A Guide To The Ultimate Movie Night at Home

Welcome back to QCK!

Today’s post is going to be slightly different from the usual recipes. I’m going to be talking about putting a movie night together at home. So no real recipe but more of a “what you’ll need”.

Also, fun fact: my first job was working at the movie theater in my hometown. It was the best, free popcorn and soda plus two hour breaks between showtimes. A 16-year-olds dream job.

Something Arlo and I used to do before covid (B.C.), was go to movies a lot. Pretty much every Tuesday we’d go to $5 Tuesday at the “luxury” movie theater at Mall of America. We’d sneak in our own candy, get a big popcorn, a pretzel, a Dr. Pepper, and sometimes a milkshake. It’s our weekly treat yo self so we’d go all out.

I think of all the things I miss from normal life, it’s going to see a movie.

So I decided to start a new weekly movie tradition, at home. All our favorite salty snacks, not just popcorn, a mix of chocolatey, fruity and sour candies, milk shakes, homemade soft pretzels, and occasionally a Dr. Pepper (I don’t keep soda at home cause I’m an addict).

If I’m being perfectly honest, the first time we did this, it made me miss the movie theater even more. But then I had to remind myself that this isn’t supposed to replicate the movie theater, it’s just a new at home tradition.

But over the weeks I’ve definitely been enjoying it more and more. Our milkshakes have turned into freak shakes (pictured above) and our snack selection has grown. It’s a fun to see how our snack charcuterie changes from week to week and who can make the craziest milkshake.

We’ve built a blanket fort one day, Arlo’s first blanket fort actually! It brought out my inner child and we had so much fun hiding away with snacks and a movie. We haven’t done it since because to be honest, the couch was more comfortable and less messy.

The beauty behind this is that it’s a way to get out of your normal space without actually leaving home. I think we’re all finding ways to do that, date nights at home where you pretend you’re at a restaurant. Eating tacos and drinking margaritas in the yard and pretending you’re on vacation. This is just like that. It takes the space you’re in and makes it into something exciting because most of us don’t go all out on our nightly movie time.

Plus you don’t have to go for whatever’s on Netflix. Lots of movie theaters are offering at home streaming services for movies that would normally be in theaters right now!

What Goes Into The Ultimate Movie Snack Board?

I think this answer looks a little different for everyone. In my opinion, the perfect snack board is a combination of crunchy, salty, cheesy with sweet, chocolatey, fruity, and sour. A little bit of everything to please everyone.

On ours, we have

  • Butter popcorn (can’t go wrong with the classic)
  • Cheesy popcorn, I just make this by taking half the regular popcorn and adding Cheese Powder.
  • Original Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
  • Dots Homestyle Pretzels, they’re so good and I love the garlicy, herby flavor as just another addition.
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Gummy Bears
  • Twizzlers
  • Mini Reece’s
  • Mini Kit Kats
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s

For me, this board hits all the notes. But you can really make it your own with whatever snacks you like. The fun part is really putting them all together in a really aesthetically pleasing way.

A note on the popcorn, from a former movie theater employee: If you want movie theater style popcorn at home, the best way to get it is to buy popcorn kernels from the store, as opposed to the microwave bags, and pop it on your stove. You can also buy the butter flavored oils and such in the same aisle, a coconut oil based product is what’s used at movie theaters, so that will give you the most authentic flavor.

Here’s How I Make Mine: To make this much popcorn, I melted 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter with 2 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil and then added 1/2 C of popcorn kernels and a sprinkle of salt. I stir it up just to coat all the seeds in the oil and butter, then cover and let it pop. Once the popcorn is popped, I pour it into a bowl with some melted butter and flaky sea salt. Half the popcorn goes straight into the tray and the other half gets mixed with cheese powder. I use Anthony’s Cheddar Cheese Powder, but you can use any that you like or other flavors!

What’s a Freak Shake?

Freak shakes are a trend that hit social media a couple years ago. It’s just any super over the top milkshake. Some are just covered in candy and whipped cream, others fresh fruit, and some are topped with skewers of cookies, brownies, chocolate strawberries, and more. It’s like the Bloody Mary of desserts.

For ours we rimmed the glass and shmeared it with chocolate ganache (left over from my Chocolate Ganache Stuffed Cookies). Then covered that in sprinkles and all sorts of candy. We made Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked milkshakes which were awesome because you get a milkshake with pieces of cookie dough and brownie batter. Topped with whipped cream, Kit Kats and twizzlers.

If you’re not into the whole freakshake thing, just make a good, old fashioned milkshake. No shame in that!

And Finally…

The last step is just to make a cozy space to watch the movie. Consider setting up some extra pillows and blankets on the couch or making a cozy blanket fort. You could even set up a tent and have an outdoor movie night!

With the blanket fort, you can make a blanket bed on the ground or even blow up an air mattress if you’ve got one. Then move the TV in to really get that big screen feel. I love the fort because you can make the inside totally secluded from the living room you see everyday.


If you really want to go all out try adding in some of these fun extras!

The Assmebly

The assembly here is pretty simple. You can really do this however you want.

For mine, I started out with a big tray and added 1 bag of chips, 1 bag of pretzels, and the two types of popcorn. Each took up 1/4 of the tray. Then I filled small bowls with candy and made a little dent in the popcorn for them to sit. The rest of the candy is just randomly disbursed throughout the tray. You can certainly use one tray for candy and one for salty or put everything in it’s own bowl. It’s all about personal preference.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post! If you tried it out let me know in the comments and feel free to send pictures! For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 


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