Blog / 1980s Events: The Ultimate Guide To A 1980s Theme Night

1980s Events: The Ultimate Guide To A 1980s Theme Night

Dancing boots table centrepieces for 1980s events

1980s Events: The Ultimate Guide To A 1980s Theme Night

With much of the workforce now having the 80s as an important part of their youth or childhood – it’s an excellent choice for an event theme.   

As a decade, the 1980s has a very distinct style from its music, to its fashion, to its fantastic use of contrasting and bright colours. Nobody ever confuses the 1980s for any other point in time.

However, just because the 1980s has a reputation for its wacky clothes, hair, and aesthetics – that doesn’t mean you can’t create an event that is effortlessly cool. At Table Art, we think every theme has the potential to be stylish and refined.

This guide is here to help you design and plan the perfect 1980s theme, including the best decorations, lighting, centrepieces and how to create an electrifying atmosphere.

dream circus table centre

Getting Started With A 1980s Theme Night

There are a few approaches you can take with a 1980s theme.

It can be a fist-pumping celebration of the pop music, hair metal, and tracksuits of the era with a fluorescent-themed nightclub backdrop. A cheesier 80s night will work well for end of year parties, birthdays, and school discos.

It can be a nerd extravaganza with nods to arcades, Star Wars, and Rubik’s cubes: this can be ideal for many conferences, product launches, and office parties.

Or it can be an 80s chic theme, with cyberpunk-style lighting and sleepy synth-pop in the background. This can work superbly for fashion events, award ceremonies, and even formal dinners.

The 1980s was an era inspired by looking forward to the future and it meshes well with venues that do the same. Many science or tech museums and modernist buildings or hotel receptions are ideal. It also pairs well with cinemas, arcades, American-style bars, nightclubs, and anywhere with excess neon-lighting.

palm tree event trees

Decorations And Design

There are many icons from the 80s that are ripe for incorporating into your event, such as cassette tapes, arcade machines, aviator sunglasses, loud graffiti, checkerboard patterns, and Rubik’s cubes.

There are also many characters and franchises you can draw from including Pac Man, Super Mario, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future. Music is an important part of the era and punk rock, glam metal, and the general pop scene give you lots of inspiration for decorations.

A lot of 1980s fashion is inspired by science fiction, particularly films such as Blade Runner. You can model your venue after a spaceship interior with industrial designs or you can use large silver drapes and lit entrance archways.

Miami is often seen as the 1980s city and many 1980s themes will draw on this by using palm trees, cartoonish art deco designs, and a general beach party atmosphere.

You can play around with furniture a lot here. A more authentic 80s look would be Scandinavian modernist style tables and chairs, but you can think outside the box and go for Rubik’s cube stools, poseur tables, and American-style lit bar furniture.

multicolour led seating

Centrepieces, Lighting, And Colour

Wild colours and bright lighting are what will really make your 1980s theme event come alive. Bright fluorescent colours of almost every shade are welcome and you should make good use of fuchsia and jade.

It’s an era known for shaping the modern nightclub and you can feel free to experiment with lasers, fog machines, light panels, and a variety of dynamic lighting options.

At Table Art, we like to use a 1980s events theme we’ve dubbed ‘electric flamingo’ which makes fantastic use of bright pinks, blues, and purples so that guests feel they are stepping right into a Miami beachfront bar.

A custom centrepiece is a perfect way to remotely control the lighting at your event and you can bring your theme together with a prop or statement pieces straight out of the 1980s whether it’s a Rubik’s cube, a flamingo, or a palm tree. Take a look at some of our centrepiece creations for even more inspiration.

flamingo table centre

1980s Events: A 1980s Theme Night To Remember

Whether it’s because they get to dress up in fabulous costumes or because they get to wheel out their well-honed dance moves to their favourite songs – 1980s theme nights are always hugely popular with guests.

Creating that inescapable 80s feel will require the use of strong lighting and lots of thoughtful decorations so that every part of your venue is placed in a time warp.

If you want help designing and planning a 1980s theme event, then get in touch with Table Art for a consultation. We can take care of installing and maintaining the lighting, furniture, and centrepieces so that you can relax on the night.


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