The 5 Best Inflatable Movie Screens: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

If you want to watch video on a screen much larger than about 80 inches, a 1080p screen is no longer going to cut it. You’re going to need a large, expensive 4K setup. And for outdoor viewing, like hosting your own backyard movie night, a projector screen is almost always going to be more practical than an LCD TV.

To help you set up as quickly and conveniently as possible, we’ve searched for the best inflatable movie screen on the market. At the end of the day, we came up with five choices that come in different sizes and with various features. Let’s take a closer look!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

1. LifeSmart Inflatable Outdoor Projector Movie Screen

LifeSmart Inflatable Outdoor Projector Movie Screen Portable Air Blown 16 ft Diagonal Package Huge Strong and Thick 600 DD Frame Built to Last
  • ► LARGE BLOW UP OUTDOOR MOVIE SCREEN Ideal for any outdoor party or get together, this projector screen can change the way you watch the game, your favorite films or catch up on your TV shows. You'll get 10 bonus plastic popcorn buckets as a bonus to enjoy your media to the fullest
  • ► COMPATIBLE WITH ANY PROJECTOR AND SPEAKERS This screen is able to work with any projector style and size and will give you a top notch theater experience
  • ► LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE Weighing only 18 pounds, this screen can easily be deflated and packed in the included carry case.It can then be moved from one location to the next or stored away in the included when not in use
  • ► DURABLE AND LARGE Made from high quality rip-proof fabric, this screen is made to endure many uses. It measures 16 feet from corner to corner with the white screen measuring a comfortable 12 feet
  • ► FEATURES STAKES AND BLOWER Completing the kit is the blower that will inflate the screen as well as tent stakes to keep it in the ground

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The LifeSmart is a mid-sized projector screen with a viewing area that has a diagonal measurement of 12 feet. The complete unit has a 16-foot diagonal measurement, providing enough space for a beefy, 2-foot frame that provides plenty of support. Your ideal viewing distance will be 18 feet, providing a great range for viewing on large decks or in a small backyard.

The screen itself weighs only 18 pounds, so it’s easy to move around. And it ships with a sturdy PU leather case that has a fat metal zipper. Stowing it away is easy, and throwing it in your trunk is a breeze. Even with the blower and other accessories, the entire kit weighs in at 27 pounds, so it’s fairly easy to handle.

The black frame is thick and heavy, with stabilizing bracers in the back to provide extra support. The stitching is nice and heavy, so you can tell the LifeSmart is built to last. And we particularly appreciated the quality of the coating on the screen. It’s easy to wash, and it has very little glare.

This is a budget-priced projector set, so you’ll need to expect to make a few compromises. In this case, you’re looking at a blower that’s on the loud side for a mid-sized projector screen. And the stakes are made of plastic, so you can expect to need to replace them at some point down the road. It does come with a set of 10 popcorn buckets, which is a fun novelty addition.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Low-reflection screen
  • Waterproof design

Cons:

  • Relatively loud blower
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Open Air Cinema 16-Foot Outdoor Home Projector Screen

Open Air Cinema 16-feet Outdoor Home Projector Screen
  • Screen Size: 16' x 9' (4.9m x 2.7m). Aspect Ratio: Wide - 16:9. Audience Size: Grass: 250 / Chairs: 400 / Standing: 1000. Diagonal: 18.4' - 220" (5.6m)
  • Projection Surface: matte-white, wrinkle-free, self-tensioning, blackout backdrop. Air Vents: Tight zippered, easy access for rapid deflation. From ground: 3'2" (96.5cm)
  • Frame Dimension: 17.5' x 13' x 1.5' (5.3m x 3.9m x 46cm). Screen Weight: 25lbs (11.3kg). Blower: 1/2 HP. Shipping Weight: 42lbs (19kg). Inflate time: <20 seconds
  • Included Items: Durable Twist Stakes, Cinch Straps, Screen Storage Bag. Wind rating: 20mph (audiences generally leave by this point).
  • Includes: 10.5' x 8.3' inflatable movie screen frame; 123" diagonal, wide screen, matte white projection surface; Blackout backdrop (blocks light, improves contrast ratio); 8 cinch straps and clips; 4 twist-in stakes; 110v Air blower

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you’re looking for the largest inflatable projector screen that money can buy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that offers more real estate than the Open Air Cinema screen. The viewing area measures an impressive 18.4 feet on diagonal, with precise 16 x 9-foot measurements that correspond perfectly to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio.

The quality of the construction is a cut above most of the projectors on our list. With thick, oxford fabric construction, this screen is designed to stand up to years of abuse. The Open Air Cinema is sure to last you for years, enough to handle the abuse of any number of movie nights and backyard barbecues.

