How to Plan a Birthday Party with a 1940s Hollywood Glamour Theme

How to Plan a Birthday Party with a 1940s Hollywood Glamour Theme thumbnail
Glamorous dresses are a great way to add to the atmosphere of a 1940s party.

As far as clothing, makeup and lifestyle went, the 1940s were one of the most glamorous decades. With stars such as Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant reigning in Hollywood, cocktails abounding and floor-length, tight evening dresses adorning Hollywood starlets, the decade is a great basis for a themed birthday party. However, it can be hard to know how to start planning a 1940s Hollywood glamour-themed birthday party. A few ideas can help you start planning the party of a lifetime.

Things You'll Need

  • 1940s movies
  • Costumes
  • Computer
  • Printer
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    • 1

      Rent movies from the 1940s. Running 1940s Hollywood movies in the background (either projecting them onto a wall without sound or actually screening them later in the day) is a great way of evoking 1940s Hollywood. Movies such as "Casablanca" or "The Maltese Falcon"---or anything with Humphrey Bogart---are a great way to get your guests in the mood for a glamorous evening.

    • 2

      Assemble costumes. Encourage guests to come dressed in 1940s gear. Alternately, you can provide items for them to wear for the evening that you purchase from secondhand or costume shops. Great ideas for costumes include fedoras and wide ties for men, and evening gowns and beautiful 1940s heels for women. Have plenty of black eyeliner and red lipstick on hand for women who want to get that Barbara Stanwyck look.

    • 3

      Decorate. The easiest way to evoke Hollywood glamour from the 1940s in your decor is to decorate with film stills and publicity photos of famous actors and actresses from the era. Great choices include Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper.

    • 4

      Make drinks. Cocktails in martini glasses are a great way to round out the 1940s glamour feel of your party. If you are throwing the party for teenagers, Shirley Temples are appropriate, as well as other nonalcoholic cocktails. If the party is for adults, martinis are the best way to go, although providing a variety of choices (Manhattans, scotch and other drinks) is a great way to round out your cocktail menu.

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  • Photo Credit The Dress image by Jenn from

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