I have gone to movies alone. When I worked in libraries, I didn’t have money. When I worked in marketing, I didn’t have time. So many times I’d end up in a theater by myself because no one else was available when I was or because anyone I’d normally go with had already seen it.
And it’s perfectly fine going to a movie by yourself. But it’s much better to go with a group. There’s something about experiencing the story together that makes it more fun. I think that’s why movie nights are so great.
If you spend so much time preparing for the event that you don’t have time to enjoy the people there, what’s the point?
Many people I talk to have the idea that hosting a movie night is a complicated matter. And I guess it can be. But it certainly doesn’t have to be. The point of a movie night is to hang out with friends and watch a movie. If you spend so much time preparing for the event that you don’t have time to enjoy the people there, what’s the point?
We’ve been hosting movie nights out at Safe Haven Farm for a while now. We tried it once to see if it would work, and we had so much fun, we’ve kept it up. We’re coming up on a year now, and every time we make amazing memories and forge stronger friendships.
It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done.
So I thought I’d give you five fast tips to help you host a fantastic movie night. You’ll have so much fun, and it’ll be so easy, you might make it a monthly thing like we did.
1. Use social media to connect people
We have a Facebook Group for the Monthly Movie Night at Safe Haven Farm. It is a closed group, so only people invited to the group can participate. That being said, there are 40 people in it. And if all 40 people decided to show up at once, we might be in trouble. But we’d work it out!
Using the Facebook Group, you can coordinate event times and details. You can figure out who is coming. You can plan food and movie options. Granted, it doesn’t always mean what you plan will happen, but it’s a place to start.
I also use it to plan movie nights a quarter at a time.
If Facebook doesn’t work for you, no worries. Use another program. But it really helps if you are able to coordinate your movie nights from one location where everyone has access.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix your circles
The first movie night we hosted, the only thing everyone had in common was friendship with me. Not necessarily with each other. But a few months into it, they were all friends. Now? They lay on top of each other on the couch.
If you want to keep it all girls or all boys, all teenagers or all college kids, that’s your choice. Do what you’re comfortable with. But don’t be afraid to mix friends from your different circles.
Who knows how God will work between people? Your old friend from high school totally might click with your new friend from the office, and they might be a huge encouragement to each other.
3. Plan a big, meal that the group can supplement
One word: Crockpot.
Crockpot meals are your friend for crowds of people. You can make a lot of something, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
One of our go-to favorites is taco soup, which is doubly awesome because we provide the soup, and the group brings all the fixins. Another one we’ll do again is a baked potato bar. We just bought a 10 pound bag of potatoes at the store, baked them in the oven, and all the people who attended brought toppings. That night we had 18 people, and we still had potatoes left.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help with the food prep. The movie night for this month we’re doing waffles and pancakes. But three group members are bringing the waffle irons, and all the attendees are bringing what goes on waffles.
Make it a team effort. It’s more fun that way too.
4. Make sure you have lots of chairs
This is the one hang up. If you don’t have enough chairs for the number of people attending, it might be difficult. That doesn’t mean you can’t host a movie night. It just means you have to keep a close watch on how many people are attending.
What we do at our house is ask people to bring their own chairs. Generally we have enough places to sit, but it’s good to have a backup.
What we also do often is turn the movie night into an overnight. The Big House at Safe Haven Farm is large with lots of space. We have lots of places to sleep, and we have cots too. But we ask people to bring their own blankets and pillows.
5. Themes are optional
Most of the party plans you’ll find on Pinterest are all about themes and fancy decorations. If you’re in to that sort of thing, that’s wonderful. But I’m busy. I don’t have loads of time to devote to that type of creativity.
Granted, last time we had a Lord of the Rings theme, mainly because several of our group had just returned form a trip to New Zealand. That’s why we ate ‘taters, precious. And for that party, I printed out some funny quotes from the Lord of the Rings and taped them to the walls. They got quite a laugh.
But themes aren’t essential. If you think of a few things to make people laugh, that’s great. But in my mind, it’s not the themes and the party decorations that draw people to a party. It’s the people and the friendship and the fun.
So don’t fool yourself into thinking that only people with loads of creativity and a big house can host movie nights or events for friends. Anyone can do it.
It’s not about the movies, the house, or the food. Those are all important factors, but people don’t come to movie nights for those reasons.
It’s not about the movies. It’s not about the house. It’s not about the food. Those are all important factors, but people don’t come to movie nights for those reasons. Otherwise they’d watch the movie alone. People come to movie nights for fun.
So have fun with it. And if you have a good time, there’s a good chance your guests will too.