Throwing the Perfect Outdoor Movie Party

6 May

As the weather starts to warm up and days become longer, there is no better way to celebrate than with an outdoor movie party! The low-key entertainment and lively outdoor setting make it the perfect way to celebrate an upcoming graduation, birthday, or memorial day weekend. Hire a company like FunFlicks to set up the movie for you or make your own screen by sawing black fabric behind a white sheet and surrounding it with a sturdy wood frame and rent or buy a movie projector. Movie projectors can be pretty pricy, but if you think that you may want to make outdoor movie nights a regular event, it’s worth investing in. Craigslist could also be a great resource to get a cheap projector.

Invitations: With the world of Facebook events and Evites, paper invitations have become rather obsolete, but internet invitations (even if they have animated dancing animals) cannot compare to beautiful, handmade invitations. Check out this cute tutorial for cheap and easy streamer invites, or find pre-made ones on Etsy.

Streamer Invites from Funkytime

Movie Party Invitation from Whirlibird on Etsy

Old Fashioned Invites from Michele Purner on Etsy


Flip empty crates upside down to serve as low-lying tables and  set up bean bags, lawn chairs, pillows, or blankets for movie watchers to lounge on. Check out flea markets for cheap seating options or ask your friends to bring their own. Vintage quilts and blankets can give your event a relaxed, yet hip indie vibe while allowing guests a great opportunity to cuddle up.

Add a touch of casual elegance by displaying mason jars with sliced lemons and white flowers from Handmade Wedding Invites

Photo Booth:

Buy inexpensive frames from a discount framing store or from a flea market, then buy or make your own accessories, and set up an area with a Polaroid camera or a designated photographer to take photos of your guests playing dress up.

Check out this photo station from A Vintage Affair

Buy these cute vintage-inspired photo props from Paper Source

Click here to download free printable photo props from Oh Happy Day

Picking the Movie: Of course, the movie that you choose widely depends on your audience. If it’s a kid’s movie night, Disney and Pixar classics like Finding Nemo or Up are Great. Or pick a 80’s movies like the Goonies or Princess Bride are sure to be a way for adults to reminisce, and kids to be introduced to great movies from before their time. For a slightly less kid friendly movie night, play Edward Scissorhands, The Graduate, The Breakfast Club, or Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. If you will be among movie buffs, play a universally revered movie like Fight Club, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Memento, Goodfellas, the Shawshank Redemption,  or Taxi Driver. You could also go the scary route with Seven, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, or the Shining. Or for a crowd of foodies, show mouth-watering films like Julie and Julia, Chocolat, Waitress, Sideways, or Marie Antoinette.

Menu: Minimize your workload by ordering pizza or barbecuing simple hamburgers and hot dogs, and instead focusing on making adorable bite-sized appetizers and tasty desserts.

Cash in on Summer’s cheap tomatoes and eggplants by making these sumptuous Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint from Smitten Kitchen

Fill store-bought filo shells with this Citrus Ceviche for an elegant appetizer from Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers

Serve these adorable bite-sized Three Cheese Mini Macs from Food and Wine

Serve up these quick and easy Chickpea Salad Lettuce Cups from Glamour

Make these colorful Quinoa stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Rasins from Gluten Free Goddess

Have an interactive food aspect to provide additional entertainment for your guests such as an ice cream sundae bar, s’mores bar, or this popcorn and soda bar from Design Sponge

Serve a healthy fruit or veggie option for guests to snack on in addition to their popcorn, such as these simple bags of cherries from Martha Stewart

Give guests the simple joy of a s’more, but without the hassle of an open flame with these adorable S’mores Cupcakes from Kevin & Amanda

Serve a sumptuous desert that takes full advantage of the season’s prime produce such as this lemon berry trifle from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Give classic brownies an upgrade with these Brownie Popcorn Bags from Bakerella

Replace your favorite candy with upgraded, homemade versions of the classic treat such as these Better than Milky Way Bars from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake on Cravings of a Lunatic

Party Favors: Nothing makes as big of an impression as a sweet send off, so go the extra mile and send your guests home with something to remember the night by.

Send guests off with some movie fun for later with these adorable “Thanks for Popping By” popcorn party favors from Jac o’lyn Murphy

Give your guests a sweet send off with these cute daisy lollipops from Funkytime


4 Responses to “Throwing the Perfect Outdoor Movie Party”

  1. Lucy's Cafe May 9, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    I love the collection of ideas here. My husband and I are in the works of planning our first outdoor party at our house…I will definitely reference this post!

    • ModernAlice May 9, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Thanks Lucy! I’m so glad to be of help:) I can’t wait to hear how your party goes!

  2. Julie Kendall May 6, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Wow! These are some fabulou ideas for a great outdoor party. I wanna throw a party, just sp I can implement some of these.

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