What You'll Need:

  • Laptop or DVD player
  • Projector
  • Your favorite movie!
  • Projector Screen or large wall that functions as a backdrop
  • Speakers
  • Table or platform to sit it on
  • Pool Floats or other comfortable seating

Putting it all together:

First things first, you'll need a flat surface to project your movie onto. A large, neutral stucco wall will do just fine if you don't have a projector screen. Another convenient solution is to hang and secure a white sheet so it appears flat and doesn't flap around in the wind. Make sure that your screen is high enough for your guests to be able to see it without obstruction.

Next, of course, you'll need a projector. Luckily, quality projectors have come down in price significantly in recent years. Depending on your technical preferences, you can now find a high-performing projector for under $100. If you are buying a projector for the first time, you will want to make sure you have the right cables to link up with your laptop or DVD player. Usually this is HDMI, RCA, or VGA.

You'll want to make sure you have a safe place to set your projector. It should be somewhere that won't obstruct your view from your seat, whether that be a pool float or a lounge chair. You could use a table or a dry place on the ground if it's far enough away from the pool. If you do, adjust your “keystone correction” or framing, to have the image project proportionately.

High-Performing Projector Screen | Pool Movie Theater

Most laptop speakers won't be nearly loud enough, so you will want to attach external speakers. A set of computer speakers from a desktop computer should work. Portable speakers are another possible solution that's trending lately. They are relatively inexpensive and if you are only going to use them once, they make a great gift. For a little more, you can get a Bluetooth sound bar to place beneath your screen for ultimate convenience and good sound quality.

Tip #1:

You can use a projector calculator (also available as an app for iOS and Android) to determine the correct distance for your projector and audience.

Front Row Floats

Complete the aquatic cinema with floats that swimmers can lounge on while taking in the movie magic. The size and ages of your audience will help determine your "seating" options. In-pool loungers or pool floats with a comfortable backrest are the best option, but rafts and even pool noodles are all good choices for in-water viewing. Make sure young children are never left unattended and are wearing approved flotation devices, Move chairs, sofas and benches surrounding the pool to face the screen for "landlubbers" and those who like to move in and out of the water. Blankets and towels should be in ease of reach in case it cools off after dark.

Tip #2:

Tie a rope across your pool for your guests to steady themselves if their floats begin to drift.


The movie experience is never complete without popcorn, candy, and soft drinks – or even hot dogs if you have a hungry crew. And, of course, you'll want a refreshment stand located near your outdoor kitchen. Try bags of buttered popcorn and a cooler full of old-fashioned soda bottles for a nostalgic twist to complement the old-fashioned feel of your dive-in movie.

Ideas for refreshments:

  • Popcorn in waterproof plastic buckets
  • Popsicles
  • A poolside, movie themed candy: chocolate coins for Pirates of the Caribbean or Swedish Fish for Finding Nemo.
  • Water or soda in plastic bottles served in a floating cooler

Tip #3:

We recommend using floats with drink holders for maximum convenience and comfort. Floating coolers are inexpensive and can be passed between your guests so that they never have to leave the pool!

Check out our list of movies that help you drift into a fun movie night:

Adventure / Action
  • Space Jam
  • Avengers
  • Black Panther
  • Avatar
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Star Wars: Last Jedi
  • Inception
  • Clueless
  • Hidden Figures
  • The Greatest Showman
  • West Side Story
  • Karate Kid
  • The Blind Side
  • Grown Ups
  • Pitch Perfect
  • Men In Black
  • Jumanji
  • The Proposal
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
Thriller/ Horror
  • Jaws
  • Scream
  • Clue
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Halloween
  • A Quiet Place
Animated Movies
  • Shrek
  • Aladdin
  • Madagascar
  • Coco
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Big Hero 6
  • Jurassic Park
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Ghostbusters
  • Beetlejuice
  • The Princess Bride
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Remember the Titans
  • Akeelah and the Bee
  • Wonder
  • Harry Potter
  • Forrest Gump
  • Crazy Rich Asians
Your Swimmingpool.com

Staycation-in-Style Team