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Themed Movie Night In

by Jessica Sorentino

I don’t know about you, but the freezing temperatures and crazy wind chill has made it very difficult for me to want to leave my house. The amount of effort that needs to go into layering, staying bundled, and even figuring out what to do, is difficult. I can’t imagine how much harder it probably even is with children! That’s why I’m suggesting a movie party for this winter’s event. You can have one, you can have seven, but either way, you can be social from the comfort of your warm, cozy home.

Start with a Theme:

To make it feel more like an event rather than friends gathering to watch a movie, make a theme. A favorite movie marathon of mine is always Harry Potter. It appeals to all ages, and since it’s so themed itself, can lead to a very creative night for you. Other great themes include: Love Movies (Valentine’s Day), Winter Movies (ex: Snow Dogs, another of my all-age-appropriate favorites) and Decade Movies (Audrey Hepburn marathon, anyone?). If you’re doing this with kids, ask them what they’re into! A Disney movie event can be fun, too!

Once you’ve decided on a theme and your movie selection – I would recommend two or three – the next step is to get creative. Think of two recipes: food and drink, some sort of prop, and maybe even an activity people can do while the movie is on. There are great coloring books for all ages in bookstores everywhere now, and there is always Pinterest for backup support.

If you’re doing a Valentine’s Day movie marathon event, I’d recommend asking everyone to dress in pink or red (obviously lounge wear). For HP, maybe sort guests into the different houses and have them sit accordingly. I don’t know! It’s up to you to have fun with this.

The tricky thing about movie events is that you don’t want to pick intense movies. You are not a movie theater. You still want people to socialize and have fun, and not really feel like they’ve missed out on too much of the movie.

For this reason, another great theme is Musical movies. You’ve got Hairspray and Grease to name a couple, and depending on your guests, you can sing along to the different scenes.

As far as the recipe selection goes, you don’t want to get crazy. For events like this, that are supposed to be comfortable, long and casual, I recommend ordering pizzas. They’re so easy for you, your guests and hardly any mess. Plus, most people enjoy a good pizza while watching a movie.

But, as I mentioned, it’s fun to keep the theme going by possibly serving a snack that you may find within your theme. Since weird candy is so popular in Harry Potter, maybe a great assortment of normal candy would tie in well. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans can definitely be replaced by Jelly Bellies (can you tell I’ve been re-reading the series?).

And same with a drink! If nothing is standing out for you related to your theme, you cannot go wrong with traditional hot chocolate. I’ve lately been obsessed with the Dove packets – they’re amazing – but any really will do. You can even have a toppings station with marshmallows, cinnamon, whipped cream, and Schnapps for the 21+ crowd.

The last step is obviously inviting guests. This event is completely informal. A simple email will suffice, or a text if that’s how you most often make plans. There’s no need for Paperless Post, handwritten invitations or an official head count. It’s more of a “Having a movie day, can you come?!” and then sharing the details (date, time, themed dress code if any, etc.).

The point is, if you’re going to be stuck inside instead of braving the cold, may as well do it with the company of others. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a nice little group that will alternate hosting every couple of weeks? That would be really fun too!

I would love to hear any themes you come up with that I may have not mentioned!

Stay warm, everyone!

Jessica Sorentino is from Yonkers, New York. She lives and works in New York City, as the prepress coordinator at the international publishing house, Simon & Schuster. In her free time, Jessica plans and hosts many social events for friends and family and likes to make each one creative and unique. She is also an avid reader, city traveler and professional dancer with DanceWorks NYC. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with minors in journalism and dance education from the University of Delaware, and a master’s degree in dance therapy/education from Lesley University. Stay up-to-date with Jessica by following her on social media and by subscribing to her city lifestyle blog,