Friday, March 27, 2015

13 Tips to Make Your Movie Night a Blockbuster

Do you show movies in your library? 

There was a great discussion on ALATT back in February about what has worked well at other libraries. Maybe one of these tips will work for you! (And if you are a newbie, definitely read American Libraries' article about why you need to buy a movie license first!) 

1) Show a Movie the Same Day It Comes Out

   If you can see holds on unreleased movies, you can use that to learn what movies your patrons are most interested in. I also like to check out where, on the right, they list the most requested release dates.

2) Show Movie Award Winners and Nominees.

   If you want to have an adult crowd, nothing sparks their interest more than showing the award winners and nominees. Bonus points when you do it close to the voting announcements.

3) Show Family Movies During a Vacation Week.

   What else are parents going to do with their kids? If you are concerned about content, check out Common Sense Media beforehand. They rate all of their movies on areas of concern (nudity, language, violence, etc..).

4) No Shame in Selecting a Popular Title.

  You're tired of hearing about it? That's the perfect movie to show. (Yes, Frozen will still draw large crowds and you don't have to add any other incentive to have them come.)

5) Offer a Fun Raffle Prize

   My best teen movie night was when we raffled a 5 lb Gummy Bear. Teens I never saw before came out for this event! It was so easy and you can order it from Amazon (Yay for places how allow business accounts!).

6) Show the Previous Movie Before the Next Movie Comes to the Theater.

   Who doesn't want a refresher of the first movie before the next one comes out? Bonus points if it is a popular first movie.

7) Pair the Movie with Trivia and Games or a Craft.

   If you want them to leave the comfort of their home, perhaps they need more than a larger screen to come to the library.

8) Try a Film Series.

    Showing multiple films in a series (rather than just randomly) will allow you to build an audience that you can count on.

9) Show a Cult Classic.

    What's more fun than watching your favorite movie with other fans?

10) Show Documentaries.

    Select an interesting subject and plan a discussion afterwards. If documentaries circulate well at your library, you might want to consider this.

11) Show Movies That were Inspired from Books.

    Being a library, is there a better place to meet other readers, watch the movie, and then discuss the differences between the two?

12) Order MuVchat and Allow Your Patrons to Text Right on your Movie Screen.

   A few years ago, YALSA published an article about how this works. Patrons can use their own phones to text messages on your big screen. If they have an iPhone, they can download the app so they aren't charged texting fees. If they don't have a phone, they can use any computer with Windows. It is a completely different way to experience a movie.

13) Create an Interactive Movie.

    I've seen this done for young kids and teens. Have the audience do certain actions that happen within the movie. For example, Oskaloosa Public Library has viewers throw glitter whenever Elsa uses magic, boo when Hans is on-screen and eat carrot noses whenever Sven is around. Eldredge Public Library held a "Jaws, the Experience!" a few summers ago, where tweens and teens were given goody bags of things to do and had them yell "Ah! Shark!" whenever the fish swam on screen. If you want help planning, teens are really good at coming up with ideas.

And there you have it, some successful ideas for when you plan your movie night.

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