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Host A Movie Marathon Party!

Updated on January 20, 2015

Celebrate ahead of a sequel

Watching previous installments is an awesome way to have a marathon ahead of a new release!
Watching previous installments is an awesome way to have a marathon ahead of a new release! | Source

Make your own marathon by starting at home

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition)

Get ready for the release of the final piece of the Hobbit movie trilogy with a viewing party of the previous chunk of the story. Or go hardcore and re-watch both previous pieces!


Movie Marathons Rock!

My very first marathon wasn't movies, it was Monty Python. It was the summer of 1985 and I was going to leave for college in a few months. Thanks to a friend's older brother, I'd gotten thoroughly hooked on Monty Python's Flying Circus, which was running on PBS at the time. (BTW, VCRs were pretty much a brand-new thing back then). I'd been taping episodes of the show and decided I'd invite over a ton of friends and we could just hang out and watch. Mom gave her approval as she thought Python was funny too.

I ran my fave episodes for six hours. A few friends stayed for the entire thing, but most folks hung out for a few hours in there somewhere and a good time was had by all. We never ran out of snacks or places for people to sit.

Now flash forward about 20 years, to the age of DVD and computers. I'm living 3000 miles away from that inaugural Python Marathon, but my love of movies is still there. And, at long last, I've got a best friend with a similar level of film endurance that I do. As my movie buddy and I didn't live in the same city, we invented "third Tuesdays." Initially there were Tuesday night meetings we both went to in the same city and we'd watch movies all day and then do our biz at night, and then stay up watching more movies. Eventually, the business part of the get-together disappeared and we just had a monthly movie marathon.

Some months it was two movies on DVD and one movie out at the theater. That way we could catch new releases we both wanted to see and share films we'd never seen or ones that fell under "oh, man! You've never seen (whatever)?! We've got to get that one!"

Trilogies Make Perfect Mini-Marathons!

Star Wars Movie Marathon

Coming Up With A Movie Marathon Theme

Movie marathons don't have to just be built around a movie with sequels or a television show. Branch out and create a selection that catches everyone's fancy!

  • Film Director - who's your fave? Woody Allen? Quentin Tarantino? Brian DePalma? Picking a director and making a marathon is a great way of looking at a director's career

  • Actor/Actress - again a great way to catch up on obscure films and explore a performer's career. How about Jake Gyllenhaal, Johnny Depp or Forest Whittaker?

  • Subject matter - disaster films, cross-country races, alien invasions, just about anything you can think of has a few films made about it.

  • Special effect/visual technique - how about movies that all feature bullet-time photography? or rotoscoping? or animation?

  • Movies Series - Anything where you've got a series of sequels is just begging for a marathon. Movie trilogies are my favorites for this. Can you sit through all six of the Star Wars movies in one day?

  • Movie Remakes - How about pairing up some of the original movie versions and their more modern remakes?

Have A Marathon With Your Favorite TV Show

You may want to pop some popcorn ahead of time and store it if you are having a movie marathon so that you have enough at all time.
You may want to pop some popcorn ahead of time and store it if you are having a movie marathon so that you have enough at all time.

Essentials For A Movie Marathon

  1. Viewing and Sound - Often the person with the biggest viewing screen and the nicest sound system is the person who winds up hosting the movie marathon. However, consider how much room you have and how well most of the folks will be able to view the screen. Sometimes the friend with the second best home entertainment system has a nicer layout.

  2. Comfortable Seating - This is one of the biggest issues with having a home movie marathon. As you're going to be sitting for hours, it's important to make sure everyone can stay comfortable. Some people like to sit, some like to recline and some like to lie down. Be sure to get up and move around in between films and consider rotating seats.

  3. Scheduling - Know ahead of time how many films you're going to show and get an idea of how long each one will run. This allows you to make a little schedule of bathroom breaks, refreshment refills, or just when to order out for pizza.

  4. Refreshments - Having nothing but junk food drinks and snacks can cause a serious case of marathon-crash after just a few hours. That's when everyone gets really sleepy from the rise and drop of blood sugar due to carbo overload. Having protein snacks or even taking a proper dinner break can let the viewers sustain themselves better. If you really want to go all out, have a potluck and ask each guest to make a theme dish!

