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Everyone loves movie night, so host one at your house, but with a twist. Paula Conway shares her take on an old-fashioned movie night with nod to the silent film greats.
Turn your living room or movie room into Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and have guests pays $0.25 to watch an early 1900s flick or silent film. To this day, Grauman’s still hosts Family Nights, where they charge $0.25, just like the old days.
To host your own, set up a buffet table with food and candies that would have been served during the silent film and early film days, but give everything a little twist of course.
Create a buffet with offerings named after stars of the day. Set the scene with "Fatty Arbuckle" hot dogs, wrapped in foil with either ketchup or mustard, and labeled; Betty Grable’s warm nuts in brown paper bags, rolled down, with peanuts or cashews overflowing; and "Marilyn Monroe" Milk Duds in a glass bowl with a silver scoop. Then, fill a large bowl or jar with Charlie Chaplin’s caramel corn, and have red Chinese food containers on hand so guests can fill them with the treats they love before they sit down to watch the film.
Candies that would have been available in the early 1900s should be sprinkled throughout the table and between the large bowls, including Sugar Daddy’s, Mary Janes, Boston Baked Beans, strawberry wheels, licorice wheels, root beer barrels, Bit O’Honey, Bull’s Eyes, Slo Poke Caramels, wax bottles, Hershey bars, and saltwater taffy. If guests run low on munchies, they can easily visit the buffet table and fill their bags with more.
Serve flavored sodas, either bottled or homemade, such as Shirley Temples, Orange Crush, Green River (a lime-based soda with a hint of lemon that came out in 1919 and is still made with real sugar in its original location in Chicago), Coca-Cola (vanilla and cherry flavored), Grape Crush, root beer, cream soda, Bubble Up (a lemon-lime soda that you can purchase on Amazon), strawberry soda, blackberry soda, and 7UP.
To keep the theme going, invite your guests to dress like an old-time movie great, and help them out by providing a list of options from the silent film era to the talkies. Suggest Laurel & Hardy, Fatty Arbuckle, Lillian Gish, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Max Schreck, Vivian Leigh, James Stewart, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Clara Bow, Betty Grable, Veronica Lake, Gene Autry, Marjorie Reynolds, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Joan Collins, and Bette Davis, just to name a few.
Show one or two films, like Metropolis, which first aired in 1927, or Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings, which marked the opening of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on May 18, 1927. Other cult favorites include Nosferatu from 1929 with Max Schreck (our first, and most iconic, Dracula on film), Modern Times from 1936, directed by Charlie Chapin, and the first silent film horror, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, first released in 1920.
Host intermissions for guests to talk about the film, or play trivia, with winners receiving something fun like a gold (plastic) Oscar, or printed silent film award, framed to remind them of the great time they had at your home.
Send your guests home with candies, popcorn, and even bottled sodas in bags — this is one movie night they’ll never forget.
Host a Cozy Movie Night
An at-home movie night is a fun way to bring together young and old and integrate family into your entertaining.
Movie nights are some of my favorite nights of the year. We pull out the movie projector, spread out blankets and cushions, and invite all of our friends over for a fun big screen-type experience in our backyard or living room. Host movie night for your child’s next birthday party, for a graduation party, or even an adults-only shindig (the kind where you can provide wine, cheese, and show a scary movie in your dark backyard). In any and all instances, be sure to have plenty of popcorn.
How to host a fun movie night
Host movie night at home, and make delicious popcorn for your friends.
Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016
As you plan for the party, keep in mind everything that goes into making it a great experience:
The Best Outdoor Projectors of 2021
Host the ultimate watch party, whether you're watching sports or movies, day or night.
Home movie night used to mean curling up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn. That still works, but more families are moving the activity outside, watching a film or favorite show projected onto a portable screen from the comfort of a picnic blanket and patio furniture, cozied beneath a patio heater.
