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Make Your Movie Night Epic: 6 Tips

Paisley Hansen
Depending on the movie choice, you may inspire deep book-club level discussions with a much shorter time commitment and no reading required. Host an impressive movie night by including these six elements.
Movie nights are awesome. You can spend several quality hours with family or friends without breaking the bank, and it can be a creative way to get better acquainted with colleagues and neighbors.

Fun People

If you are hosting a small group of close friends, have everyone show up in pajamas for a multiple movie marathon; provide blankets and be sure there is enough sofa space and plenty of floor cushions for comfortable snoozing.
Another idea is to gather acquaintances you want to know better. The benefit of gathering over a movie is that you immediately have something to talk about, and introverted guests aren’t compelled to interact until they are comfortable with it.

Interesting Movie

Obviously, this decision will have a huge impact on your get together. There are various ways to choose a movie, but one good rule is to have the movie selected before guests arrive. With a small group, you may be able to select together: solicit suggestions via email or text, narrow them down, then take a vote.
For a larger group you should select the movie yourself and include the title in the invitation. Movie nights are ideal times to share underrated favorites, cult classics or forgotten masterpieces. Once the Oscar nominations have been announced, it may be fun to host a series of movie nights to view several nominees.

Cool Theme

When you choose the movie, use the setting to inspire a theme. If the movie takes place on a tropical island, go with a beach theme. One advantage of having a theme is that it helps decide decorations and refreshments and invitations. Up your game by giving fun party favors like food socks or insulated soda cups with reusable stainless steel straws.

Delicious Snacks

First things first: popcorn is a must. After that, you are limited only by your imagination. Take cues from the movie and theme. A baseball movie may inspire hot dogs, nachos and beer; a movie set in Japan could be accompanied by edamame, sushi and sake. Classic movie fare is always welcome, so have a selection of soft drinks and candy on hand.
Pizza is also a crowd-pleaser. Be considerate of those who avoid junk food by supplying at least two healthier options, too, such as a fruit plate and vegetable tray. The focus of the gathering is the movie, so feel free to keep snacks simple, but remember that tasty food makes parties more fun.

Adequate Time

Your party should be at least twice as long as the film. Before the movie, you need time for stragglers to show up, for introductions and for the first round of snacking. During the movie, pick a logical break in the movie action to pause for intermission. Guests may need a restroom break or a chance to refill their popcorn bowls.
You can structure this by taking a quick rating survey or preparing questions ahead of time to get guests talking. The get-together is centered around the movie but what really matters is the people. If you skip the post-movie analysis, your party will be no different from watching the flick in a theater full of strangers.

Comfortable Space

Keep guests comfortable throughout the evening by adjusting the thermostat as necessary and providing plenty of blankets for those who get chilly. Keep the room dimly lit or at least light the path to the restroom and remove any tripping hazards.
Prevent guests from interrupting the film with cell phone activity by instituting a no-phones policy. Some hosts like to gather phones in a basket before starting the movie, but most find it just as effective to remind everyone to silence their ringers and keep phones put away.