Does your film night rival the best cinema in town? It can with our tips on how to make your living room movie-night ready.
Movie night is an institution for many families. Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than settling onto the sofa with your favourite people and watching a long-awaited movie.
When you choose to watch a movie at home instead of going to the cinema, there’s no reason it shouldn’t still feel like a special event. That means no more plopping down in front of the TV, picking the first thing you see on Netflix and falling asleep before the opening credits end. Instead, make your movie night into a true cinematic event with comfy fabric sofas, huge bowls of popcorn and a TV set up for ultimate viewing pleasure.
With the help of a few simple tips and tricks, you can turn movie night into a blockbuster event worthy of any movie premiere. Here’s how to do it.
1. Create a cosy place to sit
Let’s face it, no matter how enthralling a movie might be, watching it on a lumpy, springy sofa simply won’t do.
The first step of getting your living room movie-ready is by investing in a cosy sofa that’ll comfortably fit the whole family. Fabric sofas are great for cuddling onto with your family and are available in a variety of different materials, so you can choose the level of comfort and plushness that’s best for you.
For the ultimate luxury movie-watching experience, go for the biggest, comfiest sofa you can afford (although you’ll need to ensure it’s proportional to the space you’re putting it in).
So, you’ve bought a lush fabric sofa big enough for six. But, your movie night is about to be legendary (our tips will see to that!), so what happens when your friends invite their friends?
You want movie night to be enjoyable for as many people as possible, so make sure you’ve figured out how to accommodate any extra people that might pop in. For those not lucky enough to get a spot on the couch, make it easy for them to sit comfortably on the floor.
Place a large area rug under the sofa (particularly if you have wooden flooring), and provide plenty of blankets, pillows and throws to help them get comfortable.
3. Provide themed movie snacks
Okay, if your movie night happens every week, it might be a bit of a stretch to have themed movie snacks every time.
But, every once in a while, make your movie night that much more special by preparing snacks that relate to the movie you’re about to watch.
Whether you’re recreating a famous food from the film, decorating cookies with images of the main characters, or simply matching the colours of the food to the movie poster, there’s no end to the types of movie-themed snacks you could provide.
Of course, for a more low-key affair, mimicking a real cinema concession stand could be just as exciting. That means huge bowls of assorted popcorn, a pick-and-mix selection, and plenty of fizzy drinks and fun cocktails.
4. Brush up your tech
With the seating and movie snacks sorted, the next thing you’ll need to think about is how you’re going to watch the film. If you have a large wall in your sitting room, you could set up a projector and a big white sheet to create the biggest screen you possibly can.
Of course, if you don’t have the space for a projector-style experience, you’ll have to make-do with your TV. Give yourself the best viewing experience possible by positioning the screen and the sofa at the best viewing distance from each other – about 6-10 feet away for a 50-inch screen, and slightly further away as the screen gets bigger.
Whether you’re gearing up to watch “A Quiet Place” or to re-watch “The Notebook” for the umpteenth time, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the audio right. Invest in a surround sound system and test it out the night before so you’re not fiddling around with it when the movie starts.
5. Creating the ambience
The last thing you want when you’re trying to watch a movie is to have a ceiling light glaring at you. Turn the lights off completely, install blackout curtains to eliminate any outside light, and make sure any electronics are switched off.
When it comes to the end of the movie, avoid the inevitable lighting-assault on the eyes by making sure there are some low-light floor lamps nearby that you can switch on easily. Some soft lighting in the background can also be helpful to navigate bathroom breaks without disturbing everyone else.
Part of creating the right ambience is also in making sure the light level of your TV is at optimum level. It might be worth spending some time beforehand adjusting the exposure, brightness and contrast on your TV to better reflect the type of movie you’re watching. A beach movie is likely to have lots of bright sun (so set your TV slightly lower on the exposure scale) while a colourful Wes-Anderson-style movie might be enhanced by a slightly higher contrast level.
6. Finishing with the little touches
Once everything else has been taken care of, think of what else you could do to enhance the movie-watching experience. Some of our favourite ideas include:
- Decorating your living room with your favourite movie posters: Go for classics that everyone can talk about, and slot in a few obscure favourites of your own so you can introduce them to your friends.
- Make movie admission tickets: Make every movie night worthy of your memory scrapbook by creating admissions tickets you can give out as people arrive. It’s a nifty touch that kids in particular will love.
- Display movie memorabilia: Whether you buy actual movie memorabilia, create your own, or ask your friends to bring some in, this is another handy conversation starter that might actually make your event more special than going to the cinema.
Take your movie night from “Les Misérables” to “An Affair to Remember” with our tips and tricks for creating a cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home. From investing in the comfiest fabric sofa ever, getting creative with movie snacks and making sure the ambience is just right, your movie night is sure to give you a reputation as “The Greatest Showman” in town.