What’s not to love about going to the movies on a Friday night? Plenty. Once you shell out big bucks for the gas to get there, the full-priced tickets, the honkin’ huge popcorn, the giant-gulp sodas, and the king-sized candy, you’re left with a measly chunk of change that might be enough to pay for parking. Bummer. When did this simple pastime get so expensive? Maybe you should just stay home—and host your own fabulous movie night! Why not? You can keep it on the cheap and enjoy your favorite flick with friends and family in the comfort of your own home—no elbow-bumping, seat-kicking strangers to deal with. Perfect. Need some ideas to get started? Read on…
Pick Your Flick
The movie you choose will definitely make or break the party, so pick your flick wisely. Who is your audience? Family, friends or both? Will kids be watching? Goodbye adult language and sex scenes. Is it a girls’ night? Hello chick flicks! Or more of a couples thing? Think drama.
Once you’ve answered this important question, consider the following options:
- Check out your channel guide a few days in advance and set your DVR or TIVO to record your chosen film.
- Put your Netflix subscription to good use and add some must-see movies to the queue ahead of time. Then consider letting your guests vote for their favorite flick.
- Dust off an oldie-but-goodie from the shelf. Everyone loves a sure-fire classic.
- Visit the Redbox at your local grocery store and pick up a crowd-pleaser for just $1.50 per day, leaving you plenty of money to stock up on yummy snacks.
- Browse your On Demand channel for the newest releases. Sure, they’ll be a little pricier, but you can always split the cost with your guests if they REALLY want to see it.
Invite The Right Guests
Be sure your guests are true movie enthusiasts who will watch the entire screening—no Chatty Cathys or Big-Mouth Bobs allowed. Does everyone on your list get along? Offscreen drama would instantly spoil a fun night, right? And how many people should you invite? Jamming too many people together for a 2-hour (or more) movie is a show spoiler for sure, so figure out who fits and invite accordingly.
Comfort Is Key
You don’t need rows of La-Z-Boy recliners to make your guests comfortable. Simply set up additional chairs in front of the screen and stack pillows and blankets within reach, so your guests will be perfectly comfy whether they’re seated or stretched out on the floor.
Don’t Skimp On Snacks
To make your movie night even more memorable, you MUST serve sweet and salty munchies. Think movie theater goodies—no veggie trays, please. Of course, having plenty of popcorn is a no-brainer, but don’t forget about the candy and sodas. Ask everyone to bring a small bag of candy to add to a big bowl that can be passed around during the movie. Here are a few homemade snack and soda recipes that are super-easy and inexpensive to make: