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How to host a five-star family movie night

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Family film night is the most magical way to spend a comfortable evening in – from how you watch, to what you eat, to choosing the picture democratically, Your Nest explores tips to make your movie night a box-office smash.

What to eat

The best bit about going to the cinema is the food, whether it’s a greasy hot dog, cheesy nachos, salty popcorn, or sugary sweets. And while this is grand on occasion, families who host ritualistic film nights may be interested in exploring healthier alternative meals and snacks to partner their pictures, and welcome fresh movie night food ideas.

If your go-to is burger and chips, for example, then there are a hundred different ways to add nutritional value and switch up your flavours. The patty can be substituted for a grilled chicken breast, salmon cake, bean mix, or anything else you can cook in the right shape. If you’re conscious of carbs, losing the bun is an easy fix, either altogether, or switching to something different like grilled portobello mushrooms, or fried cauliflower. Homemade chips are an immediate improvement and are quick and easy to make.

For snacks, homemade popcorn will give you that cinema experience without the excess grease and salt, making the most of the grain with a moderated addition of the good stuff. Making your own guacamole to serve with some low-fat tortilla chips is a delicious, quick, and affordable snack that’s easy to share – not that you’ll want to!

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What to watch

Online streaming services such as Netflix, Disney +, and Now TV have ushered in a new age of cinema, totally revolutionising the way we watch at home. However, with the content so spread out amongst providers – and most major platforms producing original content as well as holding the rights of previous titles – it can be expensive to juggle multiple subscriptions.

Although it may seem obvious, our advice is to chop and change your payments regularly, dedicating close attention to each platform’s content that month and using that to make an informed decision on which subscription to keep.

If there’s a new show on Netflix you want to watch one month, drop the other platforms, and make your way through the movie section, before switching to another platform the month after – you should also find the rotation of content more refreshing when you return to a platform using this method. Cancelling and renewing is a simple process, and one that can save you money if you’re aware of what you’re paying for.

Be mindful of bundle deals to help save cash – if you pay for Amazon Prime for their delivery service, for example, make your way through the catalogue of free movies while you take a break from your Netflix subscription, and try Amazon Music rather than paying for Spotify additionally.

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How to watch

While the most important factor in the viewing experience remains the quality of the selected film – and how diplomatically this is selected – there are several elements and additions that can help bring the best out of a flick. A good screen is an evident start, and while a new TV might not be on the cards, there are many affordable projectors on the market for an authentic viewing experience. Blackout curtains can also improve your TV’s quality, just watch out for spilled snacks!

Audio is the other key component, and while surround sound remains the pièce de résistance of the home cinema room, recent years have produced an excellent market of soundbars to help take your family film nights to the next level.

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