Outdoor Theater With a Twist of Drive-In Era Nostalgia a Work of DIY Mastery

Kevin Van decided that he wanted to build himself an outdoor theater (he had already built one in his bedroom and another in his basement), however, he went a little further than the inflatable Walmart screen and he built much of it himself. He also added a sweet nostalgic twist to the whole project, of which many are certain to approve. He restored some vintage drive-in speakers and added concession stands to his theater space.

Want to learn more? Read on.

Kevin purchased nine drive in speakers over eBay for the grand price of $110. He restored them and polished them on a buffer wheel. The results, which you can see above, speak for themselves. The speakers provide the sound for his 5.1 channel theater sound system. He used two for stereo sound in the pool area.

The .1 of the sound system comes courtesy of a sub-woofer that Kevin built himself. In a move which is almost certain to upset the neighbors, he built two 12-inch subs powered by an 1,100W amp into a bench.

The 16:9 screen is retractable, one side features a crank which was created from a PVC toilet flange. A rope and pulley system guided by three removable poles lift the screen into place. It only takes one person to set up, but it takes two to pull it down.

All of Kevin’s equipment is housed in his house. He claims to have tuned the sound finely enough that he can play it without disturbing the neighbors, but if you ask me, that eliminates half the fun.

The finishing touch for the outdoor drive-in style theater is the concession equipment, which sits in his screened porch. There is a commercial popcorn popper, a hot dog steamer, a nacho chip and cheese warmer and, most importantly, a chili warmer. You would probably want a whole bunch of friends for this set up, but your own drive-in will probably get you those.

The end result is an awesome outdoor setup, of which most of us can only dream. It is also something that regular folks with some decent DIY skills could possibly manage on a modest budget.

Price: Unknown [Electronic House]


About the author: C. S. Magor


C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and reporter at large for Uberreview and We Interrupt. He currently resides in a sleepy basin town in the Japanese countryside - where both his bank balance and the lack of space in his home are testament to his addiction to all things shiny.

Follow @csmagor on Twitter

Website: http://www.uberreview.com


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  • http://www.myspace.com/mickscasablanca Mick

    Hello! I too have built a smaller out door drive in, I think you might like to see it! Iv just started to add speaker post. Email me and I will send you some pictures!



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