Texas Living

How to Host a DIY Movie Night at Home

By Sarah Rosen 10.30.20

You’d be surprised how simple and fun it can be to recreate the experience of going to the movies from the comfort of your living room. The benefits? It costs less, you can choose what’s playing, and your family gets the seats all to themselves. Here are some tips for creating a DIY movie night at home.

Make It Comfortable

The dark theater and the silver screen can be recreated right in your living room. Assemble your cushiest furniture, close the shades or cover the windows with dark sheets, and hit the lights. If you want that big-screen experience, set up a projector to display the film on an empty wall.

Tickets, Please

Make the experience feel more authentic by punching homemade tickets at the door. The price of the ticket: A clean room, finished homework, or simply saying “please.” Guide your kids to their seats like a real usher by showing them around with a flashlight. This small ritual will add to the fantasy that this DIY movie night is the real deal.

DIY Movie Night Snacks

Popcorn Bar

The concession stand is a hallmark of the cinema experience. Get creative with popcorn by mixing up the toppings: Pop it on the stove or in the microwave and set up a popcorn bar for attendees to customize their snacks. Keep it classic with options for butter, salt, and sugar, or get adventurous with spicy ras el hanout and chocolate-drizzled popcorn.

Pick ’n’ Mix

Put together a collection of sour candies and chocolates and empty them into jars on a table to make a DIY pick ’n’ mix station. Everyone can scoop some spoonfuls into a small paper bag, and you’re ready to sit back, relax, and hit play.

The ‘Appetizer’ Film

Bring an old movie theater tradition to your DIY movie night by screening a short film before the feature presentation. This could be a classic cartoon, a family favorite, or even a short home video. Pro tip: This is also the perfect time to remind everyone to settle in and turn off their cell phones.

DIY Movie Night Movies

What’s Playing?

Whether it’s a new release, a family film, or a Texas-based flick, you get to choose. Because picking a movie is easier said than done (and because we love a theme), here are some family friendly films set in Texas:

  • “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier” (1955)
  • “Giant” (1956)
  • “Old Yeller” (1957)
  • “Secondhand Lions” (2003)
  • “The Lone Ranger” (2013)

If you want to step out of the house and set the family up in the bed of your truck, try exploring the drive-in movie theaters around the state.

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