How to Host the Ultimate Movie Night for the Whole Family

Movie nights are wonderful and budget-friendly ways to spend time together as a family. Snuggling up on the sofa together, a big bowl of popcorn or take-out on your laps, and just good times all around make for the perfect movie night. 


That is, of course, if everyone is comfortable. 

As your kids get older and need more space, your movie nights are going to need to update and improve. It won’t be enough to just stick any old film on in the background when they may be busy glued to their screens the whole time. 

Make it a Tradition 


Everyone loves traditions, which is why to help the whole family enjoy your movie nights together, you should commit to a day. One day in the week that everyone gets together to enjoy a movie and a meal right at home. While you can do it on a weekend while they are little, pretty soon, they are going to want to keep their weekends free to see friends and hang out, so it might be a better idea to choose a weeknight, like a Thursday, for your weekly movie nights. 


Something easy for everyone to commit to is a good idea, and soon you’ll find it’s one of the most consistent times you can get everyone together in one room. 

Plan for Your Movie Night Throughout the Week 

Make movie night something everyone looks forward to by planning it throughout the week. 

The Movie 

Movie nights deserve more than just putting on a film you have seen six times already. They should be evenings instead where you experience something new together but bickering just before you press play about what everyone wants to watch isn’t how to go about it. 


You can easily set up a voting system that will allow everyone to have their say. Have a list where people can put down movies that they want to watch and vote on others by signing their names. 


This has two benefits. One, it helps you decide on a movie long before movie night. It also works to pump up your kids about what they will be seeing. 


The Food 

Popcorn might be a given, but dinner isn’t. This doesn’t have to be quite so elaborate. If you order take-out for movie nights, just have a quick vote and a top list of places with their menus in your drawer for easy ordering. 

Invest in Better Comfort 

A whole family on one single couch gets cramped before you know it, so the best way to ensure everyone’s comfort without crowding out your living room is to invest in temporary seats. When they are not in use, these comfortable loungers can easily be stored away until the next movie night, or when you or your kids have friends over and need more seats to accommodate everyone. 

Bean bag chairs, futons, and air seats are all great ideas, but for an excellent multi-purpose investment, you will want to go with the best bean bag chair for kids. Something that they can enjoy both when they are little and as they grow up will be the perfect companion for movie nights, sleepovers, and even just for chilling out at home. 

Improve Your Entertainment System 

Your actual movie space should also be invested in. The overall ambiance experienced during a movie changes how you enjoy it. If it’s bright and busy, it is a lot harder to focus on the movie and enjoy that movie magic experience. By being in control of the environment as well as updating your entertainment system, you can recreate the theatre experience at home. 

Lighting 

Ideally, you will want dimming lights. If it’s too much cost to install them or you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, then you can add a dimming feature to your lamps. All you need are smart bulbs or smart plugs, and you are all set to control the lighting from your phone. This way, you can keep the room dim instead of completely black, just for safety. 

Curtains 


Glare from outside can ruin any movie, so blackout curtains in your movie space is a must. These are thick, absorb light, and are actually really useful for improving the insulation in your home, so they offer multiple benefits that should be of interest to you. 

Surround Sound 

If you don’t already have some form of surround sound system, now is the time to invest in one. Look for second-hand options or daily deals to save money but get a surround system into your home for the ultimate movie night. Typically, this means having two speakers on either side of the room, a bass for the heavy beats and noises, as well as front-facing speakers. 


When it comes to recreating the movie theatre experience at home, a surround system is the most critical component. 

Television and Gadgets

Investing in a state-of-the-art entertainment system right off the bat is expensive and completely unnecessary. Instead, you will just want to work on updating your television, surround sound, and additional features as time goes on. Wait for sales, trade-in your old television to get a discount, or sell it on to another family. Patience and keeping an eye out for your next gadget is how you’ll keep upgrading your movie system without breaking the bank.

If you want to enjoy limitless entertainment without the high cost of going to the movie theatre, then hosting movie nights at home is a must. Improve the experience, make it a tradition, and invest in your entertainment system as years go by so that you can always have the ultimate movie night with your family. 

Times may change, kids will grow up, but so long as you have these moments together, you’ll stay strong as a family. Maybe your weekly movie night will have to be a monthly occurrence when they move out, but nothing will change how special your movie nights are to the whole family. 

Photo Manipulation by Martín De Pasquale

Tons of photographers use Photoshop to insert new elements into their photographs, but not all of them can create the crazy and mind-bending images that Buenos Aires-based art director and digital artist Martin De Pasquale does.

Martín De Pasquale has a keen eye for taking everyday life and constructing it into abstract art. The Argentinean artist uses a layer technique of combining a sequence of photographs with various photoshop elements and layers them together to create a stunning visual masterpiece.

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Martín De Pasquale on Behance

Dramatic Wedding Photography

This last weekend, photographer Josh Newton created some of the most memorable wedding photos we have ever seen. Set against the backdrop of a raging wildfire, Newton’s dramatic, striking photographs of April Hartley and Michael Wolber’s outdoor wedding are sweeping across the Internet today at an unbelievable clip.

In case you didn’t catch it in the intro, this wedding had the equally fortunate and unfortunate opportunity to be set against a very unique backdrop: the Two Bulls Wildfire.

Dramatic Wedding Photography

Moments after Hartley began her walk down the aisle, fire trucks shattered the peaceful scene and firefighters regretfully told bride, groom and celebrants to find safer ground.

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To see the rest of the set, head over to Newton’s website by clicking here. And if you’d like to see more of Newton’s work, be sure to follow him on his blog, Twitter.

Image credits: All photographs by Josh Newton and used with permission

The streets of Mosul in the aftermath of the city’s capture by ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured another Iraqi city after seizing northern Mosul province on Tuesday, as the group threatens to cement control in central Iraq.

The city of Tikrit, hometown of late president Saddam Hussein, fell to ISIL militants Wednesday afternoon, in less than 48 hours after the capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city.

Tikrit, within Salahuddin province, is only 140 km away from capital Baghdad.

Meanwhile, violence continued in other cities as eleven people were killed in separate incidents in capital Baghdad and Anbar province.

Eyewitnesses told The Anadolu Agency that ISILmilitants “took over Tikrit in only a few minutes.” They said ISIL militants started firing into the air and broke into the state university.

The private Salahuddin television channel, based in Tikrit, stopped broadcasting.