end.
Movie suggestions while sitting on a bean bag: Grease (1978), Hairspray (2007)
If you’re serious about comfort, you should invest in some outdoor furniture, namely a sofa and armchairs. These are worthwhile acquisitions if you plan on throwing outdoor movie nights often. Moreover, they come in handy even when it’s warm outside and you want to sit and relax with friends or family, chatting in a cozy setup that reminds you of the living room. The extra perk is that you breathe in the fresh air instead of staying cooped up in the house.
Movie suggestions while sitting on an outdoor sofa: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Cinema Paradiso (1988)
The closest feel you will have to sitting in the cinema is granted by the classic lawn chair. If you want to make an event out of movie night and invite a lot of friends and family members over, it’s a space-saving solution that will surely please everyone. To make sure that no one will find the sitting surface hard on their glutes, just put some pillows on the chairs.
Movie suggestions while sitting on a lawn chair: Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Another Round (2020)
Sit back, relax, extend your feet, and watch a movie on a recliner. Sound good, right? Add to this combination the fact that you’re sitting under the stars, and you have a memorable experience on your hands. Recliners offer great back support and keep your body in a cozy position, which makes them perfect for long movies.
Movie suggestions while sitting on a recliner: Forrest Gump (1994), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Do you like rustic décors? Then an ingenious, money-saving solution for seating is to use hay bales. You can arrange them as you like, maybe even improvise a couch like in the picture above. The surface provides support without feeling rough, so comfort is guaranteed. Just make sure that you cover the bales with blankets to avoid leaving movie night with straws in your pants.
Movie suggestions while sitting on a hay bale: Murphy’s Romance (1985), The Mudge Boy (2003)
This is the simplest seating solution, and the most popular. Take out your picnic blankets and put them directly on the grass. This will protect your clothes from staining and have you laying comfortably to watch the movie pick of the night. Of course, you can even make an actual picnic out of the experience if you prepare a few sandwiches and get some snacks to munch on while sitting on the blanket.
Movie suggestions while sitting on a picnic blanket: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Jumanji (1995)
Get creative and use old cardboard boxes to make some fun seating arrangements for the kids. With some crepe paper, duct tape, and paper plates, you can make cardboard cars that the small ones will sit in during the movie screening. This adds to the excitement of movie night for kids, especially if you pick an appropriately-themed movie like Cars that children enjoy.
Movie suggestions while sitting in a cardboard box: Toy Story (1995), Cars (2006)
These inflatables don’t cost much, and you can buy them in various sizes, like all mattresses. You can even inflate the mattress to varying degrees and pick the firmness level of the surface you sit on by doing so. You will sit on a bed while watching the movie, so I especially recommend this seating option for couples who want to cuddle up and see a romantic flick to strengthen their bond.
Movie suggestions while sitting on an air mattress: Dirty Dancing (1987), Me Before You (2016)
If you already have one, all that you need are a few pillows to cover the bottom of the inflatable, and a few of them on the sides for back support. Don’t have one? Don’t worry! An inflatable pool can cost from $10 to $150, so the investment isn’t considerable. Seeing how you can use it to relax in the pool and catch some sun rays to tan, it’s a multipurpose item that you won’t regret buying.
Movie suggestions while sitting in an inflatable pool: Cast Away (2000), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
While it’s impossible to host a movie night without a movie screen and a projector, the seating area is almost as important for the experience as a whole. Pick any of the seating ideas suggested here and you are guaranteed to sit comfortably throughout the entire runtime of the movie, enjoying the event to the fullest. All that is left is to finish the setup, choose a movie (the suggestions I provided previously should have you covered for a while), and have a blast with friends and loved ones.