I love going to the movies - the smell of popcorn, the dim lights, the pre-movie trailers, that sticky feeling on the floor. Believe it or not, until I was thirteen, I went to the movies just once (The Jungle Book, anyone?). Then Star Wars Episode I came out, and I went to see it three times that summer (have I mentioned I'm the only girl in a family with three boys?). It's never really mattered to me what movies I saw, but it was the whole experience that really made the evening special.
I have a similar approach to watching movies at home. I don't just channel surf until I find the last half of some random movie that's always on television with five hundred commercials in the middle of it. This kind of movie watching drives me crazy. Movies at home should have the same kind of reverence that we like to give them in the theater. Approaching the "at home movie night" with this type of attitude can take a mundane evening (or even a particularly terrible movie) and make it a fun event.
First of all, pick out the movie you want to see. If there is more than just you in your household, then you must learn to compromise and take turns (I recommend doing this instead of taking a vote, since there's usually a majority opinion in the house, and it's not fair for them to always pick). Sometimes, this will leave you having to watch a movie that you never wanted to see, but if you make the movie an event instead of just a movie, you're more likely to enjoy the experience of watching singing and dancing high schoolers or battling aliens or sappy lovers. And (as someone who grew up with them and is very very biased) don't be afriad of black and white or old movies!
Now that you have your movie, you have to set a time. This could be a night when you're all free, a weekend when you don't have to get up early the next morning, or when the kids are all finally in bed. When you have the movie event in your schedule, it gives you something to look forward to and makes sure that you don't have to cancel because you committed to something at the same time. My husband and I are weekend night movie watchers. We set our daughter's feeding schedule a little bit ahead, so we can put her to bed a little bit earlier and enjoy some alone time.
Make the evening even more fun by turning your living room (or backyard if you're a lucky person with a film projector) into your own personal theater. Provide movie snacks for the viewers - even if it is just you. Dim the lights and even rearrange the furniture if it will enhance the experience. And make sure that you have done one more important thing: turn off your technology devices! This will ruin a movie in the theater, and it can really ruin it at home as well.
Now you're all set to plan your own home movie night! Taking something small you can do at home and making it something really special is all about how this Daily Vacation mindset works.
For inspirations, I'll give you my own recent and planned "home theater" experiences:
A couple weeks ago, I enjoyed Smartpop and had a solo viewing of a Marx Brothers movie
Last week, we watched The Lorax with my daughter (of course at 5 1/2 months old, she had a little trouble following the plotline)
This past weekend, my husband and I, armed with frozen yogurt, viewed The Hunger Games
Tonight, I got one of my picks in, and we're prepared with boxed candy to watch P.S. I Love You
Later this month, my mom is coming for short visit, and we will be enjoying the BBC miniseries, North&South over the span of the visit - popcorn will be served as is it her movie snack of choice