Movie nights are a big part of the average American’s life. In fact, in 2020, 25% of American adults between the ages of 18-29 reported watching movies every single day. The pandemic did alter our media consumption habits quite a bit, but now that things are getting back to normal, the number of movies we watch will likely remain about the same.
One thing can be different now, however. Instead of watching in isolation, we can invite our friends and extended family to enjoy movie nights with us! To celebrate, let’s take a look at five great movie night ideas that will make this average American pastime a little more special.
Host a Theme Night
Everyone loves a good theme, and it’s super easy to incorporate one into your movie night. In fact, there are quite a few fun ways to encourage your guests to join in on the theme. Some people will want to go all-out, while others might need the encouragement of a good prize for the person who interprets the theme the best.
Dress Like the Movie You’re Watching
This theme is definitely the most straightforward. All you have to do is select a movie that makes for some great costume ideas, invite your friends, and see what they come up with.
Consider picking one of these movies to encourage some fun costumes:
- Back to the Future. This movie is a perfect choice because there are so many costume options. Go with a classic ‘80s look or pick a time period they travel to. There are so many ways to come up with a fun idea to go along with this film.
- Hocus Pocus. Host a Halloween theme night with this movie. It’s a fan favorite, and the costumes are sure to be spooky.
Harry Potter. Did you think we’d forget about this one? If you’re looking to take the easy way out, pick a Harry Potter movie. Half of your friends probably already have a wand, Gryffindor t-shirt, or cloak. You can even make fun sorting hat cakes to help everyone find out what house they really belong in.
Dress Like the Movie You WANT to Watch
For this theme, let the guests know it’s going to be a bit of a competition. Everyone comes dressed on a theme based on the movie they want to watch as a group. At the beginning of the party, take a vote on who did the best job. Then, watch the winning movie!
Love the idea but not sure about a winning costume? Here are our picks:
- Legally Blonde. There are so many fun costumes to pick from this movie, and it’s a simple option, too! Just choose a LOT of pink.
- Anything Disney. If you’ve ever been told you look like Cinderella, now’s your moment to shine.
The Hunger Games. Whether you want to go with a sleek black look like Katniss or a Capitol chic look like Effie, you’ll definitely be a contender.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a way to play whatever movie might win. You could narrow it down to “Something I can find on Netflix” or “Bring along the DVD” if you still have a DVD player.
Dress Like You’re Going to the Oscars
Set up a red carpet and invite everyone to strut their stuff. This is another great opportunity for a best-dressed prize. Watch a movie that won Best Picture at the Oscars recently, or, if you plan this movie night during award season, pick a nominee.
There are so many great options to make a theme night special. It definitely helps to know your audience. Will your friends get really into it and make it a fun night? If not, try out one of our other movie night options.
Show the Movie in a Unique Way
You don’t have to keep movie night confined to your living room. Take a look at your space and figure out how you can turn it into a truly unique viewing experience.
Movie Night Under the Stars
One of the ultimate movie night moves is showing a movie outside. Whether you can get your hands on a giant inflatable TV screen or you just have a sheet and a projector handy, your friends will love the open-air movie. Encourage them to bring a lawn chair or hammock, and maybe even have a comfy hammock waiting for the guest of honor.
Virtual Movie Night
This option became a go-to during the pandemic, but there’s no need to stop now. Hosting a virtual movie night is the best option for including long-distance friends or family from out of town.
Use one of the many apps that allow this, or just agree on the movie and do your best to start it at the same time. If you want to FaceTime or Zoom while watching, try using a PUK to hold up your phone or tablet for you.
Movie Night Under the Stars (Indoors)
If you don’t have the supplies to pull off an outdoor movie night, bring the stars inside! Cover all the lights and hang fairy lights or glow-in-the-dark stars across the ceiling. Delight your inner child (or your actual child) with the ultimate blanket fort.
To get as cozy as possible, look no further than CordaRoy’s. Set up this bean bag that transforms into a king-sized bed and get ready for next-level cuddles. Just be sure to protect your convertible chair from moisture.
Plan the Ultimate Snack Bar
When it comes to movie night, the one thing that might be more important than the movie itself is the snacks, of course! You can go big with your snacks or keep it simple. Either way, they are definitely a must-have. Not sure what kind of snacks to provide?
Try one or two of these ideas:
Classic theater snacks. Get a bunch of movie theater candy boxes and set them up at your “concession stand.” Be sure to get extra Sno-Caps, because apparently, those are the number one hit at the theater!
Pizza. At-home movie nights aren’t quite complete without a good pizza. Order in or make your own.
Ice cream bar. Who doesn’t like ice cream? Who can resist it when it’s paired with as many toppings as they can imagine?
If you know you have guests coming with special dietary needs, you could also just have a BYOS (bring your own snacks) policy to make sure people have something fun they can eat.
Make it a Marathon
Ready to get really, really cozy? Pick a movie that has a sequel (or two or three) and snuggle up for hours to complete a movie marathon. You might need to create a designated sleeping space for those who can’t quite make it through.
That’s where our convertible chairs come in! Perfect for use as the coziest movie-watching seat in the house and easy to turn into a mattress for naptime. Your guests will thank you for a fun night and a good sleep.
Do you have what it takes for a movie marathon? Here are a few suggestions:
If you’re brave, you could try Star Wars or all of the Marvel movies, but that might be worth taking a weekend or two to complete instead.
More Than a Movie
Movie nights are all about connection. It’s an activity that brings people together to focus on one thing. But while watching movies together is fun, it also doesn’t leave a whole ton of room for real socializing unless you’re intentional about it. Now more than ever, people desire meaningful connections. Build some time into your movie night to make this happen!
Whether you start with dinner or end the movie with some discussion questions, your guests will enjoy the opportunity to truly get to know one another and catch up on life. Interested in the discussion questions idea?
Here are a few you can try out:
- If the main characters were played by different actors, who do you think would have done it better?
- Did this movie make you think deeply about anything? If so, what? If not, do you wish it did?
- Which character do you relate to the most?
- Which character would you love to play if they ever did a remake?
Throw out these questions to begin, and watch the conversation flow naturally from it. Hopefully, you’ll walk away knowing a whole lot more about your guests!
That’s a Wrap
We hope this list of five movie night ideas has inspired you to be the host with the most very soon! Whether you decide to host a theme night, watch the movie outside, or dig in for the long haul with a movie marathon, it’s sure to be an event to remember.