Three Cinematic Theme Parties for the Home Entertainment Crowd
Looking to stay in more and find ways to make it enjoyable? Movies and dinner parties are each affordable ways to go, certainly. How about combining the two into a themed event to take things to the next level? Following are three complete party plans to get you started.
The Star Wars Theme
OK, I am probably predisposed to this one because my husband's such a Star Wars fan. But there are enough movies in the series to have a serious weekend event. If you want to really round out the experience, there are several Star Wars cookbooks on the market, including one called Wookie Cookies featuring astro-snacks and starry smoothies that the kids might enjoy as well. For the grownups, some astronomically themed cocktails or Blue Moon brew might be in order. Other snack and food ideas would include crater cake and planetary biscuits.
Consider whether or not you want the movies to be the main focus of the party, or if you want them playing in the background while your guests participate in a marathon session of the Star Wars version of a classic board game such as Monopoly or Risk. You might also want a telescope set up in the back yard for an evening of family star gazing. If you'd like some sort of party favor activity, consider “hunting for meteorites” by wrapping affordable mini-gifts from Dollar Tree in tin foil for a Star Wars version of the age old Easter egg hunt. If you really want to get the kids in on the preparations, try some planetary system decorations you can make ahead.
This particular party them is a great one to try either before or after a family trip to the Kennedy Space Center.
The Chocolate Theme
Any number of movies can be incorporated here, including Chocolat, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (if you are making it a kids included evening), or Like Water for Chocolate. Depending on the crowd you've invited you could go with either chocolate martinis, hot cocoa or chocolate liqueur for the coffee bar. You've got a wide range of snack options as well. Basic to decadent brownies, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate fondue or crushed wafer rum balls all come to mind.
If you're having a night with the girls, consider mixing up some homemade spa treatments to take your chocolate chick flicks to the next level. Here's a link with recipes such as strawberry chocolate foot exfoliant, and chocolate almond body scrub, and another one with a full party plan to use with tween and teen girls that's precious and applicable in many ways to women as well. I might even try the pink and brown decorations and flip flop invitations with some women in the area as well. Door prize ideas? A copy of Diane Mott Davidson's Dying for Chocolate, chocolate soaps, and homemade chocolate bath bombs shaped like Hershey's kisses. For extra activities, make chocolate facial masks or try out a recipe or two for DIY chocolate fragrance. Looking for a super affordable party favor? These adorable hot chocolate in a bag gifts should definitely fit the bill.
The Godfather Marathon or Theme Party
Watch the trilogy, or have it playing in the background while your guests play a game of Godfather trivia or compete for door prizes (such as a copy of the book that inspired the movies) by guessing which character is responsible for a particular famous quote. Make a large batch of Godfather sauce to either enjoy over a meal in between one of the three movies, or to package up in canning jars to hand out as affordable party favors. Here's a recipe. This idea was given to me by a reader during a pasta tips contest. (Which still has some great tips available, by the way.)Other food and drink ideas? Sicilian liqueur to splash into a fine Italian coffee, served with cannolis for dessert to celebrate the movie line “Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.” Serve a baked stuffed fish in honor of the Luca Brasi scene, and serve antipasta or caprese kabobs for pre-dinner snacks.
Need some more theme building ideas? Here's a link with images from the movies. Have them running as a slide show in the background, or print off the black and white of Marlon Brando as the don and have it framed in an easel in your entryway next to nicely framed party programs and menus printed on parchment paper. If character costumes are too much for people, have the guys come in dark suits and the women come dressed in black with coordinating head scarves. Or, if you're doing a sleepover, have everyone wear two-piece men's pajamas like Vito's character from the movie. Buy some nice quality olive oil in bulk, pour into decorative bottles with a sprig of rosemary and cork. Design your own Genco Olive Oil company labels (this source has free labeling software) to celebrate the original family business from the first generation of Corleones. You could also use this same label idea to label jars of Godfather Sauce and take canning jar gifts to the next level. Try to work in a horse head pinata with grown up party favors inside. Here's one for purchase. DIY instructions for this were quite elusive. If you don't want to spend the money on a full one or try to custom design your own, there are other ways to incorporate the horse head element affordably. Here's a link from a candy supply site with affordably priced horse head sucker and candy molds. This place has a horse head cookie cutter which could also be used to incorporate affordable treats. I'm not normally one to promote special theme hoosy-whatsits, but these could easily be used for children's theme parties with a western theme, or for equestrian themed events as well. I've also seen instructions for a horse head cake, but it looked like an incredible amount of work to me.
These are my top three picks for cinematic theme parties. I've tried to include a range of ideas from each theme to fit every budget. Even the more elaborate ideas can be a bargain compared to going out and treating several couples to a dinner at a nice restaurant. Got another idea that the rest of us grownups or family groups might enjoy? Share your party program idea below.