How to Have a Movie Night
Movies are most fun when you have company to enjoy them with, and a movie night is a simple fun thing to do at home with friends at any age and with almost any budget. A movie night with your friends can be fun and simple for everyone with a bit of planning and preparation.
Having a Low Key Movie Night
Pick a movie.Whatever you’d like to watch. There’s really no wrong answer. Use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crackle, or wherever else on the Internet you like to get film.
Decide where you’re going to watch.Your bed, your couch, your favorite chair, the bathtub. You’ll want to make sure the area is prepped and ready to accommodate however you’re watching the movie. Whether it’s on a big screen or a small one you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to sit down for at least an hour or so.
Set up the display.You’ll want to make sure your screen works and that you have sound before you start. Troubleshooting in the middle of a movie or just after you begin it is frustrating and can be easily avoided. If your display has pre-set color values make sure they’re suitable for the movie you’re watching, as an incorrectly calibrated display can cause colors to seem overexposed or lacking in intensity.
Get comfortable.Prepare your favorite snacks and drinks, pick a comfortable position, sit back, and relax. You should make sure you’re in an optimal viewing angle and that you are positioned within range of your speakers. If you’re watching multiple movies, queuing them in a playlist is a useful feature in most media players.
- Make whatever food you enjoy. Popcorn is an easy and cheap snack for movies, and is extremely simple to make. You can go big as well and have an elaborate meal, but it adds to your cleanup and prep time considerably. Any drinks you enjoy should be stocked as well so you can stay refreshed throughout the movie.
Watch the movie.This is the easy part. Keep your eyes open and your ears unclogged. Have your phone on silent if you’d like to minimize distractions.
Clean up after.It shouldn’t be a big mess depending on how low-key you kept your snacks. If you use the popcorn recipe provided, you should only have a bowl and a pot to clean up. Make sure you’ve swept the area for any debris and that it’s in the condition it was in before you used it.
Planning a Movie Night for a Group
Pick a movie.Since you’re with a group, you’ll want to pick something that’s a crowd pleaser. Consult with the people you’re sure you’re inviting, offer suggestions. Don’t be afraid to choose them yourself.
Pick a time and a place with your friends.Try to aim for the place that has the best ratio of seating space to screen size. In the event that you have space and a friend has a big screen or projector you could use, coordinate getting it. Make sure it’s compatible with your computer’s outputs and that you will have adequate sound, as many projectors and computer monitors lack or have weak, low-quality built-in speakers.
- Set up an event online. If more people can come than you’ve invited then consider making an event on a social networking site and seeing who can come. You should avoid over inviting for your space and means for entertaining. Try to avoid annoying people with notifications and updates about the event by making your plans clear and firm when you make the event page online.
Decide what snacks and drinks you will provide.If you aren’t providing food or drink, let your guests know in case they want to bring something. Make sure any allergy information or dietary needs are known by other invitees. You will want to do a cupboard-check and shop for anything you might be lacking.
- If your night involves alcoholic beverages or other drugs, make sure your guests know about the rules of the space so as to avoid discomfort or strife with anyone you share the space with. Police and angry roommates can ruin a night very quickly and make a lot of people uncomfortable.
- Serve easy snacks or premade drinks. Easy snacks include popcorn, hummusand vegetables, and nachos. Saving yourself time and effort will allow you to focus on details and keep the event fun and stress-free. You can avoid long queues of unserved guests and bolster the supply of snacks and drinks by keeping it simple.
- Prepare any refreshments so that way they’ll be ready when your guests arrive, though popcorn is quick enough where it’s advisable to make it fresh for anyone who wants it. You can customize popcorn readily to a person’s satisfaction. It is also a good idea to make sure snacks are in a single area and that the area has any necessary utensils, dishes, and napkins.
Set up the viewing area.Place your seats in an arc around the screen and in rows to encourage a theater like experience. If you have the space and means, consider offering footstools so guests can relax and stretch a bit more than at the theater. Set up the home theater system you plan on using. Make sure the player you’re using has sound and video working when connected to your screen and speakers.Consider theming the space like a theater. The effect can be achieved with row seating, curtains, and movie posters in the space you’re using, and can delight some guests with your flair for decorating.
