Whether you love a bit of Bond, heaps of Harry Potter or mountains of Marvel action, nothing captures the imagination better than a night at the movies. But after you’ve stood in a frustratingly long queue, then struggled to find your increasingly expensive seat in the dark, all whilst juggling your expensive popcorn and bucket sized drink, the novelty can soon wear off.

You could have a cheaper and more memorable night in by hosting a movie night at home. You control the start time, the snacks, the themes, the guest list and what’s showing. Plus, you can chat away throughout the film if you like, pause it for a toilet break, and avoid being disturbed by the rustle of packets or lip locking coming from the back row!

Here’s our guide to hosting a movie night. With suggestions on how to choose the best movies to watch with your friends or family, room set up, themes and, of course, the movie snacks you should stock up on from your local convenience store.

How to Host an Oscar-Worthy Movie Night Party

There are a few important things to consider when hosting a movie night and it’s equally important that you think about them in the right order. Think of yourself as a director – you’ve got to combine your roles with the right cast, mix in the right themes and setting to ensure that the story of the night is a memorable one.

1. The Cast: Your Guest List

So, who will be the stars of your movie night? Who is attending will have a big say in which films you choose and what you serve. Boys night in, girls night in, or a mix of both? Age, personality, relationship to you – can all have an impact on the direction you take your party in.

One of the trickiest parts of hosting such a night is the movie choice, and your audience will help to narrow down the options. If you’re the host, you could always base your audience on the demographic that best suits your own film preference. If you’re a big fan of horror, naturally the guests should be 18+. Love an animated family movie? Maintain your street cred by ensuring the guest list includes a few youngsters too.

2. Think of a Theme

Once you know who is coming along, set a theme for the evening. This is a really good way of elevating an evening from just watching a movie, into a fun packed movie night party.

Here are some suggested themes you could choose based on your guest list:

Film Buffs

  • Films featuring a popular male/female lead.
  • Films featuring a hero/heroine or role model.
  • Films all directed by the same director.
  • Movies with a cult following

Sporty/Outdoor Types

  • Sports based underdog stories.
  • Kung Fu films
  • Spy / action films.
  • Films with added muscle.

The Creatives Minds

  • Sci-Fi.
  • Psychological Thrillers.
  • Film Noir.

Family

  • Wizardry and magic.
  • Animated classics.
  • Films featuring animals.
  • Films with a leading child actor/actress.

Once you know the theme you want to use, this can shape the rest of the night. There are lots of ways you can carry the theme on outside of what’s in the DVD player.

Fancy Dress: You’ve chosen a Western theme, so advise your guests to come dressed as Cowboys/Cowgirls. Chosen musicals? Every guest should come dressed as a character from their favourite musical. The possibilities are endless!

Room Decoration: You have gone with a Sports movie theme – so dress the room with sport-based props. Wizards and magic? Bring out the glitter and the witches’ hats.

Games: You can create a few games to play on the night between movies too – they can just be question and answer based such as “do an impression of a character”, “complete this line from the film…” or general trivia.

3. Choose your Movies

You thought this would be no.1 didn’t you? But there are literally millions of films to choose from, so going in cold on such an important choice without narrowing down the options with the steps above, is a tough ask. Get this part wrong and your movie night is ruined. No pressure!

Relieve some of the pressure by making your film choice a democratic process. When you know your audience and theme, brainstorm some options and circulate them to your guests. Then collect the votes and choose the movies.

You may decide on a movie marathon – gone down the underdog theme? How about the entire Rocky series? Want a heroine to root for – there’s the Hunger Games trilogy. Choosing a ‘box set’ of movies is really handy for getting your theme on point for the night, but don’t forget how long it will take to watch the set – you don’t want to leave your movie night without a proper ending. Three movies is probably a maximum for a movie night / early morning.

4. Choose your snack menu

What should you consider when choosing your movie snacks? Here are a few things:

  • Noise level – packaging and munching
  • Theme fit
  • Mess potential
  • Sweet and savoury options

Popcorn is a classic film accompaniment – and has a lower chewing decibel level than many crisps. There are special offers at participating SPAR stores on 1kg bags of SPAR sweet and salted popcorn, a perfect accompaniment to a movie night.

Looking for something easy to prepare and as easy to share? It’s got to be pizza – and if your movie choice is Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, it’s bang on theme too! You can pick up a full meal solution of soft drinks, wine, pizza and sides for less than the price of a standard cinema ticket.

If you have chosen an emotional rollercoaster of a film, nothing is more comforting than a few sweet treats. Cinema favourites include share bags of M&M’s, Minstrels and Maltesers which can be passed around gripped viewers easily.

Decided to have your guests stay over to complete the movie marathon? Offer each a tub of ice-cream in your pyjamas, such as SPAR peanut butter crunch and chocolate fudge brownie flavours. It will help you get over any on-screen heartbreak in seconds.

Don’t forget that your movie snacks can also carry the theme, too. Sci-Fi night? Offer Space Raiders crisps. Matilda? A big chocolate cake will go well. If you have chosen Babe however, maybe overlook the cocktail sausages…

5. Set up your seating

Make sure that everyone in attendance gets a great view of the screen in comfort. Whilst you may not be able to offer a handy drinks holder in their arm rest like at the cinema, you can still make everything easily accessible. Our top movie night seating ideas include:

  • Bean bags
  • Air beds
  • Soft rugs
  • Oversized pillows
  • Inflatable chairs
  • Yoga mats

This kind of temporary furniture means your movie night can be hosted in any room of the house with a TV, and ensures chilled out comfort for every viewer, no matter how long the film lasts.

Hosting a Movie Night? Head to SPAR

A movie night party is one of the most fun things to do with friends at home – and with SPAR, it can also be one of the more budget friendly and memorable, too. With our movie night ideas and special offers, you can have the ultimate night at the movies, from the comfort of home. Fire up Netflix or your DVD player, roll out the red carpet for your cast and head to your local convenience store.