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Movie Night! How to Put Together a Movie Watching Party

Love the idea of a cozy night in with a few good friends? Then it's time to host a movie night! Gathering to watch and discuss a film is a great way to connect with the people you love. Movies also help keep the younger crowd occupied, so they're perfect for birthday parties and sleepovers. Here's your five step plan for hosting the perfect movie night.

Pick a Flick: Your movie night will live and die by the film you choose. Take some time to familiarize yourself with some new releases, then consult your guest list. Got a gaggle of kids on their way? The newest Disney flick will surely be a hit. Entertaining adult friends? Try the latest action blockbuster, the newest romcom, or the next big Oscar winner, depending on your crowd. Planning something for your teenager? Probably best to let them choose.

Choose Your View: If you have a TV in a room big enough to host all your guests, this step is done. If not, you might have to do a little rearranging. If the weather is right and you have or are able to rent the equipment, an outdoor showing can also be very rewarding. Just don't forget the bug spray!

Set out the Snacks: What's a movie without snacks? If you're going to have a movie night, you need to have popcorn available. That's non-negotiable. If you like to lean into a theme, set out theater-style popcorn boxes or bags to serve in. If not, a few bowls for people to share will do nicely. Theater-style candy boxes are a nice accompaniment to savory popcorn, and don't forget the soda, wine, or beer in shatterproof cups.

Get Comfy: Your guests will be sitting anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours depending on the movie you chose, so make sure they're feeling comfortable. If you have sufficient couches and chairs, you're all set. If not, scatter pillows, cushions, and throw blankets on the floor and let your guests make their own little nests. For outdoor viewings a blanket on the ground is generally enough for the younger crowd. Adults will likely appreciate camp chairs or patio furniture to sit on.

Don't Let the Fun End: Sometimes the best part of a movie is the discussion you have afterwards. Factor in time to sit and chat with your guests. It might be worthwhile to keep a bottle of wine in reserve if you expect a long conversation. You might also consider making it a double feature, especially if you have kiddos to entertain. And if they fall asleep before the second movie is over? Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

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