Not enough room in your house for a home theatre? Miss going to the drive-in? Well you are in luck - Open Air Cinema (Orem, UT; www.openaircinema.us) has announced a convenient new way to enjoy the movies under the stars with a completely equipped outdoor theater system, called CineBox Home.
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The most novel part of the kit is the new patent-pending 10-foot or 12-foot inflatable movie screen. It comes not only with a blower to keep in inflated, but a customized muffler to keep the sound level from distracting from the audio. It already takes a lot more audio power to get a good sound level outdoors, mostly because there are no walls to reflect the sound. However, too much sound level and you have the neighbors or the police to contend with. The best bet is to invite them over as well for the viewing event- an old trick I learned decades ago as a bash-throwing bachelor in old Palo Alto. If they didn’t come, at least they knew what all the noise is about. Now you can turn up the sound to overcome the noise of the muffled blower trying to keep the screen inflated, the noise of nearby traffic, the wind, or even the crowd.
Let’s face it, with the cost of gasoline and the weak economy, many families are looking for alternatives to vacations, sometimes called "staycation." If you invite the neighborhood, you could be popular, indeed. Then, no one needs to go anywhere.
The screen material, itself, comes from multiple manufacturers, according to Open Air Cinema developer Sean Rainer, who said they "scoured the globe" for candidate materials, evaluating dozens of them. They are currently evaluating "custom fabrics from different mills all over the globe," he said. The company is also "very excited about 3D projection," according to Rainer. They will be looking at migrating to 3D materials as the price of 3D projection comes down.
Open Air Systems says the CineBox home is "easier to set up than a pup tent." When deflated, the 10-foot movie screen weighs about eight pounds and fits inside a duffle bag, which you could even take on vacation. Cool.
The company says the screen inflates in 30 seconds and the rest of the set-up is a snap. The screen can be illuminated from either the front or the rear.
The basic kit includes every you need to show movies in your backyard:
· 10-foot or 12-foot inflatable movie screen
· Blower fan with muffler to keep screen constantly inflated
· Projector: Sanyo PDG-DSU21, 2300-lumen SVGA projector (for 9′ x 5′ screen), Sanyo PLC-XU75, 2500-lumen XGA projector (for 12′ x 7′ screen)
· DVD player: Samsung F1080 progressive scan
· Powered speakers: 150W (9′x 5′), 300W (12′ x 7′)
· Sound mixer: 4 inputs for DVD, iPod, microphone, CD player, etc.
· "Goose Neck" LED light (for set up in the dark)
· All necessary cables
· Carrying case
Besides the home-sized screens, Open Air Cinema also makes much larger inflatable screens in different size up to 40 feet wide, which you can rent or buy. These Elite Series screens are designed for outdoor film festivals and public screenings. But for public viewing you need a license from the movie studio, and the company will even help you acquire the needed rights. In general, if a movie is out on DVD, public viewing rights can be obtained, the company said.
But for private viewing, The CineBox Home kit is available now through Amazon.com starting at $1,499. However, you can get the 10-foot screen only for $400, so if you already have your favorite projector and sound system, that may the way to go. You can even rent the system from the company’s website. Just rent a popcorn cart to complete the scene, and you’ll be the hit of the neighborhood.