by Samantha Greenbaum
Movies and TV shows make great fodder for party themes. If you and your friends can’t get enough of a particular drama or comedy on TV, or that blockbuster movie you all love, take advantage of that interest and develop a whole party around it. A theme engages people, gets them invested in your gathering, gives them a creative outlet, and brings everyone together. Check out these ideas for TV or movie party themes for the next time you decide to have everyone over.
Everyone’s favorite drama, “Mad Men,” would make an excellent party theme. Stock the party with plenty of wine, jars of cocktail olives and cherries, salted nuts, and games like bingo, charades, and Twister, suggests AMCTV. Cocktail ideas can range from dirty martinis to whiskey sours. Women can dress in pencil skirts or wiggle dresses with white gloves and clunky jewelry while men simply have to dress in a suit and tie or a tux and pop a fedora on their heads. Play music from the 1960s, and ditch all signs of contemporary life, such as the remote control and smartphones.
Everyone loves a good skit on “Saturday Night Live”. Why not encourage guests to come as their favorite SNL character? Not only will they have to dress like their chosen actor or host, they’ll also have to remain in character all evening, making for a hilarious party. Transform one area of the room into a Weekend Update desk or the Church Lady’s lair for a unique touch, and post photos of classic SNL alumni, from Dan Akroyd and Gilda Radner to Adam Sandler and Dana Carvey. Play SNL trivia, serve beer and pizza, and pop in DVDs of Saturday Night Live episodes.
The Great Gatsby
Although a major blockbuster movie in 2013, The Great Gatsby was inspired by the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald book written in 1925. Throw a classy, glitzy, over-the-top roaring twenties party to pay homage to the book and movie. Because the character of Jay Gatsby never passed up an opportunity to throw a grand party, this is your chance to really get outrageous. Create a stunning champagne tower for your centerpiece, recommends Martha Stewart. Hire a live orchestra for the music if it’s in your budget; if not, put on some 1920s tunes. Serve blackberry gin fizzes and mint juleps along with lemon cakes, and decorate in gold.
Pay tribute to your favorite animated characters with a Simpsons-themed party. Encourage guests to come dressed as their favorite characters, complete with Marge wigs, Bart skateboards, and Maggie binkies. Have plenty of beer on hand, but make your own custom Duff Beer labels. Serve party favors in mini-saxophones and have lots of yummy doughnuts available for dessert.
For the kids in your life, invite guests to a Harry Potter-themed party with parchment paper invitations sealed with the Hogwarts crest. Fill jars with potions and specimens, such as spaghetti with pasta sauce for bloodworms or syrup for truth serum. Serve black licorice wands and plastic cauldrons filled with candy. Make your own sorting hat and send kids on a magical creature treasure hunt.
Once Upon a Time
Hold a viewing party for the next episode of “Once Upon a Time,” replete with characters from all the classic fairy tale books. Put out a bowl of shiny red apples, and decorate in a forest theme using twigs, branches, and leaves. This party will make it easy for people to dress in character—there are plenty to choose from, whether you want to be the Evil Queen or the smooth-talking Prince Charming.
About the Author
Samantha Greenbaum is a party-throwing, fun-loving mother of two. If you’re looking for the perfect pop-culture-themed costume, Samantha recommends a Lord of the Rings get up.