How to Plan Your Own Reel Family Time Event

How to Plan Your Own Reel Family Time Event

On Saturday June 24th we had 50 people come see the movie Cars 3 at Landmark Cinemas in St. Catharines. The movie was amazing and had a lot of valuable content for our families to discuss. Laughter was shared and memories were made and the event was an all-around success. The amazing part about an event like this is that if you weren’t able to join us in St. Catharines you can still take advantage of this resource. We have listed ways that you, your family and your church community can take this event and use it in your own contexts. Keep reading to figure out how you can pull this event off in your home or at your church.

For Families

Option #1:

  • Choose a theatre location near you and set aside time to go see the movie Cars 3 as a family.
    • Consider inviting neighbours or your children’s friends from school and make it a fun event.
  • Before heading to the movie review the discussion questions we’ve created below so that as you watch the movie you can think about what some of the potential answers to these questions are.
  • Head to the movies with your family and friends and enjoy a new release feature film and some popcorn!
  • On your way home from the movie, around the dinner table or before bed that night ask your kids some of the discussion questions listed below and listen to their answers.
  • Ensure you offer some of your own answers as well so that the conversation becomes a dialogue rather than an inquisition.
    • Use this time to talk about the things you loved about the movie, the parts of it you thought really demonstrated behavior God asks of us and what might have happened in the movie that God would ask us to do differently.
    • Use this time to engage with your kids, listen and share and have an open conversation where they can also ask questions.
  • Cars 3 Movie Discussion Questions:
    • What was your favourite part of  the movie?
    • Who was your favourite character and why?
    • Cruz’s family told her to “dream small or not at all” – do you think this is a good thing to say? What would be a better family motto? Does God ask us to dream big or to dream small?
    • Lightning McQueen says to Cruz that Jackson Storm “sees more in her than she sees in herself”. Pick a friend or family member and think about what you see in them that they may not see in themselves. Are they really kind? Super brave? Incredibly generous?
    • Discuss friendship and forgiveness in this movie. Was there anything that demonstrated Christian faith? Was there anything  that contradicted Christian faith?
    • What did lightning McQueen learn at the end of the  movie?
    • What did you learn through watching this movie?

Option #2:

For many families a night out at the movies may be an expensive endeavor. If you’re still wanting to create a similar event but with minimal cost consider watching a movie you already own or picking one of off Netflix.

  • Watch the movie together as a family at home and then discuss it together afterwards.
  • The value in this experience is the opportunity to dialogue together so you can also make this happen at home if that’s easier for your family.
  • If you want to make the night into something special get creative!
    • Invite families from your neighborhood into the backyard, rent a projector and a screen and have a movie under the stars.
    • Or Invite families into your home, build an epic fort and have kids bring sleeping bags and blankets for a fort and movie night.
    • Create a snack bar complete with candy and popcorn or an ice cream bar where kids can decorate their scoops with an infinite number of toppings.
    • However simple or complicated you want your event to be make it memorable and make sure you make it intentional.

For Church Communities:

I know many churches, children’s ministry pastors and youth pastors as in love with the idea of a movie event like this and would love to pull it off in their own contexts. Below we’ve listed two ways you can pull this event off in your own church community.

At your church:

  • If you’re looking to host this event at your church first decide who your target audience is.
  • If you’re aiming to invite families with children of all ages choose a movie that will engage your youth but also a film that will be enjoyed by the young kids in your children’s ministry.
  • Ensure that you preview the film ahead of time to ensure the suitability of the film for children of all ages and use it as an opportunity to create questions that you can send home with families.
  • Promote your event any way you can.
    • Create postcards to send home with your families that serve as invites they can give away to friends in their schools and communities.
    • Create posters you can put up in your church or inquire about posting them in local stores or coffee shops to let the community know about it.
    • Make a Facebook event so families can confirm if they are attending or post about it in your local newspaper.
    • Make sure you know about all the legalities that go into posting movies titles and ensure you have followed them.
  • When planning the details behind your event consider how extravagant you want your movie night to be.
    • Do you want everyone to show up in their PJ’s and bring sleeping bags and pillows to watch the film
    • Do you want to create a red carpet and have bright lights and someone there taking pictures to make it into a movie premier night?
    • Do you want to create your own concession stand and sell candy and popcorn and drinks?
  • Consider where you want to host the event.
    • Do you have a gymnasium you can watch it in?
    • Do you need a projector?
    • Would you want to show the movie outside? If so do you need to rent a projector and screen?
  • You will need a team of people to help you pull off this event.
    • Think about how many volunteers you will need and what their roles will be.
    • What tasks will need to be completed leading up to the event and what help will you need the night of your movie?
  • On the night of your event – have fun and enjoy the movie!
    • Handout discussion questions to families as they leave and explain the value in their continued dialogue as they leave.

If you want to rent a theatre:

Some of you may want to consider renting out theatre space and crate an event just like Reel Family Time in your own city. If this is what you’re looking to do follow the steps below:

  1. Call your local theatre’s number and inquire about renting theatre space for a private screening
  2. Depending on how large the movie company is you may need to connect with an external Private Screenings Team
  3. Let them know the date you are looking to host this event and inquire about the times they have available. Many theatres have set time they allow private screenings to be done or they have a price difference depending on whether you rent in the morning or the evening.
  4. Theatre companies will also let you know what their minimum number of guests is for a private screening. Most theatres require you have a minimum of 10 people and if you have less than that you are required to pay for the minimum regardless.
  5. You will need to ask if you are allowed to charge your guests for a ticket. Some theatres will not allow you to charge people who attend your private screening and will only let you say that donations are welcome. Other theatres will let you set a price for your tickets. It’s important that you clarify this at the time of your booking.
  6. Inquire about concession. Often times you can choose whether you pay up front for concession for everyone or you can choose to make concession an option the day of your event but guests will need to bring money if they choose to purchase the day of as it would not be included in your up-front ticket cost.
  7. Ask the Private Screenings rep if you are able to set up a table the day of the event so that you can have guests check in and get their tickets. This will allow tickets to be picked up, important information to be communicated and total attendance numbers to be gathered.
  8. If you are looking to welcome guests and speak at the front of the theatre prior to the movie beginning ask about whether or not you need to pay an additional fee for this. Some theatres offer what are called “Welcome Packages” and will offer you a few minutes of introduction time that they provide a microphone for but usually this is an additional cost.

Movie events like these whether they are held at home, in a theatre or at your church can be meaningful and intentional ways of building relationships and investing in the lives of young children and youth. For those of you who joined us Saturday for Reel Family Time, thank you so much for sharing in the fun with us. For those of you who are planning your own Movie event we wish you all the best!

Happy Movie watching friends!

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