Movie Night Themes

With longer nights upon us, I don’t know about you but I am in full hibernation mode. I have a few evening activities scheduled for this fall and winter so that we stay healthy and don’t turn into total hermits. In order to try to make our TV time more fun and interesting, we are doing some movie night ideas.

movie night idea

Movie Night Themes make the movie or show we are watching more multi-sensory, which helps kids learn. Not that I’d necessarily let them watch every movie that I have listed here. With that being said, here are some great family movie night ideas, where you can combine food and snacks that go along with the movies or shows.

Themed Movie Nights

Click this image to get your own checklist and movie tickets.

Pizza Night Movie Theme

Pepperoni pizza or pizza nights-So the first theme is sort of backward because I matched up movies that would go with pizza. Brian loves making DIY pizzas. He likes it more than pizzeria bought. We buy the refrigerated pizza dough and then they make it however they want.

And there is so much fun stuff to go with pizza. You can watch movies or shows that are about pizza or have pizza in the storyline. Or since pizza is a staple food for many teens, think of what teen movies you love.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of course!)
  • Mystic Pizza
  • Fast Times (the Spicoli pizza scene is a classic!)
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Wayne’s World
  • She’s All That

Movie Theme Idea: Westerns

Westerns: Ok, westerns are great movies and my kids love seeing cowboys especially since we travel out West. What would a cowboy eat? Well, think of food like a big steak dinner.

Or, what would if they cook over an open fire? Maybe you want to try this in your fireplace at home or your outdoor grill. But please be safe and purchase the proper equipment. You could cook hot dogs, smores, jiffy pop popcorn, and toasted marshmallows. (A reminder that some westerns contain gun violence and may not be suitable for young children.)

  • Lonesome Dove
  • True Grit
  • Longmire
  • High Noon
  • The Unforgiven
  • The Magnificent 7
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Legends of the Fall

Movie Night Theme-Camping and the Outdoors.

Other movies that would fit with the food above-camping and outdoors!

  • The Great Outdoors
  • Meatballs
  • Grown Ups
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • and Deliverance and Stand by Me noted in other categories
  • Blair Witch?
  • Friday the 13th?

Southern Movie Night Ideas

Movies that take place in the South- Many great films are set in the South. So gather up your best Southern menu and make it an event. Southern BBQ, black-eyed peas, gumbo, pecan pie, biscuits, anything Cajun, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and drink some sweet tea. Grab that southern cookbook and have a great time. Maybe even cook up some fried green tomatoes!

  • Forrest Gump
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Cold Mountain
  • 12 years a slave (def more educational!)
  • Lincoln
  • Deliverance (not for kids!)
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Mob/Mafia Movie Night Themes

Mob films-I love mobster/mob/Mafia films! Of course the stereotypical Italian family, what would they eat? Why not do a big pasta dinner, a tray of lasagne complete with a huge antipasto appetizer tray. Add some garlic bread, some red wine and some tiramisu or cannoli for dessert. Perfect for a day indoors watching a movie. (A reminder that many mobster movies are not appropriate for young children, check first!)

  • The Godfather
  • The Last Godfather
  • Stand Up Guys
  • Wannabes
  • 30 for 30: Playing for the Mob
  • The Family
  • Killing Them Softly
  • Casino
  • Goodfellas
  • Donnie Brasco

Movie Night Theme: Sea/Fishing/Sharks

Sea/fishing/sharks-I personally don’t really like seafood, but I think my husband would love any excuse for a seafood dinner or some seafood risotto. So whether you cook up a nice dish or roll some sushi, you can find much good fishing themed movies to go along with it.

sea/sharks/fishing movies:

  • The River Why
  • Stand By Me
  • Where the Yellowstone Goes
  • Sharknado
  • Mission of the Shark
  • A Sea Change
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
  • Discover Planet Ocean
  • Finding Nemo
  • Cast Away
  • The Perfect Storm
  • All is Lost

Sports Themed Movie Night

Play ball! There are many fun and inspiring movies about football and baseball. Think of what you’d eat at a ball game–hot dogs, popcorn, candy, cracker jacks, soft pretzels…make your own stadium at home and enjoy these great movies.

Sports Movies:

  • The Bad News Bears
  • Air Bud
  • A Mile in His Shoes
  • Rudy
  • Radio
  • Rocky
  • The Blind Side
  • Friday Night Lights

Asian Themed Movie Nights

Asian and Chinese themed films-As I write this, we are just on the dawn of the Chinese New Year. Celebrate the Chinese culture with…what else…Chinese food and some of these movies. Browse or search Pinterest for recipe inspirations or just get takeout. How about sipping some sake while you watch?

Here are some of the movies set in China or about China:

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Saving General Yang
  • Dangerous Liaisons
  • Badges of Fury
  • Picture Bride
  • The Great Wall
  • The Red Dragon

Note: I honestly have not seen some of the movies listed above. Now that this post is older, they may be considered inappropriate or cultural appropriation. I don’t know. I know that films like The Blind Side are now considered a symbol of the concept of white saviorism. Or, a better way to say it–it has always been a symbol of that, it’s just recently that more white people are waking up to the idea.

Well, there you go! I’m sure that I will think of more and add them, as this was a lot of fun.


{this was originally a sponsored post in 2014, updating now to remove information and fix links}

Oh and I don’t drink wine anymore. So some of my own movie nights have changed a bit. For the better though, it’s all good.

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