Birthdays are a very special time indeed. One party theme that works well with people of almost all ages is the idea of a movie night. Whether you want to make your movie a drive in movie or you prefer the modern conveniences of air conditioning in the summer or heat in the cooler months then that is understandable you can bring the movie night in. If you'd like something a little new and different then creating a drive in movie is a great way to go and you can invite all the neighbors so that no one chooses the moment your movie begins (hopefully) to start making a ton of noise.
The idea of a drive in movie can be expanded somewhat by the movie you select as well. Screens for playing the movies and DVD projectors can also be rented as well as speakers to play the sound. A good place to put the screen is on a garage door if you are a little lost on that particular matter. Once you've decided the movie you can go about elaborating on the theme. If you choose something that is relevant to a specific time period (such as Grease for the 1950's), Bill and Ted's Adventures (for the 1980's), and the like you can have your guests put on their best 50's or 80's finery and come dressed for the occasion.
Be sure that in addition to the movies you have music that is appropriate for the theme to play before dark arrives and afterwards. Everyone can have a lot of fun dancing and you can set up a concession stand area with pop, popcorn (an absolute must - you will be glad to know that you can even rent popcorn poppers for the evening as well), whole dill pickles, nachos and cheese, hot dogs, pizza (if you're feeling really ambitious) and other favorite movie munchies. The idea is to make the evening a fun evening for everyone.
Great decoration ideas, in addition to the screen of course would be cardboard cut out cars, movie posters, and Christmas tree lights to create rows for 'parking'. You will want to make sure that there is plenty of seating available. Folding chairs work perfectly for an event such as this. You should also make sure that you have plenty of waste bins available for the garbage that may be accumulated throughout the evening and recycling bins if appropriate (people who do not ordinarily recycle often will if presented with the option to do so).
If you take the party indoors you can still accomplish the movie feel but make it feel more like a theater than a drive in. Use Christmas tree lights along the floor and turn off all other lights in the room once the movie begins. You can rent a big screen television for the evening or a projector and a screen. You may also want to consider pushing the furniture back against the wall and leaving the center of the room free for throw pillows that allow guests to sit (or lay) on the floor to watch the movie. Place movie posters throughout the room to set the tone and have the concession stand in another room so that it can be enjoyed and seen without disrupting the movie.