The quality of the accessories is also excellent. The blower will fill up the frame in only 20 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a wait at all. And even at that speed, it’s exceptionally quiet. Even if your movie has a lot of quiet moments, you won’t find yourself getting distracted by a noisy air blower.

That said, the Open Air Cinema is very expensive. This screen is for serious enthusiasts who intend on using it again and again. If you’re only hosting a single event, you might want to go a little bit cheaper.

On the other hand, this is a top-tier screen that offers everything you need. It includes sturdy metal stakes, as well as a carrying bag. At 42 pounds, the complete kit is a bit heavy, but it’s still relatively easy to carry.

Pros:

  • Very large
  • Quick, easy assembly
  • Rugged design and accessories
  • Whisper-quiet blower

Cons:

  • Expensive
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Elite Screens DIY Wall 2 Series

Elite Screens DIY PRO Series, 300-inch 16:9, Do-It-Yourself Indoor & Outdoor Projection Screen, Model: DIY300H1
  • 300-inch Diagonal, 16:9 Aspect Ratio. View Size: 147.0" H x 261.2" W. Overall Size: 150.2" H x 264.6" W.
  • DynaWhite, 1.1 Gain. PVC vinyl material designed for outdoor usage, 160 degree viewing angle, textured surface. Black masking borders enhance picture contrast and absorb light overshoot. Mildew resistant, and easy to clean with water.
  • Evenly-spaced grommets stretch the material for a flat-tensioned projection surface.
  • Conveniently installs to garage door frames, walls, trees, pole supports and other applicable structures. Rigging cords included.
  • 2-Year / 3-Year ENR-G, Manufactures Warranty by Elite Screens' an ISO9001 manufacturer since 2004 and Lifetime Tech Support by Email, Web Chat or Toll Free Phone Call by Elite's Professional Service Team.

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Elite Screens DIY Wall 2 Series isn’t technically an inflatable movie screen, but it’s so well-designed for outdoor use that we decided to include it anyway. It’s a wall-mounted screen that rolls up when it’s not in use, so it’s ideal if you want to set up your outdoor projector screen once and only once.

The screen measures 10 feet on a diagonal, so it’s a good choice for smaller spaces like decks and patios, where a larger viewing area might be excessive and uncomfortable. It has a quality, MaxWhite B finish that offers a brightness gain of exactly 1.0, which means it reflects your projector’s image exactly as it’s received. It also offers a 180-degree viewing angle, where other screens can get dark when you’re sitting at a wide-angle. This also makes the Wall 2 Series Active 3D ready, so they’re reasonably future-proof.

The kit includes all the hardware you’ll need for mounting your screen, which basically amounts to some screws and a pair of brackets. Be careful if you’re forced to install the screen on your siding. If at all possible, it’s a better idea to install it on a wood frame, where you won’t have to compromise your home’s integrity.

The Wall 2 Series is very reasonably priced and is the most affordable option on our list. That said, it has an obvious drawback: it needs to be affixed to your wall. This limits its portability.

Pros:

  • Wide, 180-degree viewing angle
  • Only needs to be set up once
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Must be affixed to your wall
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Gemmy Deluxe Airblown Movie Screen

Gemmy 39127-32 - Airblown - Movie Screen - 120"x70" Widescreen Deluxe w/Storage Bag - Blue
  • 123" X 70" Movie screen, 12' High by 11.5' Wide
  • 144" Screen measure diagonally, 16: 9 aspect ratio, raised screen for better viewing
  • Stakes, tethers, and storage bag included
  • Self inflates in seconds, Includes 2 Built in fans
  • Upgraded thick air blown fabric

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Gemmy Deluxe Airblown Movie Screen comes from one of the most prestigious manufacturers in the realm of plastics and inflatables. It has a big, beefy frame that keeps it from getting easily knocked over, as well as keeping it bottom-heavy for better performance in windy conditions.

Before we go any further, we should be clear. This is an inexpensive movie screen. While it performs very well when everything is working properly, we’ve seen some reports of quality control issues like missed stitches, missing buckles, and other basic errors. We recommend checking yours thoroughly and testing it on arrival. If there are any issues, you can take advantage of Gemmy’s two-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is among the best in the inflatable movie screen business.

The Gemmy is available in a few different sizes. While we reviewed the variant with the 12-foot diagonal, they also offer screens that measure 7.5, 14.25, 10.75, and 12.5 feet. The 10.75-foot version is a Disney tie-in and has a Mickey Mouse-themed design complete with big black mouse ears and a red base with gray buttons.

