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How to Have Movie Night at Home

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Watching movies the old-fashioned way—gently projected onto a big patch of wall, instead of emanating from a retina-burning flat-screen—is cheap and charming evening entertainment. Regular movie host Mark Decker explains the procedure.

Crowd: Invite a dozen, figuring eight to ten will show.

Selection: Classic musicals (Gigi, for example) generate the best energy, dialogue-rich comedies like Adam’s Rib the best chatter. Worst pick ever: Eric Rohmer’s do-I-do-it-or-don’t-I Chloe in the Afternoon.

Setup: I use a Sanyo Multimedia Projector hooked up to a Bose Wave radio and a Zenith DVD player (for a similar system, get the Sharp XR10XL Digital Projector, $849, and Zenith DVD player, $49.99, at Circuit City, 212-734-1786; the sound system is available at Bose, 212-823-9314, for $349).

Snacks: You can’t have enough steamed dumplings. Also, cheese (firm, not runny) and crackers, popcorn, Junior Mints, and Milk Duds. Full bar, of course.

Rules: Dogs are allowed, talking during the movie is encouraged, and cell phones can be left on and discreetly and quickly answered. These are your friends, after all.

Next on my wall: Stop Making Sense; not much on plot, but the soundtrack can’t be beat.


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