Holiday Gift Guide for Movie Enthusiasts

BlogHer Original Post

‘Tis the season to treat the ones we love to a little something-something that will bring a smile to their face – or a WOW to their lips. If you’ve got a film buff on your list, you’re in luck. I’ve got a great list of gift ideas to help you bring a little movie magic to your favorite fan of the silver screen.

For fans who like to catch the latest films in the theaters – a gift card or book of gift certificates from the local movie chain is always welcome. Our local chain offers a book for $25 that includes two adult admissions to any film, plus a large popcorn and two fountain drinks. These are great gifts for teachers, too! AMC is one chain that offers gift cards. Regal Entertainment Group is another.

Popcorn on the seat in a cinema

Most theaters now offer gift options – even independent theaters that screen offbeat and specialty films will issue gift certificates. Want to take this gift to the next level? Spring for passes to a local film festival and make a weekend of it.

Want to go totally over the top? Take your movie fan on a trip to see filming locations, like these well-planned trips for Harry Potter fanatics which I found out about at Mugglenet. Hitchcock fans flock to our local town of Bodega, where any weekend you can see visitors pretending to flee from The Birds. Go star-gazing at Sundance, or take a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. No matter what film genre your movie fan prefers, there are countless travel options that will thrill your loved one. Personally, I am waiting for a chance to do the Fraulein Maria Spin. “The hills are alive…”

For the ultimate at-home movie experience – you can’t go wrong with an HDTV. I’m not an expert at these things, but there is good information available on all the bells and whistles. Me? I’ve got my eye on this one right here. Come to Mama.

If money is no object, you can just go ahead and add in a top-of-the-line surround speaker system. This one from Bose is apparently the way to go. You know, if money is no object.

So, now you’ve got your flat-screen HDTV and your surround sound – now you need some DVDs. Personally, I think everyone, movie fans or not, needs a copy of the Planet Earth DVDs. Boxed sets of movies are a great deal – if you’re sure that your film buff doesn’t already own it. If you are sneakier than I am, you can probably figure these things out. I always manage to either tip my hand with too many hints, ruining the surprise, or I can’t resist giving the gift I chose too early, just because it is so perfect oh my gosh and then I have to shop again.

My advice? Give them a gift that keeps on giving – a subscription to an online rental service. I’ve been a happy Netflix user for years, but I’ve also heard great things about Blockbuster Online. For a reasonable monthly fee, or for a set period of time, you can keep new movies coming straight to their doorstep.

If you simply must buy a movie or ten – consider buying retired rental copies. You can often choose from a great selection of gently used discs at a huge savings off of the retail price. Watch for sales and deals at online retailers, too.

For those of us with kids – the whole gently-used thing is a tough standard to maintain. One of these handy disc resurfacing gadgets is already on the top of my list. This is sort of appliance-like, but does not violate the ban on domestic-chore oriented household appliances as gifts that went into effect in the winter of 1998. That was a dark, dark year for a certain hapless gift giver.

A great gift for folks who like to watch action movies with lots of explosions and banging noises when your spouse is trying to sleep (I’m looking at you, Dad) would be a pair of sound canceling wireless headphones. These are a great dual-purpose gift, if your movie fan also travels frequently.

A portable DVD player is a fantastic option – a gift that the entire family can enjoy. Features to be on the lookout for – long battery life and durability are both key.

Personally, half of the fun of watching movies is the corresponding snacking. Popcorn is a must – and I prefer to pop my own over the stovetop. But no matter what your style of corn, these adorable boxes would make eating it an extra-special treat. I’m happy to report that I’ve seen these at Target, too. Wouldn’t they form a really cute holder for a gift package?

Another fun idea is to take a look at upcoming films based on novels and biographies. Hit the bookstore and pick up the works that inspired the upcoming film, and slip in a IOU for a shared viewing experience and a comparison and critique. I’ve made it my own personal vow to read the ‘real’ story before seeing a film adaption, and I think with children’s and young adult books in particular, the source material is often much richer than what ends up on the screen. Some upcoming films based on novels:

  • The Lovely Bones
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • The Other Boleyn Girl
  • Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • The Golden Compass
  • Atonement
  • Finally, a digital video camera can give aspiring cinematographers a whole new playground, and for the budding screenwriter – a few blank notebooks like these ones from Moleskine can give them room to record and play with ideas. Throw in a great pen and a little inspiration, and who knows? Maybe they’ll give you their first Academy Award.

    Happy shopping!

    Jenny Lauck is already dropping hints about a trip to the Alps, and looking forward to purchasing a nun costume online. More shenanigans are always in progress at Three Kid Circus.


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