How to Have Movie Night at Your Church

by Barbie Carpenter

A movie night is a festive way to bring your church members together outside of traditional services -- and it can double as an effective fundraiser. A successful movie night depends on choosing a family-friendly movie that will attract guests and promoting the event so that people come out for it. The more activities you can incorporate into your church's movie night, the more interested guests you can attract.

Select a family-friendly movie. You want your movie to appeal as broad an audience as it can. Choose a movie that is appropriate for children but will leave teens and adults enjoying it as well. An animated feature often appeals to a broad crowd and is appropriate for a church's movie night.

Identify a space for your movie night. If inclement weather is a concern, setting up the movie screen in your parish hall is the safest bet. If you're enjoying clear weather, a church parking lot serves as a large, open space for your movie night, and it will accommodate a large number of guests.

Acquire the resources for your movie night. Have the audio-visual equipment you need for your movie night to go off without a hitch. Your parish hall might have a projection screen, and you can hook that up to a DVD player to play the movie. Or, you can rent a large, portable movie screen, which you can set up outside for your church's movie night.

Identify activities for your movie night. Host a costume contest, encouraging church members to come dressed up as their favorite character from the movie. Sell movie-themed treats like popcorn, sodas, and candy. The proceeds can go toward the fundraiser.

Set ticket prices. If you want your church's movie night to double as a fundraiser, charge a modest ticket price for guests to attend. People will be happy to pay a couple of dollars if the money supports the church, and they get an evening's worth of entertainment in exchange for the ticket price.

Publicize your event. Post an advertisement in your church bulletin in the weeks leading up to your movie night. Provide all the details about the event. Create flyers and post them in the church vestibule and throughout your church's facilities. Have your pastor or priest mention the movie night during church services to encourage church members to attend.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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