How to Host a Harry Potter Marathon

Three Parts:Planning Your Potter Marathon PartySetting up for Your Marathon PartyWatching Harry Potter Marathon Style

If it's been a while since you and your friends have seen the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), you may be ready to for a movie marathon![1] Altogether, the Potter films will take about 20 hours to watch start to finish, so you and your crew have your viewing cut out for you.[2] But with a little planning, preparation, and a some fun breaks, hosting your Potter movie marathon will easier than saying wingardium leviosa.

Part 1
Planning Your Potter Marathon Party

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    Determine your guest list. If you have a smaller space, you'll want to limit your guest list so that everyone can be comfortable while marathon-ing. You'll be engaged in your Potter-viewing mission for about 20 hours, likely longer with breaks, so you'll want to be sure that everyone has a comfortable seat and a clear view of the screen.[3]
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    Plan a date. You could simply choose a day on the weekend when your friends are free to host your party, or you might want to pick a date that references the Harry Potter universe. For example, you might have your party on September third at 4:00 PM, since Harry boards the Hogwarts express on platform 9 (September is the ninth month) and ¾. (which represents the third day at four o'clock).[4]
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    Figure out your marathon goals. Twenty hours is a long time to watch anything, even something that you love. You might want to split your marathon into two days and do a half marathon each day, or you might only want to marathon your favorite movies. In any case, write down your general viewing schedule, so you can tell your friends the start and end time of your marathon.
    • You can add some fun and imagination to your marathon by also making it a theme party.
    • For true, diehard fans who plan on watching the entire series from beginning to end, you should plan a sleepover party. Otherwise, you may have trouble fitting 20 hours of viewing into a single day.[5]
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    Choose break-time activities. Sitting for long periods of time without moving can be bad for your heath.[6] Think of Harry Potter themed activities you might do to stretch out your body between viewings. This might include:
    • Pretend dueling
    • Muggle quidditch
    • A Potterverse based board game
    • Potter themed charades or pictionary
    • Potter themed online quizzes
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    Make and send invitations. Due to the combined length of the movies, you'll have to start watching early in the day and end late at night. You might even need to continue watching until the morning of the following day. Include your viewing schedule for your guests on your Potter themed invitation, and don't forget to include the address for the party, the time it starts and ends, and whether or not there will be refreshments.[7]
    • If you're trying to plan your party on a budget, you might consider making your party a potluck, where everyone brings a dish to pass. This should be clearly indicated on your invitations.[8]
    • Write your invitations on yellowed, parchment style paper so your invites imitate mail in the Potterverse. Purchase this paper at your local craft store or at an art supply store.
    • Use pictures that reference Harry Potter in your invitations. For example, since owls deliver mail in the wizarding world, you might include the picture of an own on your invitation.
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    Contemplate snacks with a Harry Potter theme. You don't want hunger pangs to interrupt your epic marathon! Think about some popular treats served in the wizarding world, and then do some research online to find recipes for these. You might serve butterbeer or pumpkin juice as drinks, and for food you might prepare golden snitch cupcakes or Bertie Botts strange flavored jellybeans. You might make:[9]

Part 2
Setting up for Your Marathon Party

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    Buy or rent the movies. If you don't have any of the Harry Potter movies, or if you are missing some of them, you'll have to purchase or rent the missing DVDs. Check for scratches ahead of time and give each movie a test run before the day of your party. It would be disappointing if you made it most of the way through your marathon and then had to stop due to a damaged disk or corrupted digital file.
    • If you're missing one of the Harry Potter movies in your collection, you might ask one of your friends to bring the movie to the party. That way you can focus on getting ready!
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    Ready the first movie and balance volume. When your marathon day finally arrives, put the first movie on your TV and allow it to play for a few minutes to check the volume. After you've adjusted the volume to a good level, pause the movie at the beginning so all you have to do is push "play."[10]
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    Stock yourself with supplies, like paper products. Disposable cups, paper plates, and a few rolls of paper towel can make clean up easier when your marathon's through.[11] You can even buy cups and plates decorated with Harry Potter designs. These should be available at your local grocery or dollar store, though if you have difficulty finding Potterverse themed products, an online retailer might be your best bet.
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    Make and arrange your snacks. Depending on the recipes you've found, or depending on your favorite Potterverse treats, you may need to buy additional supplies from your local grocery store. Once your treats are made, arrange your snacks in a way that mimics the movie, like arranging food on a long table like.[12]
    • Organize your treats on a rolling cart and pretend during food breaks that you're riding the Hogwarts Express!
    • Have backup treats ready so that when you've finished one you don't have to interrupt viewing.
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    Add Potter themed decorations. You don't need to go over the top, but small details will certainly add to the atmosphere. If you plan on playing muggle quidditch you'll need brooms for players, and these could be stacked off to the side as decorations in the meantime. Posters from the movies can be taped to walls, butterbeer served in an intricate looking carafe or coffee press, and the books can be placed around the viewing area to give your home some Potter flair.[13]
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    Make Potter themed goody-bags. These can be something that you send your guests on their way with once the party is done, or maybe you'll want to give these to your friends when they arrive as a way of saying thanks for coming. To make your goody-bags more authentic, you might include:
    • Chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil
    • Mini creatures, like spiders, frogs, and dragons
    • A "potion" that's really a juice box
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    Clear your viewing space. You'll want your space to be as comfortable and as easy to move around in as possible. Move furniture that is blocks walkways or takes up unnecessary space, and bring extra seating from other rooms if you are able.[14]
    • If you are worried you won't have enough seating, you might make a cozy nest with blankets and pillows in front of your TV.
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    Play music from the Potterverse. Even if you don't have a CD of the soundtrack from one of the Harry Potter movies, you can still stream tracks from YouTube, Pandora, or other online media providers. This will get your guests into the mood to marathon watch Harry Potter from start to finish.[15]

Part 3
Watching Harry Potter Marathon Style

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    Enjoy a pre-viewing activity to prepare for the marathon. This may be as simple as having your guests choose a strip of paper with one of the four Hogwarts houses written on it from a "Sorting Hat." Or you might do something more elaborate, like have each guest that's arrived duel the next guest to arrive.[16]
    • If dueling, you might want to write up a cheat sheet for duelists that has offensive and defensive spells listed.
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    Give out house points, if applicable. After you've sorted your guests according to house, you can award points to each house for good things done and trivia known. Use a spare piece of parchment style paper leftover from your invitations, if you have any, and keep track of house points to make things fun. You might award points for:
    • Quoting lines with the movie
    • Knowing obscure movie facts
    • Pointing out errors and mistakes
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    Stick to your schedule. Unplanned breaks might happen over the course of your marathon, but each of those will add time to your already 20 hour long journey through the Potterverse. Be sure food is conveniently placed so that your guests can eat as they get hungry.
    • Stopping to prepare food can put you behind in your viewing schedule. Have pre-made food ready to go in your refrigerator, or plan in advance to order in once the snacks are gone.
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    Take plenty of breaks. Stand up and really stretch yourself out every hour or so to prevent yourself from becoming uncomfortable. Sitting for extended periods of time is bad for your health, but taking five to moving around and stretch out every 30 minutes to an hour can relieve many of these problems.[17]
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    Replenish the food regularly. As you and your guests graze on the goodies you've set out, you'll have to clear off empty dishes and bring out more food as necessary. Use your scheduled break times to top off your Bertie Botts jellybeans or replenish your cauldron cakes.[18]


  • Put out cushions, pillows and make things comfy for your friends.


  • Make sure, while your changing DVDs get your friends to stand up.

Article Info

Categories: Movie Appreciation