Old Hollywood – Glam at its Finest

Do you want your debut to be glamorous? There are lots of themes you can choose to fulfill that aim. But if you want to add drama to that glam, then 50’s “Old” Hollywood could be the perfect theme for you.

Old Hollywood is all about elegance and drama. You can be dramatic with your hair, make-up and dress without being accused of being “too much”. This theme is very similar to the Awards Night theme, but with this one you are trying to bring yourself and your guests to another period where star quality is the norm.


Veronica Lake StyleYou can give out invites in the shape of a movie ticket or a movie clapboard or you can have an invitation design that depicts the style of the 50’s. This way, you are encouraging your friends to glam up for your party. Of course, don’t forget to ask your guests to dress up like their favorite Old Hollywood star like Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. Be sure to give out the invitations early so that your guests will have enough time to prepare themselves for your big night, like buying a costume for your party if they have to or conceptualizing that Old Hollywood look they will feel most comfortable in.

Souvenirs and Props

Having a photobooth in your venue is a great way to entice your guests to dress up really well and according to the theme. Set up a background and bring out props that can capture your theme like a director’s chair, megaphone and a clapper. Perhaps you can also provide some accessories like a furry boa in your photo booth to make your guests look great in their photos. You can also have some standees of actresses and actors, with which you guests can pose for their photo souvenirs.

You can also display a big screen on which you can show some audio visual presentations about you. During idle time, you can use this screen to display some Old Hollywood photos or moving pictures.


For your appetizer, serve some popcorn, just like what you would eat while watching a movie. Put the popcorn on traditional popcorn containers (the cardboard ones). This would give your friends and family something to munch on while waiting for the mouthwatering main course!

What’s fun about this Hollywood theme is that you can use a movie house scenario to create an environment. Aside from displaying a big screen for instance, you can also be creative with the presentation of your food. You can set up a mock “concession stand” of food chains for soda, pretzels, nachos, popcorn, candies, ice cream, etc. Aside from that, you may still want to serve drinks that capture that Old Hollywood style.

Serve champagne or sparkling juices, which your guests can use to make a toast for you. You can also offer other kinds of cocktails like cosmopolitans and martinis. You can offer a wide variety of choices to make an impression of that opulent lifestyle that the Glamorous life Old Hollywood offered. Just make sure you are well-stocked with drinks!

Party Favors

Hollywood Walk of Fame StarOne of the most important things to consider is your 18th birthday party giveaway. The party favor options for this kind of theme can include a small mock Oscars trophy, a Clapper picture frame with a photo of your guest taken by a Paparazzi, a mock Hollywood Star with your name on it or a Hollywood Keychain. Watch some classic films and get elements from there on which you can base your ideas for your debut party give away.


What music you will play during your debut party will do much with the atmosphere you want to create. Let the voices of old Hollywood crooners like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra fill the venue to set the right mood. Throw some Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday songs as well and put in some Jazz and Ragtime music to get everyone dancing. These are some Golden Age Hollywood songs you can play during your party to create an Old Hollywood theme:

– Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelly)
– Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend (Marilyn Monroe)
– The Way You Look Tonight (Fred Astaire)
– Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
– Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
– Anything You Can Do (Howard Keel)


Conceptualizing what you want your venue to look like is fun! Have a red carpet rolled out, on which you and your guests can walk on. Hang pictures of Old Hollywood icons like Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, and Clark Gable. Get some props from second hand stores and ukay-ukay shops and scout for feather boas, beautiful glassware and plates, accessories and vintage dolls. You can use low lighting and light up candles for an added ambiance.

You can also have some films from the Golden Era of Hollywood such as like Cassablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s play throughout the evening (without the sound) so that your party guests will know how to behave, act or move about.

For your guests’ tables, you can display a stack of still pictures from Old Hollywood films with details such as your name, your debut party venue and date on them. These photographs can also serve as giveaways. To tell your guest where to sit, put his or her name on a Hollywood Star placed on the corresponding chair and table.

In the middle of the dance floor, put some Hollywood walk of fame stars. Also display some Hollywood street signs, movie cutouts, etc.
There are endless options when it comes to Old Hollywood decorations. Try to watch some movies first so you would have a big idea about the atmosphere you need to create. The color scheme for this theme is usually red, gold and black. But you can still have some other colors as long as they are sophisticated for the 50’s Hollywood style. But since you’re still a young lady, you can add some cool bright colors for a more youthful party.

Hang the famous Hollywood letters somewhere in your venue. Don’t forget to add some balloons, streamers and other objects. Place clapboards and megaphones around the room. Create an ultimate sparkling Hollywood atmosphere with Christmas lights as well.

You can display a lighted wire lamp arch for your entrance like this —

The Old Hollywood Glam Theme of the 50’s is indeed a beautiful theme for your 18th birthday celebration. You can feel like a real celebrity with this timeless theme, which is really what you are on your Debut. It will be a very unique party in a timeless theme that you and your friends can reminisce about when you grow older.

(Click photo for credits)

Index Photo Courtesy of: Conde Nast Magazines

55 thoughts on “Old Hollywood – Glam at its Finest

  1. Oh dear! I love this theme! Kaya lang, I’m wondering if my guests will enjoy it. Anyway, I will add this theme to my list 🙂 It’s a possibility.

  2. Hi Pearl

    Thank you! You can check out our other articles on different debut themes too so you have more choices. Some debutantes mix and match debut themes but it’s up to you 🙂

    Happy planning!

  3. Hi! This site is indeed very helpful and informative! I hope I could make up my mind with a unique glam theme soon for my 18th. More power to you! 🙂

  4. Thank you Tricia F.!

    Good luck with planning your 18th birthday party! 🙂

    Debut Ideas

  5. Hi Kristin,

    It’s really up to you to choose a theme. It’s not for us to determine what is “maganda” as a theme. Just follow your heart. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *