Movie Night – How to Make Your Living Room Feel Like a Movie Theater

bowl of popcorn

Going out for a movie with the whole family can be stressful, between getting everyone in the car and making sure little ones stay still (and quiet) in their seats throughout the entire film. That’s why many clans opt to bring the movie theater to them. Movie nights at home can still be as fun and festive as going out if you get creative with your living room. You can even invite over friends and family to enjoy your makeshift cinema. Here are a few areas to consider when designing your in-home theater for movie night:

  • Seating. If you already have a large couch and comfy chairs, point them toward the screen. Then add some supplemental seating. Bean bag chairs can be fun, especially if kids will be attending movie night. But you can also just scatter overstuffed throw pillows and blankets around and let guests get cozy on the floor. If you have clunky pieces of furniture in the living room that aren’t serving a purpose during movie night, move them to another room so that everyone can easily navigate the “theater.”
  • Lighting. There are a few ways you can make the lighting in your home theater authentic. If you already have a dimmer on your living room light fixture, use it to lower the lights when the film begins. If it’s just adults enjoying a movie, opt for flickering candlelight to emulate the soft glow in a real theater. You can also string up white holiday lights around the room and leave them on, but turn the main overhead light off (a better option if you have kids at movie night). If you’re really committed, you can hang blackout curtains on the window or dark blankets to keep every hint of ambient light at bay.
  • Content. Picking a film might be the most important part of movie night. You want one that’s appropriate for little ones, but still engaging for adults, if you’re inviting other families. On the other hand, if it’s adults only, chances are your guests’ tastes range from classic to contemporary in terms of film. if you have a divided audience, consider a double feature—perhaps one children’s movie, and one classic. You can also mix and match indie films with current blockbusters.
  • Snacks. Any good cinema boasts a fully loaded snack bar, and your in-house theater should be no different. Lay out a buffet of classic movie refreshments, including popcorn, a mix of fruity and chocolate candies, and maybe even a few hot appetizers. If you’re inviting health-conscious guests, round out the smorgasbord with a veggie platter or pita and hummus. Don’t forget the soda, water, coffee, and tea.
  • Intermission. One of the perks of watching a movie at home is that you don’t need to miss a chunk of the action when you go to the bathroom. So plan an intermission for halfway through the movie. That way, everyone will have time to stretch their legs, grab some fresh snacks, and use the bathroom as needed.

It’s Movie Night! [Red Stamp]
Movie Night Ideas [She Knows]
How to Make an Easy Movie Theater in Your Living Room [SF Gate]
Tips to Make Your Living Room More Like a Theater [Apartment Therapy]


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