The weight of the entire kit is only 20 pounds, making the Gemmy one of the most easily portable inflatable movie screens that money can buy. It includes both metal and plastic stakes, and we highly recommend using the metal ones. The tie-downs also features easy-to-use, carabineer-style clips, which can be installed or removed in just a few seconds.

Pros:

  • Very sturdy frame
  • Lightweight design
  • Excellent warranty

Cons:

  • Poor quality control
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Tusy 14-Foot Inflatable Outdoor Movie Screen

Tusy 14 Feet Inflatable Outdoor and Indoor Mega Movie Projection Screen - Includes Inflation Fan,Tent Pile, and Full Package with Storage Bag
  • ★ Please choose authentic "TUSY Store". The seller "GOLDORO-US" sells Fake TUSY item, please don't trust. 14-FEET LARGE MOVIE SCREEN: The amazing huge screen measures 96"(W.) and 58"(H.), 16:9 Aspect Ratio. The white screen is made of high quality oxford cloth which can be removed for easy cleaning & safe storage
  • ★ DUARBLE FRAME: This mega inflatable movie screen kit includes inflatable frame, detachable screen, professional blower, stakes and ropes. The tie-downs design provides a flat and safe projection.
  • ★ EASY SET-UP: The mega inflatable movie screens is easy and convenient to set up in 2 minutes or less. Included is a user manual with a step by step guide for fast installation. Also included is the air blower, rope, tent, and inflatable stakes.
  • ★ EASY TO CARRY: This inflatable movie screen is lightweight 12lb only, comes with drawstring portable bag which is convenient to carry wherever you want. Travel friendly theater cinema for sports games, TV videos, camping, pool party, outdoor birthday and wedding parties.
  • ★ EASY CLEANING & STORAGE: Movie Screen can be easily removed for cleaning and safely stored in included drawstring storage bag. This portable projector screen is lightweight enough to take it with you in every relevant occasion for impressive projections.

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Tusy’s 14-Foot Inflatable Outdoor Movie Screen is actually poorly-named. It’s a 12-foot screen with a sturdy frame that gives it a total diagonal measurement of 14 feet. It comes in a kit that includes the standard air blower, rope, and a set of metal ground stakes, as well as a carrying bag.

The most attractive feature of the Tusy is the screen itself, which velcros into the frame. This makes it removable, and since it’s made of oxford fabric, you can actually wash it in the washing machine, which means it will be easy to clean when it inevitably collects some dirt or spills. However, you’ll need to be careful when you’re reattaching the screen. If you don’t get it lined up just right, to begin with, you can end up with some wrinkles when you’re finished.

The other thing that drew us to the Tusy is the fact that the entire kit weighs just over 12 pounds. This is virtually unheard-of, and it makes the Tusy very well-suited if you regularly take your projection equipment on the road. Speakers and a projector already weigh enough. A lightweight, portable screen can really lighten the load.

The blower for this screen is very powerful for the low price and will have the frame fully inflated in under a minute. That said, it’s inexpensive, and the motor is fairly loud. This makes the Tusy a poor choice if you’re hosting quieter events with a lot of cinemaphiles.

Pros:

  • Powerful blower
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Removable, washable screen

Cons:

  • Loud blower
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Inflatable Movie Screen Buying Guide

Now that we’ve presented our top choices, you may still have some concerns about which screen is going to be best for you. No worries. We’ve put together a convenient buying guide, so you can make a more educated choice between different options. Here are a few of the things you should be looking out for.

Ease of Assembly

Inflatable movie screens are supported on an inflatable frame, which typically is built similar to a bounce house. This makes the material very rugged compared to, say, an inflatable pool raft, but it requires the blower to be running in order to maintain rigidity. As a result, it’s really not feasible to leave your inflatable screen set up 24/7, so it’s important to find a screen that’s easy to set up and take down.

Whether or not any particular screen is easy to assemble is going to depend on your personal preferences. However, almost all of them have the same basic design. First, you use a set of stakes into the ground to secure the base, then you activate the pump to inflate them. After that, you’re ready to start watching your movie.

That said, there are significant differences between various types of stakes. For example, some are made to clip or hook onto the inflatable screen frame, while others need to be tied in. This isn’t necessarily harder once you get the hang of it, but if you’re inexperienced with knots you’re likely to have to learn a new one. The tautline hitch is the most commonly used knot for stakes and can be learned in just a few minutes.

Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the screen itself. We’ll talk more in a bit about the technical requirements for different sizes. For now, suffice it to say that the bigger the screen, the heavier it will be, and the harder it will be to set up.