While you can get an outdoor television, home projector is the key to making the experience possible &mdash though not any old model will do, according to the tech experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute. In evaluating more than 10 of the latest home projectors, we focused on the features that do the most to enhance outdoor viewing, including brightness, ease of streaming, image crispness and clarity, and portability, knowing that most people will carry the equipment back inside once the show is over. As with our reviews of home projectors for indoor use, the following roundup is based upon comprehensive categorical testing, road testing of newer models and reviewing updates to past favorites. Here are the top projectors for outdoor use that the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends:
Enjoy movie nights at Ida Claire this spring
SAN ANTONIO – Movie nights are back at Ida Claire. You can enjoy elevated dining, craft cocktails and out movies every Thursday at the southern-inspired restaurant.
April 1 they will show “Bad News Bears” at 8 p.m. The movie nights include complimentary popcorn. You can also enjoy a movie-themed cocktail such as “The Buttermaker” which is a take on an Old Fashioned.
Next week’s movie is “Happy Gilmore.”
You can also order Easter family meal kits that include a choice of entrée, guests can select either Glazed Ham ($80) or CAB Prime Rib ($110).
All meal kits feed four to six people and come with sides including scalloped potatoes, maple glazed carrots, green bean casserole, honey butter biscuits and spring salad. For dessert, guests can add on their choice of pie for $20 from options including Coconut Cream, Strawberry Lemonade or Bourbon Pecan.
Guests can preorder Ida Claire’s Easter Meal Kit starting now until supplies last. To learn more about Ida Claire click here.
Please note this post contains affiliate links.
Step 1 – Invitations
Decide who you’re going to invite! Perhaps you just want to have some girlfriends over for a fun Ladies Night Out. Maybe your Women’s Ministry is hosting a Movie Night for a fellowship event.
Whatever the case, make sure you communicate and invite your guests 2-3 weeks prior to your event. And be sure to follow-up with a reminder email the week of the event.
Step 2 – Plan your menu
Popcorn is definitely a must! Chances are your Youth Group has a movie theater-style popcorn machine like this Gold Medal Popcorn Popper that you can borrow. You might want to consider purchasing some popcorn seasoning mixes, popcorn bags, or popcorn boxes. You could even set up a Popcorn Bar like Corey did over at Family Fresh Meals.
If your budget allows provide some full-size candy bars.
Your guests are going to get thirsty so be sure to supply plenty of sodas and water.
Step 3 – Name tags and an Icebreaker
Get folks to put a name tag on when you greet them at the door.
Print out these movie-themed icebreaker questions to encourage conversation as you wait for everyone to arrive. Consider placing the questions on the table, scatter them around the food table, or put them in a popcorn box and have everyone draw a question to answer.
If you want to take your bourbon Old Fashioned over the top, make up a batch of our clear ice. You’ll need to think 24 hours in advance, but you can make a batch that will last for many drinks and store it in the freezer. All you need is 24 hours and a small cooler! It makes perfectly clear artisan style ice like you’d see in a fancy bar. To do it, go to How to Make Clear Ice.
Host an Old Fashioned Games Night
Is technology stripping you and your family and friends of fun and laughs? Whip out the games and get everyone communicating again with an old fashioned games night.
1. Invite People
First, you want to invite over some folks who don't mind letting their hair down. However, games nights are great for getting people to relax so don't be surprised when those quieter friends start coming out of their shells by the end of the evening. Games nights are also great for cheering people up or getting to know others in a relaxed way.
If you don't want the hassle of serving dinner, just make it a games and dessert night or ask everyone to bring a dish and have a 'pot luck' dinner.
Homemade pizzas (get people to make their own)
Finger food - Party packs are good for a real no fuss approach.
Italian night (spag bol, garlic bread and salad)
Mexican - tacos
Don't go out and buy boardgames. Make do with what you have or better still, make your own.
Great Games for a Games Night
Use a simple points table to score. This is one of those games that you can have teams for or you can just play with the whole group (some people don't like competitive games and sometimes it's good to mix it up). Have a big whiteboard or paper clipped to an easel or stand and have a list of words that fall into the following categories -
a person, place or animal
The person who goes first chooses from the top of the pile of words and, without showing anyone, must draw what is on the card. No sounds or hand gestures can be made by the drawer and no numbers or letters can be drawn.
