How to Throw a 30s Themed Party - Ideas and Tips

How to Throw a 30s Themed Party - Ideas and Tips

It's time to face that the Roaring Twenties are a bit overdone. The glitz of Great Gatsby parties casts a shadow on the following decade, but the 1930s are a great choice for a themed party, with their rich history, beautiful aesthetics and glamorous celebrities.

First and foremost, ask guests to wear a costume that captures the style and essence of the Thirties. Costumes are a key aspect of any themed party, but as the host you'll have to take care the decor and music, which make all the difference. Want to become a great host and party planner? Read on!

If you're thinking of organizing a themed party for adults, look no further. In this oneHOWTO article we'll give you some ideas and tips on how to throw a 30s themed party.

Research the era: What were the Thirties like?

Before embarking on organizing a 30s themed party, brainstorm and research the fashion, music and culture of the era and everything else related to the Thirties that may be useful. Then cast aside the least attractive ideas and delve deeper into ideas you think would work for your sort of themed party.

The decade of the Thirties was different in every country, and even within one country not everyone had the same lifestyle or taste. History is very rich and complex, but luckily you can use the Internet to find great ideas. Some of the most obvious themes for a 30s party include the Prohibition, gangsters and bootleggers, film noir with its femme fatales and fedora-wearing detectives, jazz clubs, pulp fiction or the Golden Age of Hollywood.

You can also research films and novels set in the Thirties and see how they portray that era. If you need some inspiration, oneHOWTO recommends Scarface, The Gay Divorcee or The Aviator.

The Golden Age of Hollywood

If you want to throw a 30s themed party, one of the first ideas that will surely spring to mind is the costumes of classic Hollywood film stars; after all, the Thirties and Forties were the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The Great Depression and the outcome of World War One affected the world, but Hollywood was a source of glamour and distraction. To mimic the Hollywood of the Thirties you need to set up the appropriate decor. Fill the room with gold and black helium balloons and lay out a red carpet at the entrance: Your guests will feel like real film stars. Tablecloths should be red or black, and for the final touch you can scatter silver or gold confetti.

If your guests need ideas for their costumes, suggest the following to them:

  • Bette Davis
  • Cary Grant
  • Clark Gable
  • Fred Astaire
  • Gary Cooper
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Greta Garbo
  • Henry Fonda
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Joan Crawford
  • John Wayne
  • Judy Garland
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Vivien Leigh

If any of these stars do not attend the party, you can always hang life-size posters of Golden Age Hollywood actors around the room so that the guests can take pictures with them - in black and white, of course.

Music of the 1930s: Jazz and swing

The Thirties were a time of musicals, but they are mostly remembered as the era of jazz, ragtime and swing. Irving Berlin, Billie Holiday or Bing Crosby made very popular records, but swing jazz is the best choice for a 30s themed party because of its faster, more dance-able rhythm.

Why not create a playlist with the following artists?

  • Benny Goodman
  • Count Basie
  • Duke Ellington
  • Glenn Miller
  • Louis Armstrong

While it is easier to use CDs or mp3 players, another option is to play original LPs, which will transport the guests back in time. And if you know some lindy hop steps, now's the time to shine.

These have been our ideas and tips on how to throw a 30s themed party - if you have more ideas and advice, please tell us in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to How to Throw a 30s Themed Party - Ideas and Tips, we recommend you visit our Weddings & Parties category.