Durability and Construction

Before we talk about durability, it’s important to set some expectations. An inflatable movie screen is designed to be stored indoors, not left outside as a permanent assembly. That said, it’s good to be able to leave one outdoors for a few days; for example, to set one up the night before a party and take it down the morning after.

So, what we’re looking for is a reasonable degree of UV resistance, as well as water-resistance. But primarily, you need a puncture-resistant frame. The last thing you want is for a guest to stumble into your frame, only to create a tiny pinhole that puts an early end to your show.

Inflating an object as large as a projector screen frame requires thick, durable material. We’re not talking about thin poly or balloon rubber. We’re talking of extra-thick rubber, or better yet thick oxford cloth. These materials are both water-resistant and easy to clean, so you can typically clean the screen easily with a cloth before each viewing.

One factor that many people overlook, however, is the durability of the stakes that come with the kit. Plastic stakes generally suffer from two weaknesses: they’re not as strong as metal, and they can degrade in the sunlight, so their performance gets worse over time. That said, metal ground anchors can be bought for a low price, so stake quality shouldn’t necessarily be a make or break part of your purchase decision.

Another important factor for many people is going to be price. This is an unavoidable aspect of any major purchase, but a movie screen comes with its own unique challenges.

For example, you may only be using this screen for a single event, such as a wedding. In that case, it might make the most sense to go with a cheaper screen. After all, why spend a small fortune on something that’s going to sit in your attic for the rest of your life?

On the other hand, if you’re hosting a regular backyard movie night, it’s worthwhile to spend a little bit more on a top-quality inflatable screen. A cheap screen might save you money in the short term, but it’s going to fail much more quickly, which will cause you more headaches down the road. Invest in a quality screen upfront, and you’ll thank yourself later.

Eurmax Trampoline Stakes Heavy Duty Trampoline Parts Corkscrew Shape Steel Stakes Anchor Kit for Trampolines
  • Set of 4 heavy duty Black cork-screw steel stakes and tie downs for easy installation.
  • The steel cork-screw anchors twist deep into the ground for the highest level of trampoline stability.
  • Eurmax's trampoline anchor kits help protect your trampoline during stormy/windy conditions, safely securing the trampoline to the ground. Fits all round or rectangle trampolines.
  • Galvanized steel material prevents ground anchors from losing shape easily. Black coating helps prolong the life of the anchors by reducing the chance of rust and early deterioration.
  • Tough Strong Belt straps easily connect to the steel buckles for fast assembly and disassembly.

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Storage and Transport

A major part of choosing the best inflatable movie screen is finding one that’s portable, and this is another way in which higher-quality screens tend to outperform the competition. Even a relatively small inflatable screen is going to weigh around 20 to 25 pounds, which can make it a pain to carry without a proper carrying case.

Most well-designed inflatable screens include a carrying case, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this if you’re shopping smart. In addition, a quality case lets you store your screen easily in a closet, attic, or basement when it’s not in use.

Choose a Quality Pump

As we’ve already mentioned, an inflatable movie screen depends on a constant supply of air to stay rigid. This is because even the most well-engineered screen frame has seams, and most are constructed from semi-porous oxford fabric. As a result, they will bleed air, ever so slowly, and a pump is needed to maintain the proper pressure.

Now, if you’re running some industrial-sized operation, you may need an industrial-sized pump. But the fact is that even a large bounce house can be kept full with a standard 110-volt pump. And since even a very large movie screen is smaller than a bounce house, you’ll do just fine with the stock pump in any kit.

That said, the main reason many cheap pumps cost so little is that they tend to be noisier. This isn’t generally a major concern for movies or musical events since the audio will almost invariably be louder than the sound of the pump. However, for a quiet, understated event, you may be better off with a quieter pump.

Finally, keep in mind that larger screens may require a 20-amp pump. Make sure that your circuit breaker and outlet are rated for 20 amps, or you’re going to trip a breaker.

Best Inflatable Movie Screen Brands

A movie screen is only as good as the company that produced it. So we dug a little deeper and learned about the background of each of these manufacturers. Here’s what we discovered.

