Posted Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by & filed under #fabulouslysocial.

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What party theme works for ages young through old, provides built-in entertainment, is great any time of year and is easy and fun to host? Why, a movie night, of course! Turn your living room {or even your backyard!} into your own little movie theater for the night and gather a group of your favorite people to enjoy the show. When movie night is at your place, your favorite film is always playing, the popcorn is always fresh and there are no exorbitant ticket prices at the door!

Greg Jenkins, co-founder of Bravo Productions, expands further on the joys of a movie night, saying, “Films connect us all. Movies can inspire us to take action, make us laugh, touch our hearts, reflect on our past and provide a means for us to escape from our day-to-day trials and tribulations for a few hours.”

It's Movie Night! | Red Stamp

YOUR VIEWING ROOM

When it comes to movie night, comfort is king. Stacy Doherty, owner of Errands Etcetera, reflects that your viewing room needs to be large enough so that everyone has a good view of the screen, so keep the size of your space in mind when writing your guest list. Doherty likes beanbag chairs for easy, comfortable seating that is highly portable. Jenkins agrees, adding that oversized floor pillows also make good seats. If your guests are young, or just really like to get comfortable, you can even encourage stretching out on the floor.

Size counts on movie night. A small television isn’t going to create an enjoyable experience for your guests. You don’t need to have the latest 90-inch screen, but your TV should be big enough so that everyone easily sees the picture. Good sound heightens the experience, so the best home theater has several speakers positioned around the room. If you don’t have a large enough television, consider renting or borrowing one for the evening. Or, rent or borrow a projector, turn it towards a blank wall or hang a large white backdrop {a bed sheet works great} and you’re rolling!

It's Movie Night! | Red Stamp

Remember that guests need enough room to maneuver to the snack table, get to the bathroom without tripping and stretch their legs when necessary. Clear your movie room of unnecessary furniture, knickknacks, rugs or electrical cords to open up the floor space. There’s no need for decorations, but consider setting the scene for your evening by renting a red carpet or chrome stanchions with red velvet ropes to make the entry to your home extra-special.

WHAT’S PLAYING?

The toughest – and most fun – part of hosting a movie night is choosing what to show. Obviously, your first consideration is the age of your guests. If the party is for children, you’ll want to stick with G- or PG-rated movies of appeal to the children’s’ interests. If you are hosting adults, or a wide range of ages, you have a little more flexibility, but always consider the personalities and tastes of your guests. You have a feel for your friends’ preferences: are they a sci-fi crowd? Horror aficionados? Lovers of romantic comedy or nonstop action? Choose the genre that’s likeliest to please the majority of your guests. 

It's Movie Night! | Red Stamp

Once you’ve narrowed down the genre, both Jenkins and Doherty recommend polling your guests ahead of time with a selection of titles. You’ll never get 100% agreement, but the majority rules. You can query guests via social media, or send a pre-party questionnaire asking guests to vote for their favorite selection. If you decide to show a double feature, make sure neither movie is exceptionally long, or your guests might head for the door before the final credits roll. Jenkins further cautions: “In my experience, people like to know what movie will be shown before they decide if they will attend the party. It provides an opportunity for them to decline if they don’t like the selection, or have already seen it.” So be certain to let your guests know the winning feature when you send the final invitations.

FOOD + DRINK

It’s just not a night at the movies without a selection of tasty snacks, so don’t disappoint! Doherty says, “I love the idea of a popcorn bar, with different toppings or items to add to the snack. You don’t want anything that will be too messy or difficult to eat, so stick to finger snacks and things that can be eaten in one or two small bites.” Try our *fave* lineup; grilled peach, prosciutto + goat cheese pizza, brown butter rosemary popcorn + a refreshing cucumber limeade! {Find the recipes here.} It's Movie Night! | Red Stamp

Candy is a natural accoutrement to a night at the movies, so consider this fun idea offered by Lauren Bialek-Sachs, owner of Sweet City Candy. She likes to set up a “concession stand” on a counter or table with a selection of movie-theater-sized boxes of traditional candies like Junior Mints, M&Ms, Whoppers and Skittles. Offer a few nostalgic treats as well, such as Nerds, Bottle Caps or Candy Buttons.

Set out a selection of punch, lemonade or soda. If you are serving alcohol, stick with beer or wine to simplify the evening, or choose one signature cocktail that works well with the movie’s theme.

Once the movie is over and the final credits complete, Jenkins suggests ending your party with a final, fun activity. Have guests vote on which characters in the movie most resemble fellow guests, or discuss favorite parts of the movie, feelings stirred up by the story or similarities between the movie and real life or other movies.

Movie night is an engaging, easy way to get together with a group of friends and enjoy socializing, entertainment and food. You don’t need to spend much more than the cost of your snacks, but the memories of laughter and good company are priceless.

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  1.  Movie Night Party Tips from Red Stamp! | Bulk Candy and Chocolate for Corporate Events and Parties

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