Host a movie night

Gather friends to Lehigh Valley's most comfortable movie theater -- your living room. (Pottery Barn / March 22, 2012)

Pennsylvanians love movies. But you don't have to go out to Lehigh Valley Cinemas in Whitehall or any other local theater -- you can have all the fun at home and get together with friends, too.

Movie Night is a great theme for a casual party. It’s perfect for a Friday night when friends are tired from a long day at work in Allentown and are up for a relaxed evening that’s simple and fun. But, even a low-key movie night needs a theme. Choose one or two films from our favorite categories below to make party planning easy. Or, use an online movie database – like imdb.com – to search for great films. Set up a drink station with local favorites such as A-Treat or Yuengling beer, and put several bowls of popcorn from Dale and Thomas around the room. Encourage guests to show up in character – and have fun! That’s all it takes to throw a simple, casual movie-night get-together.

Setting Up

Once you decide on your party theme and the movies you’ll be screening, do a little research. Drum up some stories about what went on behind the scenes, or gather some trivia about what was in fashion or in the news the year your films were released. You could even make a quick game of it to break the ice and get everyone excited to start the movie.

On a pinboard – like Pottery Barn’s Large Linen Pinboard – or chalkboard, handwrite the names of each of the movies. Add a little flourish by scrawling “…starring the great [actor/actress]!” If your message-board is near the bar, you can also tack up a 4x6" card with a recipe for the evening’s signature cocktail.

Decide on one special beverage like a homemade lemonade or cocktail – if it ties into the movie theme, even better. See below for a list of cocktails associated with “Cool Classics.” Then choose a simple snack from our great homemade popcorn recipes.

Before the party, prepare cones by taping pieces of butcher paper, waxed paper newspaper or wrapping paper into cones for popcorn holders. They make clean-up simple.

Movie Night Essentials

For cocktails or beer, pre-freeze your glassware so drinks stay cold longer. It’s an easy way to make any drink extra-special. Simply place your glassware in the freezer for ten minutes and natural condensation will frost each one.

Salty and sweet snacks served together are movie-night classics. In addition to popcorn, serve individual ice creams in Pottery Barn Small Pinch Bowls filled with ice. What’s so great about each of these snacks is that guests can enjoy them without taking their eyes off the action!

Serve popcorn in Pottery Barn Large Pinch Bowls, placing your pre-rolled paper cones next to the bowl so guests can help themselves to individual portions.

Use several serving trays to move party fare easily from serving table to screening-room occasional table or ottoman.

Make sure your screening room has lots of comfortable seating with plenty of throw pillows and blankets, plus coffee tables and side tables for easy access to snacks.