  • Founded in 2013, LifeSmart was the first Chinese company to build their own original line of smart home devices. In 2014, they received a major injection of funds from an angel investor, and they went from producing a small number of first-generation devices to creating a wide array of products. In 2015, they entered the international market, including the US, the UK, and Japan.
  • Open Air Cinema is an outdoor entertainment product manufacturer that was founded in 2001 in Lindon, Utah. In addition to inflatable movie screens, they also produce several other outdoor options, including speakers and full A/V kits including a projector, speakers, and screen. They serve several prestigious clients, including the Tribeca Film Festival and the LA Film Festival.
  • California-based Elite Screens was founded in 2004 and is still based in the US to this day, although they now operate satellite offices in Australia, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Japan, India, Mexico, Taiwan, and Latvia. They manufacture just about everything you could imagine for outdoor parties, including projectors and speaker systems.
  • Gemmy was founded in 1984 and has produced many products that you already know and love. Remember the Big Mouth Billy Bass? That was them. They’ve also produced toys and inflatables for Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars and Marvel franchises. Considering their pedigree, we trust them to make a projector screen that lasts.
  • TUSY is an online storefront that sells imported plastics and other home goods. They have a customer-friendly return policy, and they also sell outdoor furniture that you’re going to need if you want to host movie-watching events.
Gemmy Inflateables Holiday (G08 47957) Big Mouth Billy Bass, Green - 15th Anniversary Edition
  • Moves his head, tail and mouth to the music
  • Quick and easy set-up; Easy to hang
  • Activated by motion or push button; Color: Green
  • Surprise your friends with this animated classic

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


FAQ

Before we wrap up, there are a couple of common questions we wanted to address. Here are the answers.

Q: What Size Screen Should I Choose?

A: Choosing the largest screen size is generally easy when you’re choosing an LCD TV. Unless you’re literally living in a closet, you simply go with the largest screen that will fit on your wall. But with an outdoor projector screen, you’re not limited by your available wall space. That said, you’re still limited by total space.

Assuming you’re projecting in 1080p, your ideal viewing distance is going to be about 1 ½ times the diagonal measurement of the screen. So, for example, if you have a 10-foot screen, you’ll get the best viewing quality from 15 feet away. There’s a lot of fudge factor here, and obviously the screen will be “viewable” from any distance. That said, the optimal distance should be in the middle of your audience. So if you don’t want the middle of your audience to be 24 feet away from the screen, don’t buy an enormous, 16-foot projector.

One advantage of a 4K projector is that the enhanced picture quality will allow you to sit closer to the screen. While 1080p will start to look pixelated when you get too close, a 4K image will remain crisp and clear even if you’re as close as the screen diagonal. For example, 10 feet from a 10-foot screen.

If you want an easier way of figuring out your ideal screen size, there is an online calculator to help you make the right calculations. The calculator also has some more advanced brightness calculation tools, but those are beyond the scope of our article.

Q: What Are the Pros of Inflatable Movie Screens?

A: To begin with, inflatable projection screens tend to cost less than their full-framed brethren. This makes them an attractive option if the price of a rigid-framed projector screen has been putting you off.

They’re also very easy to set up. When compared to a rigid-framed screen, you won’t have to mess with any complex assembly or heavy parts. Just drive a few stakes into the ground, plug in the air pump, and you’re ready to start rolling your projector. Disassembly is equally easy, since all you have to do is shut the pump off and pack everything away.

Finally, inflatable movie screens are easily portable. While even a lightweight rigid protector screen can be fairly heavy, anyone can carry an inflatable screen, even with the air pump and hardware. And most quality options include a carrying case, so transport is quick and easy.

Q: What Are the Cons of Inflatable Movie Screens?

A: Of course, nothing is perfect, and inflatable movie screens are no exception. For one thing, the wind will easily knock them over, which will put a quick end to your party. But then again, if the wind is kicking up, your guests will probably want to head indoors, to begin with.

As we’ve already mentioned, air pumps can make noise. This isn’t a serious concern for most people, but it can be a distraction if you’re entertaining a small group at relatively low volumes. A screen with a rigid frame doesn’t have this problem.

Finally, an inflatable screen is poorly-suited for long-term use. If you’re looking to set up a semi-permanent projector that stands for months, you should really choose one with a solid frame. You’ll pay more, but that’s the cost of improved durability.

Wrap Up

Now that we’ve covered all of our bases, which of these choices is the best inflatable movie screen for you?

If you’re looking for the best available quality, bar none, the Open Air Cinema 16-Foot Outdoor Home Projector Screen is virtually unbeatable. The 16-foot viewing area is ideal even for very large events, and the quality of construction leaves nothing to be desired. You’ll also appreciate how quiet the air blower is.

Then again, the Open Air Cinema is a bit pricey. If you’re looking to spend less money, the Gemmy Deluxe Airblown Movie Screen is an excellent alternative. When you get a good one, you’re getting top-tier quality. And if you’re unfortunate enough to receive a dud, Gemmy’s two-year warranty offers plenty of protection.

All of the screens we’ve listed are worth buying, depending on your needs. If one of them strikes your fancy, we’re glad we’ve helped you to make an informed, educated decision.