- Set up any game materials. A lot of people like to make games out of movie night, like movie quote bingo, movie trivia (before or after the movie), or a drinking game. These games often require printed materials, research, and some effort to assemble, as they are specific to certain movies quite frequently. Don’t underestimate the prep time on these.
Watching Movies Outdoors
Secure a projector, speakers and screen.Projectors can often be checked out from school libraries, or bought secondhand if you don’t already have one. You can use any large, neutral-toned surface like a big sheet of canvas or a garage wall as a screen, though there are portable projector screens that are easy to set up.
Pick what to watch.Ideally this will be a movie that benefits from projection onto a larger screen, the kind of spectacular movie people like going to the theaters to see. Since you’re hosting outdoors, you’re likely to have more guests, and a crowd-pleaser is desirable to put butts in seats and keep them there.
Decide on where.If you aren’t hosting it in your backyard, you’ll want to make sure you have legal access to the space at the time you host the movie night. Use permits for public parks and the aggressiveness of local police and park rangers vary depending on your locality. If you run into trouble, stay calm, have your ID ready, and be prepared to leave.
- Make sure the weather permits for your event. No one wants them and their movie equipment to get rained on. Pick a day with a low change or precipitation and that isn’t going to be too windy so as to disrupt your screen. You can secure your screen with a well anchored frame against most normal wind activity.
Decide what you will provide food and drink wise.Consider that outside you won’t be able to prepare additional food and that drinks should be kept simple. Outdoor litter is difficult to manage and should be kept to a minimum, and depending on your area it might be a crime to litter. You will want to have materials for cleaning up with you and handy.
Invite your guests.Make sure they know the time, location, and are available and know whether or not to bring snacks and/or drinks. Make sure your guests know about any dietary restrictions other guests might have. An event page can help, especially if your location is out of the way or more difficult to locate.
Get adequate protection from insects and pests.Mosquitoes, ticks, and moths will be an issue at night between the light source and large gathering of people outside, likely with food. You will want mothballs near your projector to keep them away from the light source. Citronella candles, bug spray, or a bug zapper lamp are all effective ways to manage more personal pests.
Set up the space.Make sure seats are arranged so that everyone has a good view of the screen and can hear clearly. Have a waste bin ready along with signs to the restrooms, and lay out any refreshments in one place to keep the area reasonably free of litter. If you are streaming the movie, make sure you have adequate signal outdoors to do so. Make sure your area is dark enough to project the movie with no glare or washed out colors.
Relax and watch the movie.Your guests will attend to themselves mostly while the movie is playing. This is your chance to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your work for a while. However, you should make sure refreshments don’t run out and be prepared to handle your guests’ needs.
Make sure the space is clean of all litter and equipment.Be careful when you break down your projector set up to avoid tearing the screen or damaging the projector. You’ll want to spend time making sure you left no litter in public spaces and that the equipment is all with its rightful owner. You should leave your outdoor space as clean as you found it or better.
QuestionWhat candies should I have for a one-person movie nightwikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe beauty of a one-person movie night is that you get to pick everything. Just pick your favorites! My personal favorite is Reeses peanut butter cups.Thanks!
QuestionCan I treat it as a luxury party with lots of snacks, movies, etc.?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou sure can! That would be a lot of fun.Thanks!
QuestionWhat happens if your guests get angry?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCalmly solve the problem if possible, or quietly tell them to relax or leave.Thanks!
QuestionCan I have a movie night in my bedroom?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course you can!Thanks!
QuestionI need a Netflix; how do I do that?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you go to their web site, you can sign up for a subscription. Note that Netflix does cost money.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are good foods?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPizza always goes over well. You could also have a salad bar with lots of options or do a breakfast for dinner kind of thing.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I select the right movie to watch with two of my friends?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you know the two people well enough, try to base it off of their liking! Try to remember what types of movies they have mentioned liking or wanting to see. If all else fails just pick a new release.Thanks!
- Premade snacks and drinks can save you time but very rarely will they save you money.
- You can expand seating cheaply with pillows and cushions on the ground.
- Don’t over invite. Too many people and not enough seats or snacks or space will be unpleasant for your guests and for you as a host.
- Have backup movies planned if you or your guests have a change of heart about the movie selection.
- Be ready to abandon a movie marathon that isn’t entertaining the crowd, keeping them happy is more important than sticking to a plan.
Video: DIY MOVIE NIGHT!
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