Checklist Open-Air Screening

At a maximum distance of 50m from the screening location, the following should be available:

  • a power connection: CEEform 400V / 32A / 3-phase neutral and earth, fused at a minimum of 25A
  • or a generator: minimum 15kVA, stabilised and attenuated, with a 32A CEEform connection.

Location requirements
1. Big screen (14.7 x 7.1 m):
The location must be accessible to a truck of 11.2 m long, 2.55 m wide and 3.9 m high, weighing 19 tons with an axle loading of 11.5 tons. The location should be at least 50 x 30 m, clear of trees, lampposts, traffic signs, and other obstacles that obstruct sight lines. A flat area of 15 x 20 m is required for erecting the screen. During the screening, the truck remains behind the screen. A typical arrangement can be seen here:


Screening with truck at the marketplace in Middelburg

2. Small screen (8.8 x 5 m Widescreen, or 10 x 4.2 m Cinemascope):
For locations that are smaller or not accessible to the truck, we use a smaller unit and screen, in which case the location should be accessible to a big van. The location’s dimensions should be 20 x 40 m minimum, clear of trees, lampposts, traffic signs, and other obstacles that obstruct sight lines. A flat area of 10 x 12 m is required for erecting the screen.

Oldenzaal, 2007

Screening with van in Oldenzaal

Ballast or ground spikes
The screen will need to be supported with guy ropes, which involves the use of steel ground spikes 75 cm deep. If this is not permitted, ballast blocks or water tanks may be used, which might entail extra costs.

For an open-air event in a public area, a license is generally required—check with your local authority. Openluchtbioscoop can help you provide details, such as the sound level in decibels. If food or drinks are to be sold at the screening location, an additional license is probably required.

Starting time
Films must be viewed in darkness, so open-air screenings begin some time after sunset. Consult the sunset calendar to determine the best starting time for your screening.

Setting up and breaking down
For an average location that involves no special complications, setting up the projector, screen, and sound system takes about four hours; and the breaking down two hours. Our team usually arrives at the location at about 4pm, but if the setup needs to be done earlier, extra costs are incurred.

Weather and wind
Be advised that a screening might have to be cancelled if the weather conditions create danger for the public and the equipment. Fifty to one hundred square metres of screen can catch a considerable amount of wind (see Beaufort scale). In case of adverse weather conditions, Openluchtbioscoop will consult to decide whether or not it is safe to hold the screening.


Additional tips

Openluchtbioscoop can give you programming advice if desired. There’s a wide choice of available films, but the options aren’t infinite. For example, newer titles that are still being screened in the cinemas are usually not available. The availability of older films depends on multiple factors. We’d like to recommend you start by consulting the list of suggested films.

Screening a popular film that has already been broadcast several times might not attract an audience. Let’s work together to create an engaging programme.

You’ll need exposure online and in the press to ensure the public knows about your event in advance. Be sure to advertise also on the upcoming site itself to attract passing business.

Immediately the screen is erected, the sound system can be used for playing background music. A public-address microphone is also available.