I'm participating in a community charity project called "Trick-or-Theater" this year. In a nutshell, it's a citywide project in which the participating locations (private homes, businesses, organizations) open their doors to the public on Halloween night and screen movies in exchange for donations to the local food bank. Each location is to create a festive theater-type atmosphere in which to screen the movies, offer seasonal refreshments, and run games and drawings for the kids. Since this will be my first year to go "all out" in general, planning will be an especially daunting task. This also marks my first year of working with a true theme, so at this point I basically need all the help I can get. ^^;
The trick-or-treaters and guests will be entering through my front door, which leads into the living room, and from there they'll have access to the kitchen, dining room, den, and one bathroom (the back part of the house will be blocked off). I'd like to make the decor as family-friendly as possible, yet reminiscent enough of an actual theater and intriguing enough to capture the attention of the adults.
I'm currently picturing the walls nearest the living room entrance being lined with handmade "posters" of enlarged scenes from the movies being shown, illuminated by seasonal twinkle lights. The donation/ticket booth would be nearby, comprised of an endtable draped with a sparkly cover and surrounded by donation boxes. The living room and den would each serve as a separate viewing area for its respective age group (under or at/over six) and have folding chairs (possibly draped with cobwebs) arranged in short rows facing the TV. A few costumed friends and I would wear badges identifying ourselves as ushers, along with the theater's name (Paranoid Pumpkin Pictures) and the text "How may I haunt (slashed through) help you tonight?"
I'd like to base my movie choices on unfamiliarity to the viewers, so they wouldn't know what to expect (no "Great Pumpkin"-types). Just to be safe, I'm going with a late-80s-to-mid-90s time frame, with maybe a couple of family-friendly 70s specials to hold the parents over (Paul Lynde Halloween special, The Halloween That Almost Wasn't, etc.). Here's what I've come up with so far for each age group:
Under 6: Spookley the Square Pumpkin; Eureeka's Castle: It Came from Beneath the Bed; Richard Scarry's The First Halloween Ever; Lumpkin the Pumpkin; fairy tale-themed episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
6 and over: The Halloween Tree; Hanna-Barbera's The Last Halloween; Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery; The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow; Pinky and the Brain Halloween special
Each of these will be preceded by a brief "intermission" consisting of retro Halloween commercials and mini-games (Halloween trivia for older kids; "spot-the-difference" pictures and so on for younger ones).
I've already gotten great ideas for the concession stand from your menu posts, and I especially love the idea of the candy bar. We'd have a tabletop popcorn machine at the ready and use plastic gloves ("monster mitts") instead of popcorn boxes. I also thought of lining orange and purple plastic pencil trays with Halloween napkins and using them as concession trays.
Despite how much information this may seem like, it truly is just a start. Please reply with any and all suggestions and feedback, as I'd love to be able to pull this off. =D