Hollywood's biggest night of the year is certainly one that's worthy of a themed bash. When hosting an Oscars party, there are plenty of film-inspired foods, decorations, and goody bag options to consider. But with a dash of tech, you can turn your celebration into so much more.
Technology helped to create all of those award-worthy films, so naturally, it should be included in your party plans as well. Here's how you can use technology to host the perfect Oscars party.
1. Make your invitations online
For many, Oscar Sunday is like the Super Bowl, so it wouldn't be out of the question to have a big party. Instead of alerting friends and family via a group text, consider sending out some stylish evites.
Online invite site Punchbowl just debuted a series of Oscar-themed online party invitations. There are 20 different designs, with nods to Hollywood, movie theaters, the red carpet, and even the iconic Oscar statuette. You can choose, personalize, and send your party invitations from one of Punchbowl's iOS or Android apps, as well as the company's website.
And Punchbowl is the gift that keeps on giving. After the invitations are sent, download the Punchbowl Oscars party planning guide, which has printable ballot and bingo cards, as well as recipe ideas.
2. Use the web for a friendly competition
A friendly wager can make the night more interesting. While you watch Hollywood's most famous walk the red carpet, rally up your guests for the 2017 Official Oscars Challenge.
Anytime from now through February 26 at 5:30 p.m. (PT), you can go to the game's Facebook page to predict the winners of the night. Challenge your guests to play along as well—anyone with a Facebook account can join in. Then during the broadcast, you can use the site to keep tabs on real-time results and leaderboard rankings. A few players will also be entered to win prizes through the Official Oscars Challenge Sweepstakes.
3. Fire up a projector
The best way to watch movies is on a big screen. Why not extend that same excitement to a big event that honors the best movies of the year?
The Epson Home Cinema 3700 Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector ($1,499) can create a viewing experience that's the next best thing to being there. It can project 110-inch images from just 10.5 feet away, with a crystal-clear 1080p high-def image. It even has built-in speakers, so you set it up in any room.
You can even use it to show some of the nominated movies before and after the Oscars start. Just make sure to pair it with the right surface. Sure, it's easy to rig up a homemade screen or even project on an available wall. However, if you want to have a picture that's Oscar-worthy, Monoprice has a retractable 92-inch screen for under $100. The Elite Screens Yard Master 2 (starts at $155) is another option that's better suited for an outdoor party, with a form factor that's extremely easy to fold and store after the festivities have wrapped up.
4. Serve up tasty movie-inspired treats
Once you dim the lights and have all eyes on the big screen, people will want to nosh. You can opt for chips, dips, and fancy hors d'oeuvres or you can provide a nod to the reason everyone is there in the first place by serving theater-style party foods.
Throw out a bucket with boxes of Milk Duds, Raisinettes, Junior Mints, and other movie favorites—and watch them quickly disappear. To get the crowd talking (and crunching), pick up a Waring Pro popcorn popper. The company makes poppers that are reminiscent of old-fashioned theatre-style popcorn makers in three sizes, ranging from $80 to $200.
5. Create some instant photo ops
Forget calling the paparazzi. You can create memorable moments and party favors by setting up a photo station, complete with costumes and accessories that will make your guests red-carpet ready in a flash.
Hit up a secondhand store or party store for things like costume jewelry and bow ties, as well as feather boas. Then, have your guests strike a pose in front of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S ($84). This camera is easy to use, thanks to its automatic exposure, built-in flash, and three shooting modes. Even better, it can deliver instant 2.4-by-1.8 color prints.
Compile all of the shots from the night into a book or give them out to guests as parting gifts. Everyone is a winner!
6. Keep something sparkly on ice
Oscar winners and losers will indulge in some high-priced champagne throughout the evening. You can keep that and some less expensive (and less alcoholic) drinks on ice in the Igloo Party Bar ($199.99).
This cooler can't project movies or predict the winners, but it is the perfect high-tech companion for indoor and outdoor parties. It has the ability to hold 212 cans on ice, with a bottle opener and drink dividers so you won't mix adult and kid beverages. However, the high-tech twist comes from the LiddUp LED light system, which can light up any room and keep party guests from rooting around in the dark to find their favorite beverages.
7. Keep an app handy for all questions Oscar-related
Who is in the Best Supporting Actor category? What's the name of that Justin Timberlake song from Trolls? And exactly how many times has Meryl Streep been nominated? You can ask and answer trivia questions about the Oscars and every movie released this year with the IMDB app.
Available for Android, iOS, and Amazon devices, the free IMDB app features over 3 million movie and TV titles, with additional listing for over 7 million actors, actresses, directors, and crew members. And during the broadcast, it will also keep a running list of winners, so you'll never miss a moment of the action.
The 89th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 26, at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST. Don't forget that we've rounded up all the ways to watch the show. We also found where you can watch all the Oscar-nominated movies.