Evangelism comes in many forms and using media to spread the gospel has proven to be a very effective method of communicating with the local community. Some churches are host movie nights to try and attract new church members or converts. Smaller churches may borrow a church member’s television for the viewing, but larger churches who expect a large audience may use an outdoor LED video wall. Hosting a public movie night sometimes requires a license, and admission must be free. Some churches may need to make their money back on the license to maintain their overhead. These are two ways to collect money during a free movie night:

Sell Concessions and Merchandise

Admission to view the movie must be free, but churches are legally allowed to sell food or items at their movie viewing. A church hosting an outdoor viewing could sell popcorn, canned drinks, or blankets for people who forgot to bring lawn chairs. A church showing a movie during the cooler months could offer warm drinks such as hot chocolate and coffee for the adults. An outdoor viewing can be a wonderful experience, even if purchasing or renting an outdoor LED video wall is a bit expensive for some churches.


Requesting sponsorship from local businesses can help a church recoup some of the money spent on a free movie night. Every business owner may have different requests, but there are simple offerings that a church can give in exchange for sponsorship. Every ticket issued to the movie viewing could have an advertisement for multiple businesses printed on the back of the ticket. Before the movie starts, the church could show a slideshow of all of the businesses who supported the movie night before the movie begins.

The First Step

Hosting a free movie night can be a fun way to involve the local community in church activities or to allow a church family to spend some time together outside of the sanctuary. At first the cost may seem high, but there are many ways to collect the money spent on church activities.

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