ten tips for magical movie nights

Young family enjoying a movie night at home on the sofa.

Who doesn’t love a good movie night at home? A good show, comfy seats, tasty snacks, and you can pause to take a bathroom break whenever you like. (Not to mention having unlimited options at the touch of a remote for less than the cost of one ticket.)

To help you set the stage for a magical, memorable movie night, we have gathered some of our most Oscar-worthy tips and ideas. Find your seat and get ready for some serious family fun.

1. Don’t wait until the last minute to pick a film.
Get movie night off to a great start by choosing the movie in advance. This will help you save some time, avoid those inevitable arguments, and give you plenty of opportunity to prepare costumes and snacks if you want to make it a theme night (more about that later).

To make the process of deciding on a movie little easier, keep a running list of movies you’d like to see, along with which streaming service they’re on. When the time comes to pick a flick, pull up the list and take a vote or let a random number generator app choose for you.

2. Get your living room movie-ready.
Make every seat the best seat in the house with plenty of comfortable spots for everyone to curl up, cuddle, or stretch out. A spacious sectional that gives everyone the best view of the screen is our top choice. If you have a larger family, or just need a little extra room, place a memory foam mattress or several floor pillows in front to create a second tier of padded, unobstructed seating.

Be sure to keep plenty of warm throws on hand, tucked away in a storage ottoman or basket for easy access. You’ll need them if the room is cool or if the movie gets a little scary and you need to hide.

3. Create the ultimate home theatre.
If you have an unused room or want to make over a boring den or basement, turn it into a dedicated home cinema with stepped theatre style seating, a sound system, and a HUGE screen. To create an authentic look and feel, just add dark walls, blackout curtains, framed movie posters, and seating.

For the ultimate in comfort, outfit your space with reclining sofas or chairs, like the Party Time recliner (above). Designed specifically for movie viewing, these over-the-top chairs feature Easy View™ power adjustable headrests, built-in cupholders, hidden candy storage, and LED lighting.

4. Choose the right size screen.
When it comes to screen size, bigger is not necessarily better. For the best movie-watching experience, it’s more important to select a television that is the optimal size for your space and viewing distance (the distance from screen to seating).

According to the experts at Samsung, the right TV size is the viewing distance, in inches, divided by two. In other words, if your sofa is six to seven feet from your TV, choose a screen up to 55 inches; if your sofa is seven to eight feet away, you can easily go up to 65 inches, like the Samsung QLED set above.

5. Dial up the sound.
For a more immersive movie experience, add a soundbar with wireless subwoofer! Soundbars provide cinematic audio from multiple speakers and various directions, letting the audio surround you, while the subwoofer adds richness and depth. You’ll get clearer sound during the quiet moments and when the action ramps up you'll truly feel like you’re a part of it.

6. Embrace the theme.
If you’re looking for something that’s a little more “extra,” make it a theme night! Once you’ve chosen your movie (or movies), start thinking about costumes, props, and food that would fit the theme and get creating. Trust us—the planning and making is half the fun.

Themes can be based on the movie itself or on something less specific, like the movie’s location, era, genre or brand, and you get bonus points for using items you already have around the house to carry it out. Hint: We love the idea of rolling out a glittery bar cart filled with fancy drinks and snacks at a swanky Hollywood or spy-themed movie night.

7. Step up your snack game.
Speaking of snacks, no movie night is complete without its tasty treats. If you want your movie night to be memorable, you have to take it up a notch. For example, instead of just setting out a bowl of popcorn, create a popcorn bar with a variety of seasonings. Serve your freshly-popped popcorn in flat-bottom paper lunch bags and let everyone shake on their favourite flavours.

Or, for something a little different, try a French fry bar featuring crispy, homemade fries, fresh out of your range’s built-in air fryer. Set out paper fry cones or small, lined baskets and let family members help themselves to hot fries and their choice of tasty sauces and condiments for dipping and dunking.

8. Watch a movie under the stars.
When the weather is nice and no one wants to be inside, take your movie night outdoors! All you need is a projector, speakers, and a screen (a blank wall or large white sheet will do in a pinch), plus comfortable seating.

To recreate the feel of your living room on your patio or desk, add an all-weather sofa, like the Visola with easy-care Nuvella® fabric cushions, some twinkling citronella candles or fairy lights, and a couple cozy throws.

9. Invite your friends (sort of).
Share your movie night fun by inviting others to join the party virtually with Teleparty, a free Chrome extension that lets you watch a movie with up to 50 of your closest friends.

All you need to participate is a laptop or desktop computer with the extension installed, a subscription to Netflix or Disney+, and a television with plug-in or built-in Chromecast, like the Hisense 50-inch QLED TV above that lets you cast with a single click. Once you are up and running, friends can join the party with a unique URL and chat while they watch with on-screen messaging.

10. Get a REALLY early start.
As much as we love movie nights, there’s something about watching a movie early in the day that makes it seem almost decedent. So, for a different kind of movie “night,” make it a matinee. To stay true to tradition, start your movie off with a selection of classic cartoons and then dive right into the main feature.

We don’t think it can ever be too early for popcorn, but if you’re not feeling it, replace the usual movie fare with cinnamon nachos or a buffet of sugary kids’ cereal. For easy serving, set up the snacks on a handy kitchen cart, like the Withurst, and wheel it right into the room. That way, you won't have to miss any of the onscreen hijinks to get a refill!


Did we give you some good ideas? Tag #DufresneStyle on Instagram or TikTok and show us how you add magic to your movie nights!