Drive-in theaters became famous in the 1950s but the present community gathering spots gave way to suburban movie multiplexes and, later on, the comfort of home theaters became more pleasing.
Ironically, the same equipment that fuels home theaters can bring back the outdoor cinema experience. We were surprised to know that the setup can be simple if you just have enough money in your bank.
Hook up the portable theater inside a 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan using projector 1280 x 720-pixel Panasonic PT-AX100, which is worth $2999. Providing the video was a Sony DVP-FX810 portable DVD player worth $200 with a composite video output, a 6-hour battery, and an 8-in. swiveling screen. It paled in comparison to the recommended maximum 200-inches screen of the Panasonic projector.
For power, use a Husky 750-watt inverter, which costs $80. Finally, hook up a C. Crane Digital FM Transmitter (worth $70) to the audio output of the DVD player. This is to broadcast the movie soundtrack to the radios of other nearby cars.
As for the screen, any white wall will do. Meanwhile, a large white bed sheet or white cloth allows you to create a screen immediately if there’s no available whitewall in your area. Remember that where and how you place your projector has a lot to do with the layout of your vehicle. The Sienna has a deep and level dashboard, so the Panasonic projector fit nicely, but this is not the case with every car. It would be a lot easier to position the projector on the roof.
After all the procedure, it’s simply a matter of backing your vehicle up until the size of your movie image suits the projector and the space afforded by your screen. Our Panasonic is capable of throwing a 200-in. picture, but our screen was only big enough to fit a 97-in. image cast from about 12 ft. away. The image exceeded our expectations! There you go.