Host an LA-Themed Backyard Movie Night

Popcorn, costumes, cocktails...oh my!

Movies are kind of a big deal, especially since we live in the land of Hollyweird, errr Hollywood. It’s like we’re automatically expected to partake in film culture or we’re not really living our best LA lives. Truth be told, we’re kind of spoiled in that the city is home to every type of movie theater imaginable. Like the in-your-face IMAX theaters. The extravagant Old Hollywood-style theaters. Pop-up rooftop theaters. And everything in between.

Even your backyard or apartment can be a movie theater if you try hard enough. Actually, you don’t really have to try hard at all because we can provide you with everything you need to make a backyard movie night or home movie theater happen any Friday or Saturday night. How’s that for pretty freaking awesome?

To make it even awesomer (did we just make that word up?), we put together three, count ‘em three, super-fun themes so you and your friends can take movie night to the next level. They’re all based in LA for obvious reasons. And they’re all throwbacks also for obvious reasons. (Hint: It’s way more fun to dress up in outfits from the 80s.) Choose from L.A. Confidential, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Big Lebowski. So, what’s it gonna be? We can’t wait to see your movie parties on IG (@joymode #joymode)!

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L.A. Confidential

Although it was released in 1997, this noir crime drama takes you and your friends back to 1950s LA. Corruption. Scandal. Unsolved murder. Kind of sounds like present-day LA. Anyway. Someone’s gotta be Danny DeVito. Kim Basinger is the movie’s sultry female lead. Given his latest headlines, you might want to pretend Kevin Spacey isn’t actually in the movie.

What to Serve:

The 1950s were known for fast-food options and packaged snacks. Our faves are:

  • Ruffles Potato Chips
  • Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
  • Peanut M&Ms

Gin was a top spirit in the 1950s, so add these two classic cocktails to your menu.


Tom Collins

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • Club soda
  • Cherries

Mix all of the ingredients together in a tall glass and garnish with a cherry. Add fresh lemon slices for a twist.


Gin and Sin

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp grenadine syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice

Fill a shaker full of ice and combine ingredients. Shake, pour and enjoy!

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Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Relive your high school glory days, brah! Fast Times is an honest yet hilarious take on young love and dating. As for outfit inspo, there’s the infamous red bikini, the Hawaiian shirt and, of course, the adorable burger-flipping uniforms. Or, you could just go shirtless. But make sure to bring a surfboard for some tasty waves.

What to Serve:

Food and weed play key roles in this movie. Don’t skip these standouts:

  • All of the pizza (Make your own using our outdoor pizza oven)
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Sativa pre-roll joints from MedMen

In the spirit of the always-high Spicoli, here’s a recipe for a CBD-infused cocktail by Maxwell Reis of Gracias Madre via goop.

cannabis-cup *Image courtesy of Goop

Cannabis Cup

  • 2 oz Pimm’s Original No. 1 Cup
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 3 cannabis leaves (optional)
  • 1 oz ginger beer
  • 15 mg CBD tincture

In a cocktail shaker, muddle together cucumber, cannabis leaves (optional) and simple syrup. Add Pimm’s and lemon juice, then shake with ice and strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice. Top with 1 oz ginger beer, garnish with a cucumber wheel and serve. Cheers!

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The Big Lebowski

If you’ve been, like, wanting to release your inner Dude, this is the time. There’s humor. There’s a crime that needs to be solved. And it’s clearly iconic 90s LA. Now, you might look a little cult-ish, but it’s probably best for everyone to abide by this rule and roll up in their favorite robe. Don’t want to look so cult-ish? Bowling shirts will do. The bowling balls are optional.

What to Serve:

The Dude loves his bowling alley bites and classic In-N-Out burgers. Who are we to argue his exquisite taste?

  • Bar munchies like mixed nuts (purchased from Ralph’s, of course)
  • In-N-Out burgers

This one’s obvious, but you can’t have a Big Lebowski party without the White Russians.


White Russian

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1/2 oz whole milk or heavy cream
  • Ice

Combine vodka and coffee liqueur in a rocks glass over ice. Add milk or cream and stir.