The Dictionary Game
I used to play this at university. Everyone sits around the room with a scrap of paper and pen. The person who is 'in' first gets a dictionary and finds an obscure word that hopefully no one has ever heard of. An example is 'contango'. Everyone is informed of the word and everyone writes a definition that sounds credible.
The person who initially found the word, writes the correct definition from the dictionary (trying to make it reasonably sound simple). Others make things up like 'an ancient middle eastern dish of broiled goat and vegetables'. All the possibilities are collected and then read out by the 'in' person. People decide which definition they think is the accurate one. When someone nominates your 'definition', you get a point. The 'in' person is like the referee - and not allocated any points in this round.
This is a fun variation and funny to watch. Five or six people volunteer or are nominated and leave the room while the 'in' person is secretly given a silly action to act out by the remaining 'audience'. Examples are sharing a banana with a monkey or walking a very stubborn, overweight dog.
The 'in' person then brings the others back into the room and gets them to line up and turn so their backs are to the first person who will act out the silly action. He/she taps the shoulder of the second in line so they turn to face him/her and quietly acts out the action once. The second in line, then turns 180 degrees and taps the next person in line and acts out what they think the action was and so it continues. Hopefully it gets sillier and sillier as it goes along. Then the actors reveal what they think they were acting out.
Taboo and Catchphrase
These games are similar and are often seen on American movies where they try to get their team mates to say a word. There is an adults only version used in The Cable Guy which is quite funny. Matthew Broderick is teamed up with his mum and finds it quite excruciating to get her to say the words in question.
There are several versions of catchphrase.
Verbal cues only - the 'in' person has 1 minute to get his teammates to say as many words from the cards that he/she can. If you don't own one of these games and you want an easy option for acquiring words, get everyone to write 5 celebrities/words/books and whatever you decide on cards and put them in a bowl for selection.
Charades - Most people know how to play this - the 'in' person acts out the word or phrase. If they like, they can indicate words and syllables with certain hand gestures and you can use 'sounds like' by cupping your ear. No words can be spoken.
One word clues only. Only one word can be used to describe the word on the card.
Within the time frame of one minute, you can try to play speed catchphrase to go through as many cards as possible. If one is impossible to work out, the team guessing can say 'pass' to go onto the next card.
Taboo works as above with verbal cues allowed but the card in question has 5 taboo words on it that you cannot use to describe the word. If you are making your own cards you might have HOSPITAL and then you think of 5 taboo words that first pop into your mind to describe hospital. So your card may look like this:
So when a player picks that card, he/she must get his teammates to say hospital without using 'doctor', 'sick' etc to describe it so they may say 'big building to go to when you are unwell'. Once the team gets the word right, the 'in' person can quickly pick up another card and try to do as many within a one or three minute time period to accrue as many points for their team as possible.
A TV that gives you the theater experience
These days it's not hard to find fantastic values on large TVs with glossy high-definition picture quality, like this 65-inch model from TCL for less than $700. Besides the HD 4K resolution, what's great about this one is that it puts Netflix , Hulu , Disney+, and other streaming services in one place with the built-in Roku software, and it's easy enough to use that you might not have to ask the kids to set it up for you. There are other great options if you're looking for something a little smaller or less expensive, like TCL's 43-inch Class 4 Series 4K UHD Smart Roku TV for just $230.
35+ Best Christmas Party Ideas to Help You Throw a Festive Bash
Invite a small group of your friends over to join you for a merry little holiday gathering with these fun and festive Christmas party ideas! We&rsquove rounded up some cute ideas to make prepping for the holidays feel more enjoyable and less like a chore. So settle in for an evening or afternoon filled with winter holiday drink recipes, holiday homemade food gifts, and maybe even few Christmas movies too!
