How to Host a Parish Movie Night

Posted on September 18, 2019

Increasing parishioner engagement is one goal that nearly all parish set. How a parish goes about this can vary, however. One way we’ve seen success is through hosting a parish movie night. Parish movie nights are a great and fun way to increase engagement by attracting people of different ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups. Everyone loves a good movie!

When hosting a parish movie night, it’s important to consider a few key aspects before you show up with your bag of popcorn. There’s some planning involved, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!

Choose the Right Movie

From Disney to Christian-based films, movie choices are plentiful. The number one piece of advice we can give you is to make sure it’s a movie that multiple people on your parish staff approve of and have seen. There is nothing worse than assuming it’s a church-friendly movie only to be sitting next to your Godly grandmother when an inappropriate scene surfaces. Don’t be that guy. Get the movie approved and have confidence in your choice!

Bonus: If you choose a Christian-based movie like The Passion of the Christ, be sure to forewarn people of any suggestive material for young children. It’s better to be open and honest about what they are walking into rather than shock them after they are already there.

Purchase the License

Before you can cast a movie for all to see, you need to obtain the license for the movie you have chosen. Don’t fret, this is simple. Simply do an internet search containing the name of the movie and “obtain license.” Once you see the link to the production website, click on it and complete the steps it asks you to complete.

For example, let’s say you’ve chosen Finding Nemo for your parish movie night. Simply type “obtain Finding Nemo movie license” into your search engine and it will populate a list of results. One of the results will be the production company, which in this case is Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. You can then fill out a form to request a quote. It is as easy as that.

The fees for each license vary by film and production company. Generally, there is not a flat rate for each license. The rate will depend on the size of the facility, the anticipated amount in attendance, and other key factors. On average, the cost ranges between $400-$900 per movie license. If you’re wondering if there is a discount for nonprofits, the answer is typically no.

Promote the Event

Next, it’s time to extend the invitation! One way to promote this event is by putting the information on your parish website. You can even create the form in ParishSOFT Giving using its flexible form create. Then add the form to your website so people can easily find the form and sign up. This will make it simple to direct everyone to sign up in one location. 

You can also promote your event by announcing it from the stage, printing it in the bulletin or on flyers, and posting about it on social media. Encourage your parishioners to share the event’s information so more people have the opportunity to hear about your parish movie night!

Host Your Parish Movie Night

Finally, it’s the fun part! It’s time to host your parish movie night! Before your parishioners and guests arrive, run through all the logistics to make sure the movie works properly, including the sound. By doing this you can eliminate any hiccups during the actual showing.

When people arrive, make sure they know who you are so they can find you if they have any questions. Ensure they also know the location of all exits and bathrooms. After you welcome your guests, encourage people to put away their phones so they can enjoy a fun-filled night of popcorn and a movie!

Next Steps

If you need ideas on Christian-based movies, check out the top 25 Christian-Based Movies from our partner, Sharefaith! For more ideas how to engage your parishioners using our web-based church management, accounting, and giving software, contact our sales team at 866-930-4774 x6.

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