You have probably seen them in catalogs — giant inflatable movie screens. Couple them with a dark night, an LCD projector and a DVD player, and you have the foundation for a great evening. Add comfy chairs, fun people, and fabulous finger food and good drinks and all you have to worry about is the weather!
Check around in your area and you may be able to find someone who rents the whole shebang and will come set it up, tweak it, and babysit it while the movie plays. I rented the first time, then enjoyed it so much that I thought it would be more cost-effective to purchase and owning it would allow me to be more spontaneous. With Oklahoma wind being wild and unpredictable, it is nice to be able to make an impromptu decision to throw a movie party when the weatherman is calling for ideal conditions.
Schedule the party for shortly before dark. You want everyone to be present and ready before the movie begins. Choose a movie based upon what your audience is likely to embrace. Maybe they are fans of black and white classics. Kids? Go for the animation? Couples? Perhaps a new romantic comedy. Selecting the movie is actually the most difficult part, but once people get started watching it, they will realize it isn’t really about the movie. It is about the glorious experience of being under the stars on a perfect night with mouth-watering snacks and delicious beverages. The movie is secondary.
Unless bugs are a problem, put your food outside near the guests so they won’t be trooping in and out of the house. You will need some sort of light on the table. Having people fill their plates before it gets dark will also help. Here, I have chilled wine and soft drinks in an acrylic tub with color changing LED lite cubes. Way cool. Next time, I am going to choose a single color and set all the lite cubes on that same color, rather than having them cycle through various colors.
Look how intense the expressions on the faces are.
We were watching The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon.
I love this picture because virtually everyone shown is chewing on something.
Don’t you love that glow? We were in the driveway. Normally, we do it from the patio with just the screen across the driveway, but I decided to try a different approach for a change. Hard to get a shot that shows how good the screen looks. If you get it light enough to show people, the screen is too dark and vice versa, but you get the idea.
This shows it a little better. Can you believe the motion detector light above the garage came on? Argh. The plot thickens. Unlike watching a movie on the couch in the living room, no one fell asleep! Lap robes would be nice when the fall air is crisp and cool. Twenty foot screen!
Cheese slices are lame. If you instead use small cookie cutters to cut them into shapes, everyone wants one — or more.
Fresh vegetables are a party staple. They are joined by Meaty Rollups, fruit skewers, sweet Italian sausage chunks with pineapple salsa, strawberries with marshmallow almond fruit dip, low carb brownies, and Gyro Bites. This was a spur of the moment party, put together in about four hours. Easy, but crowd-pleasing.
The ham rollups were put together by Deloris. I plunked her down with the deli-sliced ham, sugar-free sweet gherkins (which she cut vertically into quarters), and a bowl of cream cheese mixed with 1 packet Good Seasons dressing mix, 1 packet Splenda, and 3 tablespoons sour cream.
Doesn/t the savoy cabbage make a beautiful container for the jalapeño ranch dip? Here is an interesting factoid. By the time I took this pic, more thab 2 dozen of the cherub tomatoes had already been eaten, along with a bunch of celery. What is the LAST to go? The broccoli. Plan accordingly.
The fruit skewers were stuck in an eggplant. Waller them around just a little so they won’t be too difficult to pull out.
Next time, I am going to make the toothpicks more visible. They were “hiding.” See them behind the pineapple salsa? Yeah, well, some guests didn’t either.
Fresh fruit, with or without dip, is always a hit.
Brownies courtesy of Big Train. They make an excellent sugar-free brownie mix. I added walnuts.
I just love these lite cubes. Warning. If they get too water logged, they will fall apart and quit working.
Pull the table out so traffic can move on both sides.
Yes, I am smiling. Because the party didn’t involve much work, I was able to relax and have fun!