This week I've been sharing the latest Gatherings from The Kitchn event — a cozy outdoor movie party I hosted with my friend Beth in her small but charming backyard — and by now you might be daydreaming about hosting your own movie party before summer ends. I say go for it! And here are my top five tips for making sure it is a success.
Tip #1: Recruit help to figure out your tech set-up.
I was lucky enough to host the party with the help of a DJ, who set up one speaker in front of the screen and one speaker in the back, so we didn't have to blast the volume of the front speaker. You could use your indoor speakers or a few smaller portable speakers for the same effect. (Again, this is a great time to ask around and borrow equipment from friends.)
Here are a ton of tips and specific product recommendations from Apartment Therapy on setting up sound and video for an outdoor party:
Whatever your set-up, make sure to test it before the party, giving yourself enough time to fix any issues that arise.
Tip #2: Have guests bring their own blankets and pillows.
Depending on the nighttime weather in your area, you may also need to remind people to bring bug spray or layers of clothing to keep away the evening chill. I reminded all of my guests to bring an extra sweater — it gets surprisingly cold at night where I live, even in the summer.
Tip #3: Make a lot of popcorn.
After too many years spent working in offices and smelling the fake-butter odor of microwave popcorn, I have a hatred of the stuff, but in order to save time I ended up using a good quality plain, unseasoned microwave popcorn to make homemade Cracker Jack. (I used my usual stovetop method for the rest of the popcorn at the party.) I grudgingly admit it saved a lot of time and effort. Bottom line: microwave popcorn can be your friend when prepping for a movie party.
Tip #4: Be respectful of your neighbors.
Tip #5: Pick a crowd-pleasing movie.
- The Muppets Take Manhattan
- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
- The Princess Bride
- Coming to America
Do you have any tips for throwing an outdoor movie party? What are your picks for crowd-pleasing movies?
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)