Classic Move Night - A Frugal Party Night Idea

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Classic Move Night - A Frugal Party Night Idea

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Classic Move Night - A Frugal Party Night IdeaAhh. September-cool evenings, warm days, and a great time to focus on some fun but frugal entertainment with family and friends.   I'm planning a "Classic Movie" night that I hope will be a great hit with our baby boomer, retired friends.  You need just the right crowd to enjoy classic movies so you should be very selective about the guest list.  For instance, folks under the age of 50 might not be as apt to enjoy or even remember some of the great oldie hits from the 50s and 60s.

With my guest list planned (I'm inviting five couples), I moved on to the movie selections.  Since the folks who will be here are retired and don't have to get up early, we'll be seeing three classic movies.  I do plan to start the party early-6:00 p.m.-and it's over when the last movie is over.  I'm getting excited just thinking about this.  I'm making invitations that look like tickets to a movie theatre which should look really good.  They need to bring their tickets to get in to see the movies. 

So what movies will we watch?  I'm going to rent six movies and the guests can vote for their favorite three.  The three movies with the highest scores win.   Our library has a very nice selection of movies that I think will fit the bill so there's no cost to get the movies.  That's keeping it frugal! 

After a visit to the library, here's what I brought home: 

  • Rebel Without a Cause starring heartthrob James Dean (1955)
  • On The Waterfront starring Marlon Brando, Karl Maldon, Lee J. Cobb, and Rod Steiger (1954)
  • Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe (1959)
  • The Green Berets starring John Wayne (1968)
  • Rear Window (An Alfred Hitchcock thriller) starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly  (1954)
  • Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman (1967)

For those of you, who may be reading this and laughing or wondering who these people are, please note that they were the top stars of the time.  Almost any movie starring these actors was guaranteed to be a hit.  It would be very hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to I think my favorite is Cool Hand Luke.  Paul Newman was always one of my favorite actors.  To my way of thinking, he had it all-good looks, sex appeal, tremendous talent, and his films were always entertaining.

Since start time is 6:00 p.m., I'm serving hot dogs and chicken nuggets with pickles, chips, and potato salad, apple slices, and grapes.  I also plan to have enough popcorn to serve throughout the entire evening, with more movie snacks like red licorice, malted milk balls, peanuts, candy bars, and pretzels.  Thirsty folks can choose from soda pop, water, iced tea, or lemonade. I have been watching the papers and magazines and have quite a few coupons for these treats, so I'm hoping to save money there.  We will vote on the movies during this time.  

The first movie will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the house lights will flicker and go down so people will take their seats (I have two dimmer switches). Just like at the movies, the lights will come back on and there will be intermission time between movies so we can chat a bit, stretch, and stock up on more movie theatre snacks. 

After the last movie, I'm going to have a small table set up with "to go" cups of coffee, tea, water, and 3-2-1 cakes wrapped in snack size baggies.  I can't wait for the party to start.  I hope Cool Hand Luke is one of the winning movies.  If not, I'll be a good loser and enjoy whatever movies are chosen for the evening. 

Update: Finally, it's the day of the Classic Movie Night party!  My husband and I got busy transforming our basement into a movie theatre.  The pool table was pushed back out of the way and replaced with comfy seating arranged in rows (or as close to rows as we could get it).  We decided to use solar table lights from the front porch as dim lighting (just like in the movie theatre).  My husband even made a curtain that would open when a cord was pulled and hung that above the TV.  Our movie would start with the opening of the "curtain" too.  The pool table was turned into a serving area for the movie snacks and drinks.  I had decorated small white bags with a drawing of a box of movie theatre popcorn and those would be filled with popcorn just before movie time. 

The preparations were complete and the guests arrived mostly on time.  They liked the idea of voting on the movies we would watch.  AND THE WINNERS WERE:  The Green Berets with John Wayne, Rebel without a Cause with James Dean, and, last but not least, Rear Window with James Stewart and Grace Kelly.  My favorite, Cool Hand Luke, didn't make the cut.  (I will watch it tomorrow before I take the movies back to the library.) 

This party was a huge success!  After the hot, busy summer, I think everyone enjoyed kicking back with friends to watch old movies.  They sure brought back a lot of memories and some brave souls even shared a few of their memories with us.  A few of the guys admitted to trying to grow a James Dean hair style and one brave lady got her first kiss at the drive-in when she was supposed to be watching Rear Window.   

Entertaining doesn't have to be lavish and expensive and the Classic Movie Night party is a very good example of that.  When you live on a fixed income, as we do, you learn to be creative in every aspect of your life.  It's that creativity that allows my husband and me to enjoy our life, live very comfortably and stretch our retirement dollars.  While we may not be going to a real movie theatre, it is certain that our seats will be far more comfortable and the food (for the guests, at least) is free.

I highly recommend this type of party because it can be fitted to any age group.  Remember, all it takes is a little creativity to have fun without spending a lot of money.

Kimberly Johns, CareOne Debt Management Plan Customer BloggerKimberly Johns

Kimberly has been on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year. Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, she is going to share how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income, which Kimberly is generously planning to share in her My Journey out of Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

 

 

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  • That sounds like a fun night for all!! It is amazing the fun ideas we can come  up with on a budget!!  Way to go Kim!!'

    Disclaimer: In the interest of transparency, I am now a compensated blogger for CareOne Services, Inc. This compensation does not influence my forum posts, these posts remain my own.

  • Hey Monica thanks for chekcing out the blog!  After we retired, one thing became very apparent and that, while it's nice to have money, with a bit of creativity and a new outlook it is possible to live comfortably and have fun on a fixed income.  It has been a journey but we have learned a lot along the way and we are having fun tryiing to do "more with less".

  • Very nice.  I enjoyed reading about your movie night and will have to borrow your suggestions.  You really thought of everything. :)

  • Thanks, Motherofone!  I think this movie night idea could be used by any age group.  It sure was good to see those old movies and the stars from "my day".

  • I love your idea. We have a family "Dinner and a Movie" night every week. We make homemade pizzas and watch a movie. It gave us a great avenue to share our old movies with our kids since we took turns picking movies. We have rules - no phones or computers, everyone has to watch, no outside distractions ect. but the kids have always loved it. They are older now but still don't complain. In fact, they talk about when they are fully grown what it will be like to come over once a week with their families to watch LOL! My grandparent's played cards once a week. We tried to get friends to do that but they seem to prefer going out. We don't. I think it is sad that for so many having a good time has to include going out. Maybe I will give the social "Night In" another shot!

  • Thanks, Kimmer5000!  You are building memories that will last a lifetime and it's great that your kids still enjoy your family tradition.  It just goes to show that the amount of money spent on entertainment is not important at all; it's the quality of the entertainment!

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