  5. Related Fun Stuff - Having a trivia contest that relates to your marathon theme, or asking attendees to dress up in costume is another way to add more fun to your marathon.

Watch a Group of Fans Watch All 11 STAR TREK Movies in Just Under Three Minutes!

Watch a Marathon with a Complete Season of your Favorite Television Show

Attending a Movie Marathon

Sometimes you don't have to host your own marathon movie action. From time to time, theaters do special programming to match up with a new movie release. Case in point: the Iron Man marathon in May 2013. Timed to happen with the release of Iron Man 3, several movie chains offered a four movie feature of Iron Man 1, Iron Man 2, the Avengers and then Iron Man 3.

Can you tell I'm going? Seeing a long run of movies out at a theater is a combination of fannish enjoyment and pure endurance. When you are at home, you can pause when you need, have no lines at the bathrooms and the food is much cheaper and more varied. Here are some tips for going the distance when you are at a theater for your experience.

1) Bring your own food and beverage - Seriously, from a cost viewpoint alone, this is going to save you a ton of money. A Camelbak backpack makes it easy to tote a supply of water and all your other gear while keeping your supplies less obtrusive.

2) Go easy on the sugar! - As much as sugar can jazz you up, about 45 minutes after you ingest it you can start to experience the dreaded sugar crash, especially since your muscles are mostly slack and not actively using up all the energy. Protein is key to long-term, slow-burn endurance and is healthier in the long-run too.

3) Go light on those fluids - You don't want to have to go to the bathroom right in the middle of your favorite scene.

4) Stretch when you can - Airplane exercises while seated and a few yoga moves in between features can do a lot to keep you comfortable as the hours go by. Once you get past three or four hours, sitting can become progressively difficult.

Marathon Messages...

Submit a Comment
  • MelChi profile image

    Melanie Chisnall 

    6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

    relache - these are great tips for a movie marathon day / evening. I think I'll have to organize one soon! Thanks for sharing, voted up! :)

  • louromano profile image


    6 years ago

    i love this site!! its really cool!

  • Andy Webb profile image

    Andy Webb 

    8 years ago

    My first movie marathon came in the early 90s when I had all the then 6 Star Trek movies on video and over a Saturday watched them back to back. Since then I have done numerous movie marathons, from The Godfather trilogy, through to a classic 80s movie weekend as well as a Valentine's Day rom-com fest.

    These days I still do movie marathons, usually at least one a month but they are no longer themed affairs rather more a case of clearing a day or weekend to work through the various movies I have recorded off of TV and not had the time to watch.

  • Joe Barlow profile image

    Joe Barlow 

    8 years ago from Scranton, PA

    This is a great hub! Some friends and used to get together (before we all moved to different states, alas) for Bad Movie marathons. We loved to watch the absolute worst '80s movies we could find. If it starred a wrestler, or a former child star, or Adam West, we almost certainly watched it at some point. Yay movies!

  • cavetroll profile image


    8 years ago

    I love movie marathons! I've done LOTR (at one sitting), and Star Wars (episodes 4-6, at one sitting). I've found that the best company for a movie marathon is a group as into the film (genre) as you are. My next goal is to do all six Star Wars films at once. (That's probably going to take some planning). I've done some with action films, other sci-fi films, and horror films (in and out of theatres). Marathons are great! Alone or in the company of friends and family. Reading this makes me want to plan one right now!

  • DJ Funktual profile image

    DJ Funktual 

    10 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

    WOW! I have the special editions too. Love those deleted scenes.

    Too bad for Tom Bombadil.

    p.s. I didn't type it it was from my old blog.

    You rule! and your white legs are being celebrated at TOP 5 Hottie Hubbers btw.

    Much thanks goes your way for helping me to understand the ways of internet commerce. I'm still learning but i love whip-smart advice which you and Misha and Mark have perfected.

    Sincerely thanks.

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Seattle, WA

    DJ Funk... well, what did you think it would look like when you wrote all that?... LOL The longest movie marathon I've ever sat through was when a friend and I watched all three extended editions of the LOTR movies. That's was a glorious and eye-straining thirteen and a half hours.

  • DJ Funktual profile image

    DJ Funktual 

    10 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

    Sorry Rae. Now it looks like two hubs. Wanna delete and I'll shorten or do you have a response?