From making Christmas wreaths to hosting a gift wrapping party, we have enough Christmas party ideas to cover each day all month long! Are you a crafter? Then you&rsquoll love our ideas for crafter-noon parties, from an ornament crafting party (with our favorite DIY Christmas ornament ideas and tutorials to get you started, no less) to a salt dough crafting party. You can even host your own cookie swap party where each guest makes their favorite Christmas cookie recipe ahead of time so each guest to take home a sampling of each cookie. Of course, your friends might just want to sit back and relax this year&mdashafter all, they&rsquove been busily prepping for the holiday, no doubt, and odds are they&rsquore more than a little tuckered out.
If that&rsquos the case, serve them some delicious Christmas appetizers, with a holiday playlist playing in the background! A hot chocolate bar is easy to throw together if you&rsquove got a slow cooker to keep things warm and toasty, while fondue can fee a crowd crowd and keep all your friends entertained. Better yet, give back this year and host a holiday toy drive. That's what the season's really all about!
Build a fire, curl up with your family and friends, and get in the spirit of Christmas with your favorite holiday classics, like The Polar Express, Home Alone, and Miracle on 34th Street. Serve fresh popcorn with optional popcorn seasonings like parmesan black pepper, cinnamon sugar, or everything bagel for a holiday treat. Don't forget the toasted marshmallow hot cocoa and the theatre candy brownies. To make things extra fun, ask guests to play Binge-Watch Bingo using buttons or popcorn to mark the squares.
Invite friends over to craft fresh holiday decor out of peppermint sticks and candy canes. The season's most ubiquitous treat is more versatile than you think! Besides candy canes, peppermint sticks and peppermints, hot glue guns, red cotton string, glass pillar candle holders, and festive ribbons are just a few must-haves.
Similar to a cookie exchange, invite your pals to come over with a their favorite savory holiday snack like these sweet and spicy coated nuts. Turn on your favorite holiday playlist, sip on some hot cocoa, and send everyone home with a cute container of treats like these hexagon jars adorned with a cinnamon stick and striped ribbon.
An old fashioned was one of the simpler and earlier versions of cocktails, before the development of advanced bartending techniques and recipes in the later part of the 19th century.  The first documented definition of the word "cocktail" was in response to a reader's letter asking to define the word in the May 6, 1806, issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York. In the May 13, 1806, issue, the paper's editor wrote that it was a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar it was also referred to at the time as a bittered sling and is essentially the recipe for an old fashioned.   J.E. Alexander describes the cocktail similarly in 1833, as he encountered it in New York City, as being rum, gin, or brandy, significant water, bitters, and sugar, though he includes a nutmeg garnish as well. 
By the 1860s, it was common for orange curaçao, absinthe, and other liqueurs to be added to the cocktail. As cocktails became more complex, drinkers accustomed to simpler cocktails began to ask bartenders for something akin to the pre-1850s drinks. The original concoction, albeit in different proportions, came back into vogue, and was referred to as "old-fashioned".   The most popular of the in-vogue "old-fashioned" cocktails were made with whiskey, according to a Chicago barman, quoted in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1882, with rye being more popular than Bourbon. The recipe he describes is a similar combination of spirits, bitters, water and sugar of seventy-six years earlier. 
The Pendennis Club, a gentlemen's club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky, claims the old fashioned cocktail was invented there. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.  Cocktail critic David Wonderich finds this origin story unlikely however, as the first mention in print of "old fashioned cocktails" was in the Chicago Daily Tribune in February 1880, before the Pendennis Club was opened this in addition to the fact that the old fashioned was simply a re-packaging of a drink that had long existed.  
With its conception rooted in the city's history, in 2015 the city of Louisville named the old fashioned as its official cocktail. Each year, during the first two weeks of June, Louisville celebrates "Old Fashioned Fortnight" which encompasses bourbon events, cocktail specials and National Bourbon Day which is always celebrated on June 14. 
George Kappeler provides several of the earliest published recipes for old fashioned cocktails in his 1895 book. Recipes are given for whiskey, brandy, Holland gin, and Old Tom gin. The whiskey old fashioned recipe specifies the following (with a jigger being 2 US fluid ounces (59 ml)): 
Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail
Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass
add two dashes Angostura bitters,
a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel,
one jigger whiskey.
Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass. 
By the 1860s, as illustrated by Jerry Thomas' 1862 book, basic cocktail recipes included Curaçao, or other liqueurs. These liqueurs were not mentioned in the early 19th century descriptions, nor the Chicago Daily Tribune descriptions of the "old fashioned" cocktails of the early 1880s they were absent from Kappeler's old fashioned recipes as well. The differences of the old fashioned cocktail recipes from the cocktail recipes of the late 19th Century are mainly preparation method, the use of sugar and water in lieu of simple or gomme syrup, and the absence of additional liqueurs. These old fashioned cocktail recipes are literally for cocktails done the old-fashioned way. 
Use small bar glass
3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup
2 do [dashes] bitters Bogart's
1 wine glass of gin
1 or 2 dashes of Curaçao
1 small piece lemon peel
fill one third full of fine ice shake well and strain in a glass 
Old Fashioned Holland Gin Cocktail
Crush a small lump of sugar in a whiskey glass containing a little water,
add a lump of ice,
two dashes of Angostura bitters,
a small piece of lemon peel,
one jigger Holland gin.
Mix with small bar spoon.
A book by David Embury published in 1948 provides a slight variation, specifying 12 parts American whiskey, 1 part simple syrup, 1-3 dashes Angostura bitters, a twist of lemon peel over the top, and serve garnished with the lemon peel.  Two additional recipes from the 1900s vary in the precise ingredients, but omit the cherry which was introduced after 1930 as well as the soda water which the occasional recipe calls for. Orange bitters were a popular ingredient in the late 19th century. 
The original old fashioned recipe would have showcased the whiskey available in America in the 19th century: Irish, Bourbon or rye whiskey.  But in some regions, especially Wisconsin, brandy is substituted for whiskey (sometimes called a brandy old fashioned).    Eventually the use of other spirits became common, such as a gin recipe becoming popularized in the late 1940s. 
Common garnishes for an old fashioned include an orange slice or a maraschino cherry or both,  although these modifications came around 1930, some time after the original recipe was invented.  While some recipes began making sparse use of the orange zest for flavor, the practice of muddling orange and other fruit gained prevalence as late as the 1990s. 
Some modern variants have greatly sweetened the old fashioned, e.g. by adding blood orange soda to make a fizzy old fashioned, or muddled strawberries to make a strawberry old fashioned. 
Modern versions may also include elaborately carved ice though cocktail critic David Wonderich notes that this, along with essentially all other adornments or additions, goes against the simple spirit of the old fashioned. 
The old fashioned is the cocktail of choice of Don Draper, the lead character on the Mad Men television series, set in the 1960s.  The use of the drink in the series coincided with a renewed interest in this and other classic cocktails in the 2000s. 
In the movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), pilot Tyler Fitzgerald (Jim Backus) directs passenger Dingy Bell (Mickey Rooney) to the aircraft's bar to "make us some old fashioneds." Annoyed by suggestions that he should limit drinking while piloting an airplane, and finding Bell's old fashioneds too sweet, Fitzgerald turns the controls over to Bell's sidekick Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett) and retires to the back of the plane to "make some old fashioneds the old fashioned way, the way dear old dad used to." When Benjamin asks what if something happens, Fitzgerald replies, "What could happen to an old fashioned?"
In the television series M*A*S*H, character Margaret Houlihan frequently orders an old fashioned, "without the fruit", while in the Officers' Club.
In The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Doreen orders an old-fashioned at a bar with two men she and the protagonist have just met. As Doreen eats the fruit with a "spindly silver spoon," Lenny Shepherd playfully tries to eat it. 
In the 2015 movie Crazy, Stupid, Love, the old fashioned is the preferred cocktail of pickup artist Jacob Palmer, and he is shown drinking it both in the bar and at home.
In the movie Spy (2015 film), Karen Walker orders an old fashioned at a bar.
In "The Fourth Profession" by Larry Niven, serving an undesired customer a mismade old fashioned is an example of practical (rather than school-taught) knowledge.