What's your ideal movie night set up? For me, 50% of the movie experience is about enjoying a great movie and the other 50% is about enjoying what I'm eating in the process. Ideally, we want to recreate the movie theatre experience with surround sound, big screens, and all of the nostalgic movie food. It's possible right at home and I'll show you how.
My oldest memory of going to the movie theatres was on Friday or Saturday nights and waiting in line with friends for the midnight showing of the week's newest release - back when a movie ticket sold for $3.25 even during peak times. I hope I haven't dated myself by sharing this memory.
Now, it feels like highway robbery at nearly $20 a ticket if not more for the premium movie theatres with servers taking your meal orders or IMAX screens movies.
I stopped going to the cinema for the last five or so years. Don't get me wrong. I know i'm robbing myself of that full cinematic experience. But being a healthcare professional, it's become growingly difficult to walk around on sticky butter-covered floors and imagining what else is on the seats that we share with countless others.
That with the inflated cost of movie tickets, I usually wait until the newest releases hit the online streaming avenues for rent or purchase. That's why I'm excited to share with you an at-home movie theatre night set up.
Let's just keep in mind that nothing will beat that cinematic feeling of how movies are meant to be watched - on a massive screen with sound coming at you in all directions while sitting in couch-like cushioned seating that reclines back for your comfort with a constant almost nauseatingly strong scent of buttered popcorn enveloping you.
We may not be able to replicate that in its entirety, but we can get close to that experience.
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Best Seats In the House
Some of my best movie memories from my childhood are good because of the entire cinematic experience from purchasing tickets that come with freebie popcorn coupons, walking over to the concession stand for snacks and drinks, and then looking for the best seat in the theatre with your friends.
The best seats were ones where you were right in the middle. The seats in the back rows meant you'd miss details that appeared too small. Sitting in the front rows meant you couldn't take the entire screen in one view so you have to look left to right and up and down while experiencing motion sickness. I've definitely walked out of the theatre sick after this horrible situation.
The great thing about watching movies at home is that every seat in your room is going to be the best seat as long as it's comfortable. Ideally, you have a set up like that in the picture above with a big screen television and surround sound.
If you don't have this but want to invest in something affordable for the experience, I recommend a small projector. The great thing about projectors is that they're very easy to move around from room to room, and all you need is a blank white wall to watch the projection. Nothing else is needed.
No extra frills are necessary because many of the quality projectors have a built-in high fidelity (hifi) stereo sound system, too.
If you have a large outdoor or garden space, you may even opt for a 17 feet large inflatable screen for a more extravagant movie night experience on the big screen. You can inflate it to use and then, deflate it and tuck it away in a closet for the next time.
Now that we've picked the best seat in the house, let's gather a few things we'll need to maximise our movie night experience.
Think about what will make this the most comfortable movie time.
Yes, those things that just came to mind are what we'll gather If you're a minimalist, don't worry about the optionals.
Things You'll Need
Throw Blanket - Something cozy in the case you get cold but don't want to interrupt the movie to get up.
Throw Pillow - Use it for back support or on top of your lap to put your plate of food on.
Sweats - I'm so glad that at home we don't have to wear going-out clothes like we would in an actual movie theatre.
Online Streaming* - One of the best ways to watch movies is through live streaming. You can rent, purchase, or watch movies for free.
Food & Drinks - The movie theatre experience is incomplete without these. The hot dogs, soft pretzels, candy, and iced drinks all make the movie night complete. I'll show you how to make these very easy movie concession stand foods below.
Netflix create their own original content so you can find a wide genre of movies that are very unique.
Amazon Prime Video also creates their own content, but they've been more popular with the TV shows. As far as movies go, they do have many old and new releases that you may not find on Netflix. So, take a look at these for your best movie choice.
Homemade Dairy Free Corndogs
In all honesty, I can't remember seeing corndogs at the movie theatres. Corndogs can be frequently found at carnivals and beach boardwalks. Usually, you find hotdogs at the movie theatres in America, but I find hotdogs to be a bit boring.
To put an exciting spin on a boring food, I decided to dip the hot dog