  • DJ Funktual profile image

    DJ Funktual 

    10 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

    I think this is so frickin awesome that I feel like you wrote it just for me. When I managed a restaurant on Long Island I used to host movie night for the staff on our big screen. You're advice about snacks is phenomenal. If you don't mind, I'd like to share about the ONLY thing you didn't cover which is the movie marathon for one.

    5 MOVIES in a DAY! The Wicker Man (Remake) - '06 ...1.5 Stars...9:00AM-11AM When Will I Be Loved - '04..........2.5 Stars.....1:30PM-3PM A Dirty Shame - '04......................2.0 Stars.....3:30PM-5PM It's All Gone, PETE TONG - '04....3.0 Stars.....5:30PM-7PM The Pursuit of Happyness - '06...3.5 Stars....9:00PM-11PM

    I have been really trying to find a good day off to bum around and watch a movie marathon and after weeks of waiting I did it today.

    THE WICKER MAN ~ (1) - Writer/Director Neil LaBute has made a name for himself with scathing black comedies like In The Company of Men-'97 , Your Friends and Neighbors-'98 , Nurse Betty-'00 & The Shape of Things-'03. Hopefully he'll go back to making them right away. The Wicker Man is a classic british horror/thriller about the religious occult. LaBute's Nicholas Cage version is so inferior to both, the original film and LaBute's prior films that I can't believe what a disaster it was. To leave out the religion and the male characters in favor of an all-female citizenship on Summersisle, the island of disappearing interest. All the nudity and chanting and scariness is replaced by Nick Cage riding a bike around on long grass hills. There must be a story behind this uninspired remake. Do yourself a favor and rent the original.

    WHEN WILL I BE LOVED ~ (2) - Likewise writer/director James Toback's reputation is for gritty independent films like Two Girls and a Guy-'97 and he stays true to form on this IFC Production. Neve Campbell & Dominic Chianese are real surprises in the re-casting of a NYC version of INDECENT PROPOSAL which doesn't sound great but it was very good. This film is about a woman's emergence into her own sexual power. A femme fatale movie with bookended nude shower scenes, a lesbian scene and a foursome in Central Park that maintains it's integrity There's really nothing cooler as a movie-goer than being pleasantly surprised. Check it out.

    A DIRTY SHAME ~ (3) - Typical John Waters movie. Ya know, a charmingly vulgar suburban-Baltimore gross-out laughterfest! ....if that's you're thing, I mean. Other incentives are Tracy Ullman's talking vagina, Selma Blair's porn-name Ursula Udders and, of course, Johnny Knoxville as Ray Ray the 'Sexual Healer'. Good raunch. But not as good as his last three films: Serial Mom, Pecker, or Cecil B. Demented.

    IT'S ALL GONE, PETE TONG ~ (4) - MOCKUMENTARY about a famous DJ who goes deaf, loses everything, and then figures out how to be DJ and a deaf man at the same time. This movie is so good that I don't want to spoil any of it. Put it this way, if you like DJ/Club culture live from Ibiza, Spain you got it. How about great interview footage with the greatest House DJs in the world (dj tiesto, paul van dyk, etc.) and live scenes filmed in all the best clubs? Or like most people you can get turned off by the stupid title and miss a great film.

    THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS ~ (5) - First of all, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the film. But not in a bad way. The trailer is great and the movie delivers a longer version of a great trailer. But I wouldn't call this an excellent film. First of all, acting with you're real son is a little...and who doesn't love their kids? But wait, hold on! There is something much bigger going on here. This is real. This really happened to a guy. Sleeping in buses, trains, bathrooms, etc. with a young son. Overcoming great odds and succeeding. This is a great vehicle for Will Smith, period. He's excellent. A really good biography of a terrific human being but still not an excellent film.

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR


    12 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Working on your Valentine's Day movie marathons? Think about Wild at Heart paired with True Romance. Or try Amelie paired with Harold & Maude. Anyone else got any suggestions?

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR


    12 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Want to have a New Year's Eve movie marathon? Try the original "Poseidon Adventure" with Gene Hackman and Shelly Winters as a double-feature with "Strange Days" starring Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett. Both have action that takes place over New Year's Eve.


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