10 steps to the perfect movie night at home

Everyone loves a good movie, but how do you turn an ordinary night at home in front of the TV into the perfect movie night? A Hollywood spectacular suitable for a night in alone, as a night-in date or as a way to get the family together? Well, we've got 10 steps that should help you along the way that will help you set the scene, ensure you have the right snacks and sweets and, above all, have fun...

Girl planning her GiftAlien movie night 1 Set the date in advance

We all love spur of the moment, in fact some of the best nights started as "just one drink after work", but to get the best out of your evening it's best to plan ahead. You might want the flat to yourself, to organise a baby-sitter or just to make sure that the evening is clear, so make sure you pick a suitable evening and then put it in the diary!

Choose your movie ahead of your GiftAlien movie night 2 Choose your movie

Sounds obvious, but it's incredibly important as this will set the overall tone for the night. Are you going to choose action, adventure, romantic comedy or thriller? Make sure you consider all those that are going to be in attendance (the next step), but most of all pick something that you want to see!

GiftAlien tickets and popcorn 3 Choose your date

Is this special night going to be a lonesome indulgence, a romantic date night or a special evening with the kids? Any choice is great, but each will have a different atmosphere and perhaps a different start time. If you have children that you're not planning on inviting then our advice is don't tell them what you're planning.

Drawing the curtains ready for a GiftAlien movie night 4 Set the scene

We're after a "movie night in" here and so we need to spend a little bit of time in the preparations. We're not talking hours, just a few minutes to set the scene and turn your lounge into a duplicate of the nearest Odeon cinema. To start with, draw the curtains, cinemas are dark. If you have blackout curtains, then that's even better! Next, you need to drop the lighting level. You need enough light to be able to find the sofa, but no more - a side-lamp on the floor is perfect - you certainly don't want the main light on. If you're after the ultimate experience, then why not kill all the lights and have a torch to-hand by the door to escort your guest to their seats.

GiftAlien movie clacker board 5 Warm-up with some pre-movie trivia

Get yourself in the mood and show the room who's the movie expert with our movie trivia cards that come in every gift box. The cards have been written to be inclusive of all ages and cover a range of movie genres - so you shouldn't get one person running away with all the cards. To add a competitive edge, why not write the name of the winner on the clapper board (provided in our 'red carpet' gift box) and let them keep it as a victory trophy - or at least keep it until the next movie night re-match!

Prepare your GiftAlien popcorn and snacks 6 Prepare your snacks

No movie is complete without snacks and no matter which "movie night in" box you choose you'll find plenty of pick'n'mix, chocolate and, of course popcorn. For an all-out experience, our 'red carpet' gift box also includes a healthy portion of nachos and dip. The most important part of the preparation is that the snacks are all to-hand and, for the popcorn and nachos, that they are ready just in time for the movie to start. For the popcorn, you'll need 2 minutes in the microwave per bag and the nachos need just 20 seconds to warm them up - do this immediately before the film is due to start.

Young couple ready for their GiftAlien movie night 7 Settle down

It's almost time for the movie to begin, so settle down and at this point make sure you've got everything you need. Your snacks should be prepared and to-hand and your cups should be filled with your favourite beverage (ice is optional). At this point you don't want any disturbances so make sure your mobile is turned to silent - we actually recommended not having it to hand (you don't need to Tweet your friends during the movie, save that to the end!). At this point your DVD should be queued-up ready to go or your Amazon Video/Netflix account logged in and ready to play.

It's almost time for the GiftAlien movie night to commence 8 It's show time

Pa pa, pa pa, pa, pa, pa pa, pap pap paaaa, pa pa, pa pa, pa paaaa, pa! (that's the Pearl & Dean intro music in case you didn't guess). It's time to press play and enjoy your movie, there's no adverts in your cinema!

GiftAlien movie night intermission 9 Intermission (optional)

This is a bit old-school and it depends on the movie, but an interval is a great way to make sure that nobody's viewing pleasure is spoiled by an unexpected pause or someone making an unscheduled toilet stop. By setting a set time when drinks can be replenished, toilet stops can be made and snacks topped-up. Let's face it, if you're movie of choice is part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy then you're going to need it! Now is the perfect time to give everyone their tub of vanilla ice-cream and wooden spoon - no interval would be completed without ice-cream after all!

Let us know how your GiftAlien movie night worked out 10 Unearth the movie critic in you

We hope you enjoyed the movie. Now's the time to raise the lights and see how much popcorn you managed to drop down the sofa. Fire up your phone and let your friends know what you thought of the flick by providing a review. How you do this is up to you - a quick #hashtag Tweet is fine, or if you're feeling more creative then put your words down in a more comprehensive review on one of the many movie review sites online. Of course, if you enjoyed the GiftAlien gift experience then we'd love to get a review from on our website.

GiftAlien Movie Night box

To see our range of movie boxes, take a look at www.giftalien.com/movies



Want more inspiration to create your perfect movie night in?

Check out these excellent articles that should point you in the right direction:

Save Money with a Kids Home Movie Night

Family Movie Night at Home

100 Best Family Movies


Sweets, chocolates, popcorn and fizzy drinks are great as treat every now and again, but should be consumed in moderation. The British Heart Foundation have a great article online that gives 7 healthy alternatives, which is great for families that want to have more than just the occasional movie night in.