To enjoy the long nights of summer, we decided to host a movie night under the stars. It was such a fun and easy party to put together! We used our favorite JOLLY TIME Simply Popped Microwave Pop Corn to create a bar set up of treats and easy fun drinks. We also gathered all the floats, pools and fun we could find to add to the mix.

Popcorn bar

Ending the summer on such an exciting party note brought memories we will keep with us all fall long.

How to plan a movie night under the stars

Planning a movie night under the stars is easy with a focus on 4 specific things:

  1. Set up treats with a popcorn bar
  2. Find comfy seats around the house
  3. Decorate the space with spunk and Hollywood fun
  4. Get the movie set up to shine

Movie night snacks - popcorn bar

The first, and I would deem most, important element of setting up the movie night under the stars is ensuring your guests have movie worthy treats in hand! To do this we set up a popcorn bar that was a smashing success.

How to set up a movie night popcorn bar

Start by popping the popcorn. We used JOLLY TIME Simply Popped Pop Corn because it’s got that great stovetop taste, and is easy to pop for making a large batch, or any size batch, in just minutes. It’s made with just 4 simple ingredients: butter, sea salt, popcorn and oil, so we’re able to eat well and have fun.

And since it’s fun we are after, we can’t forget to set out sprinkles, chocolates, popcorn caramel sauces and all the fun toppings.

How to set up a popcorn bar

Sweet topped popcorn

Simply popped is great as is, but since my kids love trying new toppings, we created this fun popcorn bar. The kids loved creating their own movie style popcorn mixes with the bar ingredients we set out.

movie night drinks

We also served up cute drinks in mini-mason jars for everyone to wash down their popcorn treats.

How to set up a movie night at home

How to make seating for a movie night outdoors

After the treats, the next most important thing to a movie night is the seats! In lieu of stressing about having enough chairs we went the more eclectically fun route and rounded up all the summer beach floats for seating. We filled the baby pool with cushions and pulled over all the poofs, hammocks and floor cushions we could find.

DIY movie night at home

The kids had a blast picking out what float they wanted to watch the outdoor show on. I think this just goes to show that a movie night can be fun, no matter what you have to make it happen.

Popcorn + floats = Summer night bliss!


movie night printable decorations

Printable movie night decorations

Now on to the decorations. Make it easy and fun!

We printed out an adorable showtime banner from this printable set, which also includes movie posters, that cute popcorn box seen in the bar above and other goodies for hosting your own movie night under the stars.

Movie night printable signsMovie night balloons

Add in a few colorful lights to frame the movie and golden star balloons for an evening that is simply popped & simply fun!

How to choose a movie night projector

How to set up a movie night outside

Lastly, we need to make sure the movie night will be set up to play for all the kids to enjoy. Here’s what we did to set up the show.

We used a cheap white drop cloth (like this one) to create our screen outside. It worked best for us to put it against a fence, because the location was perfect and also because it protected it from wind, hich we get a lot of in Reno.

To attach it, we used small screws and drove them right through the cloth into the fence. It was very easy to create.

We purchased this affordable projector that attaches to the phones, laptops, or in our case the xBox, to play a movie and project it onto the screen we created.

Picking a movie all the kids will love is obviously an important element; we landed on School of Rock – which is a classic that our older kids adored watching outside.

Snack bar for movie night outside

All in all, this outdoor movie party was one of the easiest parties to set up that we’ve ever done and it was one of the most fun. I am imagining many other nights under the stars happening as the nights get longer and the heat dies down this coming season.

This post is done in partnership with JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, our best choice for popping clean and fast for any party we host.

(Photography ©A Subtle Revelry by Ashlyn Savannah Photo).