School movie nights are fun for everyone. They create a great sense of community, and students really enjoy bringing their families to experience their school during non-school time.
When you’re planning a movie night at school, there are many things to consider so your event can excite your students and bring local families together. Here are a few ideas to weigh as you plan your main event:
Will you be hosting your movie night al fresco, or is an indoor movie better for your guests? Consider the size of your audience as you prepare a venue, and be sure to display your movie on an appropriately-sized screen. A good rule of thumb is a 10-foot screen works well for 100-150 people, and a 16-foot screen is best for audiences over 500.
Before you get started planning the theme and promoting your school’s movie night, you’ve got to select the right movie and ensure you’ve got the right movie license.
If your audience involves younger children, look for G rated shows. If your guests are a bit older, consider some of the great PG options. Here are a few movies we’d recommend that are age-appropriate and modern:
- Incredibles 2
- Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
- Christopher Robin
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Peter Rabbit
- Sherlock Gnomes
- Despicable Me 3
Holiday Edition Movie Ideas
- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- Frosty the Snowman
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- A Christmas Story
- Miracle on 34th Street
- The Muppets Christmas Carol
- The Polar Express
Every movie night at school needs lots of volunteers. From snack sales to clean up, putting together a night to remember requires lots of helpful hands. Here is a list of volunteers you’ll need:
- Set Up
- Pre-movie activities
- Snack Sales
- Clean Up
Advertise your movie night at school, and emphasize that it’s a family activity. Let parents know what they should bring (blankets, pillows) and whether dinner or snacks will be provided or sold. Place signs around town and on the school campus, include information in weekly announcements, and announce the movie night in newsletters and email communications.
Whether this is a fundraiser for Booster Club, PTA or another nonprofit organization, be sure it’s clear who the beneficiary is, so that families know who they’re supporting.
Track volunteers on a schedule, and stay organized when it comes to recording donations, sales, and expenses and by using bookkeeping software for non-profits. The more organized you can be, the easier it will be to host a great event.
Follow up your successful movie night at school by thanking all volunteers and business donors with a note of appreciation, share pictures of the event on social media or in school newsletters, and try to have your local or school newspaper publish an article. This will help bring exposure to your event for next year’s attendees.
If you’re really serious about growing the event year-over-year, host an exit survey to get feedback on what could have been done better. Was the sound ok? How about the movie choice? And the snack selection? These things matter to someone who may come back year after year.
Your movie night at school will be fun and successful if you follow these steps as you plan out your party. Not only will it be an event your community will be talking about into the next year, but it will be one everyone will look forward to attending for years to come.