Hosting Outdoor Movies in Portland
We’ve helped countless brands put together outdoor film screenings, and we’d love to help you with yours.

Bringing the Silver Screen to Your Outdoor Portland Event

For generations, Americans have looked to Hollywood to entertain us. Whether a drive-in theatre in the 1950’s, an IMAX theatre in the 1990’s, or a 3-D film in 2017, the theatre has long held a special place in American life. It’s a hot spot for first dates, a destination for family outings, and a refuge for rainy days. And for you, it’s a chance to treat ten or ten thousand of your closest friends to a night of cinematic storytelling. Outdoor movie screenings have become an ingrained piece of our society. Hosting one just requires initiative, outdoor movie equipment rentals, and a knockout venue. We’ve helped countless brands put together outdoor film screenings, and we’d love to help you with yours. You pick the summer night, we’ll gather the gear, and together we’ll give your Portland neighborhood, company, or family a night under—and with—the stars.

A Community Draw for Guests of All Ages

Film has a way of uniting generations. Grandparents, parents, and children alike visit the movies to journey through a common story. An outdoor movie screening is a fabulous opportunity to treat guests of all ages to shared entertainment that few other forms of musical entertainment, interactive games, or even food can provide. Adrenaline-pumping rides draw may excited crowds with ease, but older generations are often left out of the fun. Concerts are bound to thrill a select crowd of individuals who favor the genre at hand while disenfranchising others. And yes, even food comes with dietary restrictions and divergent preferences. But a film screening is all but guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love a warm summer night, a packed picnic, and an award-winning narrative?

The Surprisingly Cost Effective Hit for Huge Crowds

As event planners, one of our key event planning factors is the cost per head. When given an overall budget and a desired headcount, we work tirelessly to ensure that our cost per guest is within scope. Many event types, such as a plated dinner, have significant incremental costs for every added guest. Add a guest, add some cash. Not so with film screenings. Nearly 100% of the cost associated with an outdoor movie are fixed. Namely, the venue rental, screen and projector rental. Once your field, ballpark, or lawn is secured, adding attendees has little impact on your expenses. Entertaining a large crowd? An outdoor movie is as cost-effective an event as they come.

Securing Film Screening Rights

Presenting an award-winning film to a crowd of several thousand is quite different from hosting a movie night in your basement. Without a doubt, technological advancements may very well permit you to pop a RedBox into a DVD player, but copyright law does not. The good news? Our event producers know precisely the questions to ask, boxes to check, and organizations to contact to secure the rights for your screening. Namely, Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion USA. These two film licensing agencies act as agents for the major production companies, ensuring that the writers, actors, and directors profit appropriately from the enjoyment of their work. Not one for filling out paperwork? Our event producers can handle the red tape on your behalf.

Finding the Perfect Outdoor Screening Venue in Portland

Other than selecting which film to show, the biggest task before you is to find a venue for your showing. Think of it as renting a theatre, albeit an outdoor one. It needs to be big enough to permit a crowd, flat enough to leave views of the screen unobstructed, and far enough away from residences to permit noise after dark. There are a few different routes you can take. First, public spaces. Nearly all of Portland’s public parks allow private events by paid permit. The Portland Parks & Recreation department handles rental and permit requests everyday. Second, privately owned outdoor venues abound in our city. From the Laurelhurst Club to the aptly named Director Park, there is no shortage of spaces for rent that would make ideal screening grounds. For our event partners, venue identification and logistics come included with our services.

The Timeless Appeal of the Theatre

The history books tell us that the first public exhibition of motion pictures occurred in 1892. In the century since, flipbook-style demonstrations turned into silent Hollywood productions and silent films turned into “talkies.” Those rudimentary films have evolved into billion-dollar achievements in computer graphics and special effects. Today, CGI and real life are nearly indistinguishable. Animation once relegated to childish flicks is now used for films of all types. In cinema, the sky is truly the limit. Needless to say, the motion picture has come a long way. Tactics, capabilities, and narratives have changed drastically. But one thing has remained the same: the undying appeal of a well-told narrative enjoyed with friends remains.

Get the ball rolling.

It’s never too early to start planning. Tell us a little about your event, and we'll get in touch to discuss the details.

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