By Susan Amerikaner
We recently celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We are not big entertainers: not party-goers or party-givers. But my husband felt we ought to somehow mark this milestone in style. And thanks to CandyFavorites—and my own planning–our party was a wild success.
People have been asking me how I did it. So I decided to write and share. This was a decidedly adult affair, but you can easily adapt for children’s birthdays. We used candy, creativity and the film Casablanca. For children, you could easily use a film such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! (I prefer the original with Gene Wilder, but the newer one with Johnny Depp would do also.)
We have long loved the classic film Casablanca. We’ve seen it so many times, we can quote lines to each other. Casablanca has special significance for us, because the first time I met my husband he impressed me with his Bogie imitation of “Here’s looking at you, kid.” I was a goner!
We live in a community with a choice of party rooms, and we got one with a projector and sound system. I made the place look as much as “Rick’s Café” as I could. Inexpensive Moroccan style candle lanterns for each table worked well, plus movie posters and a six-foot-stand-up of Humphrey Bogart. We would serve Greek food—and then show the film while serving candy, popcorn and cake.
Then I came up with ways to make the movie “interactive.” If you have ever been to a Sound of Music Sing-a-Long or a Grease Sing-a-Long, you know what I mean. The audience gets a small bag of “props” to use at certain moments in the film. It’s great fun. These films also have song captions on the screen. Casablanca isn’t a musical, but it still has memorable moments to “play!” This is what we put in our party bags:
- Chocolate Cigarettes
- Bubble Gum Cigars
- Chocolate Gold Coins
- Mini Boxes of Junior Mints
- “Lip” Whistles
- Biplane “Whizzers”
- French Flags
We instructed our guests that whenever they hear the line, “Here’s looking at you, Kid,” they take a sip of champagne. Whenever a film character smokes a cigarette, enjoy your chocolate ciggies or gum cigars. When Rick and Ilsa kiss, blow the lip whistles! When you see and hear the propellers of the “plane to Lisbon,” use your Biplane Whizzers. When Rick goes to the Roulette Table, throw your Chocolate Coins on the table. And during the famous scene in the café when they all drown out the Nazis by singing Les Marseilles, wave your French flag!
The purpose of the Junior Mints? I can’t stand to watch a movie without them. Since the room had to be darkened to show the film, we also included little flashlights in each bag. I found these online for a buck a piece, including the batteries. I got the flags from a flag company and the whistles and whizzers from Oriental Trading.
We sent out invitations asking people to come in forties attire if they desire. Our party was a major success. Guests keep calling and saying how much they loved the candy and the props. I was sure to order quality candy from CandyFavorites. Inside the candy bags, I had a little instruction sheet and also some trivia about the film itself. Believe it or not, some people were seeing this gem for the first time!