Movie Night Done Right

What comes to mind when you think about movie night? Friends, family, popcorn, soda or maybe your favorite candy? How about turf and your football team?

Your Daktronics video display can easily be converted into a movie screen. We talked with Bryan Perry, Daktronics Event Producer at Iowa State University to see what it takes to make it happen.

How did you need to organize prior to the event?

The athletic department picked the movie, and we contacted Swank® Motion Pictures, Inc. for a copy. We paid for the right to show it and they sent us the DVD. The only restriction was we had to keep the event free; you can’t charge an admission fee. We worked with the grounds crew to see what rules we needed to follow to keep the turf in its pristine condition. Lawn chairs were not allowed, but people could bring blankets to sit on to watch the show. The first year we didn’t allow food or beverages, so we offered concessions, but we’ve loosened up restrictions since on what people can bring. Each facility is different, but other considerations might include medical, security and housekeeping personnel.

How do you play the movie on your video display?

At first I thought I could take a Blu-ray player and run in into the video processor through HDMI, but HDMI has a restriction now, so that is NOT the case. (Note: DVD players with HDMI out might have a blockage with the HDMI port.) I ended up taking a laptop with a DVD driver and brought it into an HDMI converter, then into the processor of the video board. I plugged the audio into our house mixer and we were good to go.

What troubleshooting did you do before the event?

I played the movie a couple times to make sure it worked and that the laptop can handle it. We were fortunate to have a lot of A/V equipment in place already for a normal football game, so I just had to rearrange a couple of things.

Katie Windham, Daktronics Event Producer at James Madison University, also shared a few tips to consider:

  • If your board is zoned out and you have your in-game window (such as an L-bar), you need to decide what you will be playing there. Will you display normal graphics, or black graphics so they know it’s supposed to be offset?
  • Make sure the display is appropriately dimmed for night time viewing if applicable.
  • Test your DVD and audio going to board. Depending if the site hasn’t done video audio lip sync, do that beforehand so you can adjust the delay so they match up. I’ve found the audio is a bit slower.
  • If amps are in power save mode, they need to be reset up to a day before the event to make sure they’re working properly.

How did you promote movie night?

The Junior Cyclones advertised it through their circles and on social media.  We advertised it on our displays during athletic events with graphics and details as the date drew closer.

What tips do you have for those trying their first movie night?

Have a backup plan for bad weather. One year we had to move to the gym due to a rain threat.

movie night

Now that you know the ins and outs of a movie night, when will you be scheduling yours?

  1. hey Daktronics in case your not aware the video board you guys installed in akron ohio for the rubberducks baseball team they do the exact same thing. I went down there one time and watched star wars the force awakens. it was amazing


  2. […] community, check out this case study on how National Harbor uses their display and our previous how-to article about hosting a movie night at your […]


  3. […] up community members, some blankets and popcorn and watch a favorite flick. Read this post for a few tips to organize the event, tips on what processors are needed to play the movie and a […]


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