I did a similar type event a month ago for a group of people. They chose 5 "food" movies although one was the movie Sideways. I developed a menu loosely based off of what I saw in the movies and then the hosts asked their guests to bring specific varietals using my recommendations. The only "drawback" for this event was I was forced to watch all of these movies. I rarely get a chance to watch TV or movies so it was nice for me and my girlfriend.
One of the most fun themes we used our wine dinner group stole from a trivet in one of the group's homes: "I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put some in the food!" Every dish had to have a wine ingredient. Our group would assign dishes (salad, vegetable, starch, etc.) to all the respondents who were attending, with the host generally providing the entree and coordinating the menu (to ensure the dishes did not completely clash).
The obvious dishes for this theme came easily; as I recall, we had beef tenderloin with a Cabernet reduction sauce accompanied by a Zinfandel risotto. But some of the other dishes got more creative, like the vegetable (carrots in a wonderful Marsala glaze) and salad (a fresh berry-fruit salad with a Moscat Canelli-based dressing over bitter greens). There were several other dishes, too, I am just drawing a blank on the rest of them after several years (probably exacerbated by the volume of wine consumed that evening). Of course, every dish had a paired wine, as well. I remember it being one of the most fun of numerous dinners the group did over the years simply because it inspired a number of our amateur chefs to get very creative.
I don't know what type of restaurant yours is, however if you at all into organic/sustainable/local and depending on where you are, you could do a "20 mile dinner" (or 50 or 100), where everything must be grown or produced within that radius. I have had some fabulous meals with this theme and it encourages buying local and sourcing great local ingredients.
I don't know if this idea is something you could use, but at Mustard's in Napa when we lived there they used to have something one could order that was fun - it was a trio of tastings and you had to guess about the wine and if you were right you were not charged for it.
I can't recall exactly what it was one had to guess - either the varietal, or pick the varietal that did not match the other two or something like that. But you could build it as a theme - start with "pick the varietal" , and then for the second level, pick the country of origin, or the year, or something like that?
You might find some ideas on my website, www.smalllotwinetours.com. We do a wine dinner every month for our "tour" of the month (the tours are virtual). This month's tour is called "Palette Worthy, Wallet Friendy Wines." We found inexpensive wines from small producers in Napa and we are pairing them with comfort food. I don't have the pairings up yet, but we are pairing a Roussanne with Mac n Cheese, a field blend with chicken cacciatore, a cheddar cheese course (just plain ol' yelllow cheddar from the grocery store) with a Zin, and brownies to go with port. I bet your customers would love this kind of dinner. First of all, everyone lvoes comfort food. Second, everyone loves a great tasting inexpensive wine.
I think it would be fun to do an Opera themed dinner, you could pair the music, food and wine up with a specific opera (Madama Butterfly and serve Japanese food) , or a region, Italian, French or German. We have an opera company here in Grand Junction, High Desert Opera (I am a member), so this would be doable with live singers to present scenes from an opera or just sing solos. You could just do this with recorded music, but it wouldn't be as much fun!
Don't forget the once a year Hollywood Oscars Night!!! champagne and hors d'oeuvres and small plates of lusious bites or a buffet!!! black tie and jeans? or normal black tie optional? and a tv.... and ballots for the customers/guests to fill out.
How about a 'Sparkling Soiree'. I have many friends and relatives who LOVE sparkling wines and who would also love to experience new and unique pairings for appetizers, entrees, and dessert. If you search on www.girlwithaglass.com you will find some excellent sparkling wine suggestions!