Years ago, I saw an ad for a huge inflatable movie screen in one of those airplane shopping magazines and immediately thought---yippee! Drive-in movie party! This party is perfect for so many occasions. It’s a great casual get together for the big game or an easy birthday party for any age. It’s also perfect for that neighborhood party you’ve been putting off! For the bride and groom, it's a fun alternative to a boring rehearsal dinner or the perfect shower for movie buffs. I even had a movie night party for one of my Food Network Star viewing parties and everyone loved it. The menu is classic snack bar food and since it’s all self-serve, all you have to do is set it up and grab a good seat for the movie!
The big star of our show was the twelve foot Airblown Inflatable Movie Screen. Fantastic! It self-inflates in a matter of minutes and presto! You have a movie theater in your yard! It was just as easy to take down as it was to put up and it stores in a tote bag. You can make a screen from an old white sheet if you don't want to invest in the inflatable screen but I ordered an Airblown brand inflatable screen for only $150. You do need a projector to show the movie but there is new technology out there. Search online for the type that suits your budget.
Be sure to check the length of the movie before you make your choice. I would recommend selecting a movie less than two hours in length and one that will appeal to men and women. If you have a large crowd, you’ll need speakers. If you’re not the technical type or if you’re having a large party, it is worth the money to hire an entertainment company. Not only will they set up everything to show the movie, they can play music to get the party started. Another fun idea? Have them instantly screen photographs of your guests arriving as they walk the red carpet! When I am in Birmingham, my great friend Geoff Carlisle from Jamm Entertainment always does the sound for the party and also provides some music before and after the movie. Makes the party a lot more fun.
Decorating for this party couldn’t have been easier because you can find “movie night” items like popcorn boxes and supplies almost everywhere, including the $1 store or the $1 bin at Target. Better yet, find one-stop shopping for movie night decorations at Oriental Trading Company.
Line the entrance to the party with colorful patio lights and you can probably score movie posters from a local theatre. Next, you’ll need lawn chairs, quilts, blankets, etc., or simply ask guests to bring their own seating. If you have a large yard or are holding the party at a park, you can even let guests drive up, drive-in style.
FOOD AND DRINKS: Think snack bar favorites for this menu or select your own easy to make, easy to serve foods. We served deluxe hot dogs with tons of toppings so guests could create their own favorite combos.
Next, we built a huge candy and snack bar complete with boxed movie candy that I got on sale at Walgreen's. You can also find it at most discount or dollar stores. Make fresh, hot popcorn; put the popcorn in boxes to make serving easier. Roasted peanuts in small brown bags are another good choice.