Movie Theater Party
By JoAnn Wentzel
This is an easy party for those with little time but, as with all the ideas, you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like. This party theme can be a party for children of most ages, or even teens, depending on what movie is shown.
Make an oversized replica of a movie ticket. It might say, “Movie Pass, Admit one for the 2PM Matinee on Sat. Jan.15th at the Wentzel Movie Theater at 102 4th St, City, State.” Fill in with your own appropriate information and send this out as your invitation. Ask them to please bring their ticket in order to be admitted to the theater. This can also be put inside another party invitation.
You could set up a booth and string a cord across an entrance where the ticket is punched. They must enter the theater through this path. I suggest a mom for little kids; a best friend for older children might be the ticket taker. The birthday child could be an usher. Costumes are simple. Ticket holders and ushers can wear jackets with braid or buttons and police, cab, type caps. The usher gets to have a flashlight since all "house lights" will be down at the start of the show. Your usher will guide the guest to pre-arranged seats. Your folding chairs will be arranged in short rows like a theater facing the TV and VCR, or Home movie screen. The movie should be shown with an intermission and a preview or cartoon section first.
At intermission man (or woman) a stand with striped awning made from towels arranged and stapled to cardboard or a wood door to represent a booth. Here you will serve popcorn, candy and pop at intermission. Make this part extra fun by providing the movie-goers with play money with which to buy the popcorn, candy, and pop. Use large paper cups or waxed bags to put popcorn in, and juice or pop in bottles or cans might save some spills. Sell candy in small portions, like those mini boxes you get at Halloween or in little Baggies, filled with a variety of stuff. Be careful how much you serve at intermission if your party is to still include a time of cake and ice cream. They will probably bring the treats back to the theater, which might mean spills. The floor of your theater might be covered with a plastic drop cloth beneath the chairs to catch most accidents.
To add games for a longer party, kids could act out their favorite character from a well-known movie. You can pick the movie - say Lion King. Children take a turn performing in front of their friends. They must whisper their favorite character to a grown-up, and the children must try to guess who it is. The child acting out the character will give the performance. If one adult tells another adult, the child will always be guessed.
The best performer or the child who makes the most correct guesses could get a prize of real movie tickets or a video.
The game you come up with should not take much time since the movie itself will keep the kids busy for awhile. Either use one full-length feature appropriate for the children's ages or a few short videos for kids.
For teens, the young end of the spectrum, this party could be fun if you turned the theme into a drive-in movie. Same basic idea, but this requires making large appliance box cars. Each person drives up to the ticket booth in their car, one per couple or one for each. When they arrive at their place, they hook the car to the side of their folding chair by means of twisties or wire. Another way to do this: Take a short horizontal piece of wood and nail two short pieces of wood vertically on it, ¼ inch a part (thus creating a gap between which serves as a groove for the cardboard to fit into). Two chairs will be put together so if each person puts their car on the opposite side it will look like they are inside a vehicle. Instead of ushers, the kid with the flashlight could direct movie-goers to where they can park. This party only requires a few minor changes from the one above and would be a blast for teens if they were still young enough for this type of silliness. Of course, you must pick a movie - or maybe a couple - teens will like. Modify prizes and invitations to accommodate your adjusted theme and age group. A longer party could be followed with delivery pizza. Teens could actually make their own cars and bring them to the party for an added element of excitement.
Have fun and don’t eat too much popcorn!