How to plan a 50’s diner theme dinner party

how to plan a 50's diner theme dinner party

The next time you are looking for an inventive idea for an upcoming dinner party, consider a 50’s diner theme. Depending on the age of your guests, it will either be a fun night of nostalgia or a chance to experience a bygone era for the first time.

Encourage your guests to come in costume. Poodle skirts and ponytails for the girls and slicked-back hair and white tight white t-shirts for the guys will add to the authentic atmosphere. A number of people have dressed up in 50’s attire for Halloween, a themed dance, a play, or some other occasion, so you won’t be asking too much of your guests if you suggest costumes. And of course, as the host, you should set a good example and dress up as well.

Old records are a concrete reminder of the era, so they’ll make great decorations if you hang them from the ceiling or attach them to the wall. It’s also possible to make bowls out of old 45s by melting them in the oven over a glass bowl. Make sure that you’re not using someone’s cherished record collection when you decorate, though. A trip to a local garage sale or thrift store for castaways is probably your safest bet. You should also check your local party supply store for a line of decorations with a 50’s theme.

Playing music from the ’50s and early ’60s will add to the atmosphere. You’ll want to play a variety of songs rather than focus on one artist. You can make your own mix if you have a number of CDs or tapes around, or it’s usually easy to find cheap compilations anywhere you can buy music. If you have the room, plan some time for dancing after dinner. If you want the party to last beyond dinner, you could also plan a showing of a fun movie from the ’50s or a movie about the era.

After all of this planning to build on your theme, preparing the food will actually be the easiest part of your preparations. Diner food is typically very simple to make and it’s usually comfort food that everyone will enjoy. Hot dogs and hamburgers would be great for the main course with a side of fries. Buy bulk packages of meat and frozen fries from your local grocery store, and you can usually find pre-formed burger patties to make your cooking even easier. If someone doesn’t eat meat, you can offer a grilled cheese option. Invest in or borrow a few griddles so that you can make large quantities of your diner food.

Milk shakes will make a great 50’s diner dessert. Buy several cheap blenders or borrow extra from friends to be able to make as many as possible at the same time. Serve them in tall glasses with a bendable straw.

You can take the 50’s diner theme a step further by actually turning your home into a 50’s diner. Rent or borrow a number of small round tables and chairs. Move all of the furniture to other rooms and spread the tables out within a one or two-room space, depending on the layout of your home. Hire your children and their friends to be waiters and waitresses (in costume, of course) and have them actually take your customer’s orders and deliver the food right to their table.

No matter how involved you choose to be with the theme, a party at a 50’s diner is a sure way to spend a fun evening.


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