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Everything You Need for a DIY Backyard Horror Drive-In

Get your scares in the old-fashioned way.

diy backyard horror drive-in
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  • Photo Credit: Simon Berger/Unsplash

Summer nights are meant to never end. The long days carry into the hot nights, and no one wants to go back inside. I remember those nights my parents would pack up the camping chairs, some blankets, and a trunk full of snacks and we’d head to the drive-in. Buttery popcorn drifted on the breeze, the screen loomed above us, and the echo of speakers mingled with laughter and idle conversation. And when the monster came on screen, we all screamed as one.

It’s harder to find drive-ins now, but that doesn’t mean they have to disappear. You can create the experience right in your own backyard. Whether you have everything you need in your home, or you want to build the perfect horror movie outdoor theater, we at The Lineup have you covered. Here’s everything you need—and a few things you want—to create a DIY backyard horror drive-in. Complete with essential horror movie recommendations!

WiFi projector with screen

Essential viewing: Halloween

wifi projector

First things first, you need to project your movie. How can Michael Myers stalk through your backyard without one? And this TMY Projector comes with a foldable, anti-wrinkle 100” portable screen. With 12,000 lumens, built-in speakers, an interior cooling system, and 5G wifi, this projector will bring all your favorite horror movies to brilliant HD life. 

Inflatable blow up chair with LED

Essential viewing:  Lights Out

LED chairs

Sure, you can use lawn chairs, outdoor furniture, camping chairs, or beanbags. But these inflatable blow up chairs with changeable LED lights are perfect for setting the right ambiance. They’re comfy, easy to store, and the LED lights make it easy for your friends and family to move around without stepping on anyone. Plus, don’t we all know what happens when the lights go out?

Popcorn maker

Essential viewing: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

popcorn maker

Obviously popcorn is a must for any backyard drive-in. And what better popcorn maker than one that would fit in with the dark Victorian atmosphere of Bram Stoker’s Dracula? The vintage black paint, the large wheels on tall legs—it’s the perfect nostalgic piece to pair with any Penny Dreadful. There’s room for candy and other treats to satisfy all the goblins and ghouls. You can even take it off the stand and use it on your countertop.

Custom popcorn containers

Essential viewing: Scream

popcorn containers

To survive a horror movie drive-in, you have to know the rules. These personalized popcorn holders give you the option to design your own, or simply make sure everyone knows the horror movie survival rules. Every order is handmade and there are plenty of sizes and designs to choose from. But beware! They won’t keep anyone from screaming.

Blood bags

Essential viewing: 30 Days of Night

blood bags

Creating your own backyard drive-in is all about the details. Anyone can serve drinks in a cup, but why not embrace your inner ghoul with these blood bags instead? Each one can be customized with the drink of your choice. Stick them in an ice bucket with matching LED lights in the ice for added creepiness. Aliens, zombies, vampires, OH MY! Your guests will never forget slurping the blood of their favorite monsters.

Spooky, reusable cups

Essential viewing: IT

horror cups

With all the popcorn and screaming, you’re going to need hydration. But the last thing you want is broken glass in a dark backyard. These plastic, reusable cups are fantastic for all of your family and friends who don’t want to drink from a blood bag. And the best part? You won’t have to worry about spilled blood floating down the drain, no matter how scary Pennywise is.

Zombie popsicles

Essential viewing: Night of the Living Dead

zombie popscicles

Take your movie night from cool to downright chilly. We all know zombies eventually decompose, so you might as well make a tasty treat out of their melting bodies. These dishwasher safe, BPA-free silicone molds create a variety of zombie bodies, complete with a skeleton spine inside. 

Ouija board snack tray

Essential viewing: Ouija

ouija snack tray

Who hasn’t played with a Ouija board on a hot summer night? Might as well serve snacks on one, too. It’s not like anything can go wrong, right? With six gorgeous designs to choose from, these waterproof trays are perfect to include on a table spread or put on the ground to keep snacks and drinks within easy reach without worrying about spills.

Custom horror movie blanket

Essential viewing: A Nightmare on Elm Street

horror blanket

No matter how hot the day is, nights always cool down. Rather than having everyone fight over the good blanket, you can customize a blanket for everyone. With snuggly fleece on one side and cozy sherpa material on the other, these blankets will keep everyone warm while Freddy Kreuger sends chills down your spine.

Terrifying pillows

Essential viewing: Friday the 13th

horror pillows

When Jason is slashing through your backyard, sometimes you need something to hold onto. This four-pack of horror themed pillows are the perfect drive-in addition. Whether you want to snuggle them during the quiet moments or squeeze them during the jump-scares, they’re guaranteed to make your drive-in cozy and comfortable.

Bloody globe lights

Essential viewing: Saw

bloody globe lights

Light the way to snacks or bathrooms without killing the mood. These Edison bulb string lights drip with blood and burn red when lit up. They aren’t bright enough to eliminate the shadows, but will give just enough light to lead to safety—we hope. Just be careful if someone asks if you want to play a game.

Matching skeleton onesies for the whole family 

Essential viewing: Army of Darkness 

skeleton onesies

The best part of having a drive-in in your backyard is being able to wear your jammies to the movies. These cotton/polyester matching pajamas are soft and lightweight, so they won’t get too hot. They come in multiple sizes ranging from infant to adult, and have skeletons printed on both the front and the back. Stay snug and warm while embracing your inner deadite.

Featured image: Simon Berger/Unsplash