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Hi. Looking for general advice/consulting/pointers for a nonprofit (SRSLY Cinema in Chelsea, MI) which is going to show outdoor movies through the summer. 20 - 40' wide image, crowd of 500 - 1000, movies at dusk. Need lots of lumens... good sound... equipment budget is $20K. Looking at Sanyo projectors w/ 7,700 and 15,000 lumen output. Don't know ANYTHING about sound systems in general, and, in particular, for a large venue like this. (I'm in charge of equipment acquisition. Gulp.)

If there's anybody out there with expertise in a "backyard theater setup" for 800 of your closest friends, and/or with passion for helping out a good cause...

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the Shack Jeff,
I would be very careful about this as showing a movie to more that 12 people is a violation of copy write laws (paying or non paying it doesn't matter). Its one thing to show 15 or 20 of your friends in your home but outside is another ballgame.

That said and out of the way I can now give you advice.
First of all you need to decide what kind of processor you want to decode the surround, the cheaper way to go is just get yourself a decent receiver that has pre-outs and one with THX certification as that gives you some good surround modes for use The Onkyo 876 comes to mind.
You will then need to get several power amps that can power at least 5 good sized speakers as sound systems outside need alot more power and much larger speakers to get decent volume levels and sound good. You will also need a large sub something with 4-10 or 12" drivers would be the minimum I would recommend.
For a screen DIY is about the best option as a bought screen that size would set you back almost half your budget. Using several pieces of smooth plywood painted if its going to be something that is staying up.
Your projector options are going to be limited as one that is rated with high enough lumins for a large picture of 20-40' will be costly even the Sanyo's wont cut it. Your looking at a pro grade projector. How dark will you be able to get where you are?
 

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Welcome to the Shack Jeff,
I would be very careful about this as showing a movie to more that 12 people is a violation of copy write laws (paying or non paying it doesn't matter). Its one thing to show 15 or 20 of your friends in your home but outside is another ballgame.
Actually, the number of viewers has nothing to do with it: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/student-programs/Rules_and_Tools/movies.on.campus.shtml

The Motion picture industry would have you believe that simply showing the movie outside your home requires a special license, or that there is some magic number above which a private screening automatically becomes a public screening. In reality, even if the true law (private being a group of friends or common acquaintances) is on your side, if the license holders decide to sue you, you'll be better off paying the multi-thousand dollar settlement instead of the lawyer fees.

Trust me. I work at a college, we've been sued, I know the feeling.
 

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Well, I may have mispoken because I forgot you were in Canada. Can't say I'm up on the Canadian copyright laws, but if you do some digging, do please post.
 

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I dont think Canadian copyright laws are much different so your probably correct. I do know that my church has a special viewing license that we pay for once a year in order to use video clips or play music.
 

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I have had great luck using crown amps for outdoor pa systems. They are not cheap, but well worth it. Same with JBL Pro speakers. I've been out for a year or two and don't know specific models to recommend, but you can't go wrong with either Crown or JBL. If you are going to be running off of generators I would highly recommend running a powere conditioner / ups to protect your equipment. I learned that the hard way with a nasty power spike.
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