Hosting a Church Movie Night

A Church movie night or Church Drive-in movie can be one of the best fellowship opportunities for your church or synagogue. Whether you are showing a secular movie or a religious themed program either event are sure to be a great hit and an entertaining family fun night idea.

Why are Church Movie Nights such a great event?

A Church movie night brings the community together and is a wonderful way for community outreach within your neighborhood. It is a compelling reason to visit a church for those who do not regularly attend.

Many movies have strong messages and tell amazing stories. These stories are a wonderful way to share core values of your faith.

Your church movie night can held at a public park which is a great way to be seen & recognized in the community.

How to organize a church movie night in 5 easy steps

1 – Location

 Scout a good outdoor location for your event

  • Church Parking lot
  • Grassy Area
  • Local Park (can be great for community outreach)

2 – When to Host a Church Family Night Movie Event

Check your church calendar.  To increase participation, consider linking events to other items on your calendar like a food drive, holiday or parish festival.

3 – Find a good Outdoor Movie Provider

To take the stress out of planning, find a great outdoor movie provider like FunFlicks® Outdoor Movie Rentals. They will be skilled, be able to provide great recommendations for the movie equipment set-up.  Make sure whatever company you choose, they are insured and carry proper and adequate equipment for outdoor presentations.  

4- Pick a movie for your Church Family Fun Night 

Movies can highlight themes within your church, help strengthen family, marriage and community.

Whether you choose a religious themed movie or a popular mainstream blockbuster, make sure it is aimed at the demographic that you are trying to entertain for your church family fun night.  This might be the hardest part of planning your outdoor movie night!

5 – Promote and Share

Get the message out and promote you Church Movie Night

  • Create Flyers
  • Direct Mail
  • Canvas your Neighborhood
  • Facebook Events
  • Church Website
  • Church Bulletin
  • Create Posters
  • In Church Announcements

But we already have projectors & sound – Can we can use?

You may have a projector and other AV equipment at your church, however, these are often mounted in your church. Choosing  a great outdoor movie company like FunFlicks® makes for a stress free night.  You’ll enjoy the film with your audience and you will worry less about getting everything back in order for Sunday services!


Have a church drive-in movie!

Many churches have large parking lots, these make great locations for a church drive-in movie. Church drive-in movie nights are hugely popular and can provide a safe environment.  If you are experiencing social distancing restrictions, car based events are often subject to different and more flexible rules.

Church Drive-in movies are fun for the entire family.


Can a Church Show a Movie for Free?

To show a movie outside the home you are required to have proper church movie licensing.

If you are hosting the event on Church property you may want to look into obtaining a site license which allows you to host multiple events throughout the year. CVLI (Church Video License) has both religious and non religious films. The cost is determined by the size of your organization.

Check if your church has a subscription to services like Formed, this would be religious based programing. 

If your event is not on church property, you will need to look at traditional non theatrical church movie licensing suppliers like Swank or Criterion.


Top 5 religious movies for your Church Outdoor Movie Night

Top 5 outdoor Movies for your church movie night religious

Top 5  Religious Movies for your Church Movie night

The Prince of Egypt 

Retelling of the book of exodus is a beautifully executed animated movie which is entertaining to all: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Vh65UrBK4 )

Veggie tales (many titles to choose from) 

Relive some of the greatest stories in the bible with the with and clean animated fun of Veggietales. Animation is bright (great when trying to start a movie at sunset). Great first movie for a family centered double feature. Here is a fun clip from the story of Joana (stop hitting people with fishes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw99DKA5tss

Gods not dead

A Christian student takes a class from a college philosophy professor and defends God’s existence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2KDj7qxnds

Miracles from Heaven

Based on a true story, a mother searches for hope and a cure when she discovers her daughter has a rare disease. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CldGTG6iVrU


Another inspiring true story of faith. A teenager falls through ice and is trapped for 15 minutes. Fighting for his life with doctors fearing the worst family prays for a miracle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go1jaIRQc-o

Top 5 non religious movies (with Spiritual themes) for you Churches Outdoor Movie Night

Church Movies Top 5 Non Religious With Spiritual Themes

Top 5 Non Religious Movies With Spiritual Themes for your Church Movie Night

The Lion King (Animated)

Strong religious themes can be seen in the movie. Most people will thoroughly enjoy this Disney masterpiece and sing along to its amazing soundtrack. Here is the amazing start of this movie to get you in the mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GibiNy4d4gc


The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

The film adaptation of CS Lewis classic is truly a wonderful movie that will entertain the family. CS Lewis’s Christian themes can clearly be seen if looked for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usEkWtuNn-w



This Pixar movie will have many in tears after the first 15 minutes. The sanctity of marriage and the importance of love over material things is shown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAq0hksGGVE


Star Wars

Good versus evil, with stories of forgiveness, Star Wars on the Big Screen is something that many may never have seen. 


Soul Surfer

Based on the true story of a female surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack, the story will inspire as she shows great faith and courage to get back on her board.


Church Family Fun Night Ideas – Success Stories

Community Church in Oregon – Christmas in July Community Outreach

Christmas in July is an amazing event. The Churches community movie nights are at a public park. This is wonderful community outreach and an entertaining church family fun nigh idea.

They theme their movie night bring everyone out, Summer nights in Oregon it get dark very late, to make the time fly and increase participation with the audience they  have fun and games linked to the movie. 

A Christmas Story has many iconic scenes, the red rider rifle with some water gun and tablets they replicated this iconic scene.

How about the tongue stuck on the icy pole. With some large blocks of ice and a group of willing kids the brought loads of fun to this warm summer night.

As a community outreach this was a perfect church movie night concept.

Family and community are always front and center at these wonderful events.


Assumption Cathorlic Church Drive in Movie

In San Leandro, Assumption School which is attached to a church runs a number of wonderful movie night for parish, each event brings the community together. 

Traditionally they have hosted a car show with a church drive-in movie at the end of the day.

With social distancing the fundraising talent show followed by drive-in movie was a great hit. It allowed the church and school communities to safely have a fun evening.