Let's Go To The Movies

When Leawood homemaker Betsy Repine pops a movie into a DVD player, it’s a sure sign that something great is about to happen. For five years, Betsy has been leading the way to fun through film by organizing a monthly movie night for her family and friends. And when the curtain goes up, the fun is just beginning.

“I started this as a way to get together with friends and family,” Repine explains. “My husband and I don’t have children and all our nieces and nephews live in Arizona. I wanted to do something fun and easy, so this movie night was born.”

The concept is simple—one night, one theme, tons of food and a huge movie screen.

“My brother has a fantastic 110-inch movie screen that drops down from the ceiling and big, reclining chairs,” Repine says. “He’s a movie buff and has more than 1,000 movies to choose from, so the movie part is pretty easy.”

While catching a movie and munching on concessions at a local Cineplex can break an entertainment budget, the price for admission to Repine’s cinematic marathon is free for all ages. The required dress code, however, certainly has everyone checking their vanity at the door.

“We all come to movie night in comfy pajamas based around the movie theme,” says Repine. “If it’s a Valentine’s Day theme, we all come in heart pajamas and eat heart-shaped doughnuts and heart-shaped pizza. We always try to match the movie theme with the food.”

And there are plenty of themes from which to choose. Repine and her flock of film fans have participated in a Christmas movie night complete with holiday cartoons, hot cocoa and guests dressed as the Grinch. One time attendees dressed in tracksuits for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. This year’s Mardi Gras theme will find the movie enthusiasts chowing down on jambalaya and red beans as the DVDs spin.

Melissa Rohach, Repine’s best friend and a marketing manager for State Farm, has joined in on movie nights with her husband and two children since the very beginning.

And because Repine recently got a big screen television for her own home, the frequency of movie nights just might be on the rise.

“We invite ourselves over for movie night a lot,” Rohach laughs. “Sometimes I’ll just call Betsy and lightheartedly say, ‘Hey, what are you guys up to tonight? Do you maybe wanna do a movie night?’ We’ll bring over popcorn or something and everyone has a great time.”

Repine certainly doesn’t mind the extra company.

“I especially love how much the kids enjoy it,” she says. “One year a pipe broke at the kids’ school, so they came over and we did a movie afternoon with the Wimpy Kid movie series. We bought out the candy store!”

But far more important than the goodies and the movies is the quality time spent with great friends. And those good times are catching on.

“My father is an 80-year-old retired Marine, and he’s started doing war-themed movie nights every two weeks with his Marine buddies,” Repine says. “People have even started giving me and my husband movie-themed gifts for Christmas. It’s turned into a big deal!”

Though each movie extravaganza inevitably ends the same—with half-empty popcorn tubs or heart-shaped pizza crumbs strewn around the room—one thing always stays the same.

“Everyone has a wonderful time,” Rohach says. “My kids are 10 and 13 and Betsy’s parents are in their 80s, yet we all love watching the movies together. The kids and even the adults sometimes fall asleep in the chairs. It’s just fun for all ages. Betsy likes to say her brother’s home is the ‘Best of Leawood’ movie theatre. And it really is.”

Lights, camera, action…