A movie date night can be a lot of fun – especially if you get it right. Get it wrong and you might as well have stayed home and watched TV. Here are our top tips on how to ace a movie date night. Plus our top 5 Sydney-specific cinema spots with a difference.
Mrs Romance and I love going on a movie date night. It’s a great opportunity to go out together without it necessarily costing the earth.
Through trial and error, we’ve found there are some simple things to do to take your movie date night from a seat at the flicks to a memory that sticks.
Here are our top tips for how to change up your movie date night:
How to make your movie date night a romance not a horror story
1. Choose the right movie – for the both of you
Remember it’s not only your taste in films that needs to be satisfied. Choose a movie that’s going to leave both of you feeling happy. If you know she doesn’t like horror or gore, or if he’s not into teary movies or sci-fi, choose something else.
Sometimes even kids’ movies are an option. Films for younger audiences are made to have layers these days, so they’re still fun of older viewers. Also there should be fewer people in the cinema in the evening for these films.
2. The night’s not just about the movie
Look at where to go before and after the film. It’s good to have an excuse to get to there early – there’s nothing worse than rushing to the cinema and missing the start of the film.
Similarly, having a bit of time after the film to decompress and talk about the film over a drink is so much part of the evening.
Is there a cool bar or café near that you can sit and enjoy a drink or a snack? Does the cinema have a bar? Make sure you organise this before you leave the house so you’re not having to think too much on your feet during the night.
That’s where arguments can start!
3. Find any way you can to go VIP
If you want to make the evening special, see if there’s any way you can book ahead or pay a little bit extra for a bit of special service.
I’m not talking helicopters or a red carpet – though you can if you like! Are there any options to jump queues, or turn up in style to the cinema – maybe an Uber Black car? Can you reserve a table at a bar for after the film?
All these little extra details make for a more memorable movie date night.
4. Don’t just go to the same old cinema
Instead of going to the nearest or the cheapest, think about trying somewhere new. Here is our list of quirky or different cinema options in Sydney. And even if you don’t live here, these will give you some inspiration for alternatives for your movie date night wherever you are.
5 alternatives to the same old cinema
The Golden Age Cinema, Surry Hills
This old cinema has been returned to its former 1940s glory by the Barton brothers of Right Angle Studio.
It’s now a beautiful, fun little cinema where they play golden oldies and newer films too. The vibe inside is relaxed and nostalgic, and the little bar they have is beautifully charming.
You’re even welcome to bring your cocktail through to the cinema if you want. Here’s our full write-up of the Golden Age Cinema.
The Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt
One of a small chain of art house cinemas around Australia, the Palace Norton Street has that perfect feel of old world charm coupled with modern facilities. Its balcony looking out over the main street of Sydney’s Little Italy is perfect for a pre-movie drink.
Palace Cinemas show a range of films from blockbusters to oldies and avant garde art house. They also run regular international film festivals. I recently bought Mrs Romance a 2-year membership here and she loves it!
The best-known Sydney open-air cinema is the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park – and there are Moonlight Cinemas across the country in most of the state capitals. But there are plenty of other options.
SmoothFM runs an amazing setup at the Castle Hill Showground every summer (Jan-Feb) called the Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema. There’s also a licensed bar and plenty to choose from in the gourmet food department too.
My favourite is the St George Open Air Cinema that looks over the harbour at the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge… it’s very hard to stay focused on the film with a view like that!
Skyline Drive In Cinema, Blacktown
For a real old-school movie date night, take a drive out to Blacktown to the newly revamped Skyline Drive In. Park up, recline your seat and enjoy the show.
If you’re looking for the closest bar, the Royal Cricketer’s Arms is absolutely lovely with an old English pub vibe to it. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay the night, the funky Atura Blacktown is close by too.
If you’re looking to freestyle your movie date night a bit, why not try and movie-themed picnic? We tried this a while back with a cowboy style rom-com and it was a lot of fun.
Download your film onto your iPad, put together food that’s in line with the style of the movie (you can have a bit of fun with this) and find a comfy spot in a park.
Here’s what we did with our movie themed date.
So as you can see, a movie date night doesn’t have to be just about the film, you can really expand on it.
There’s nothing worse than realising you’re just going through the motions when it comes to spending time with you the one you love. So don’t let it happen – choose life!
Do you have any tips for making your movie date night – or any type of date night – a bit different? Tell us about it in the comments!
I love the idea of going out for a drink before the movie, we usually wait until last minute and rush there (because we always stop at whole foods to get some goodies)
Hi Claudia. I know what you mean – the number of times we’ve left it too late and have almost missed the start of the film – though we don’t have Whole Foods in Sydney sadly. The times when we’ve been organised enough to stop in for a drink somewhere before the film have been lovely though. Well worth the extra bit of planning.
The open air cinema looks amazing!
Wish we had something similar to that here in the states.
Movie theaters have become pretty much a no go because there’s always people that never shut up, plus it’s such a dull date night environment.
Gonna add this place to my list to check out when I go to Australia in the coming years.
Hi Stirling. Totally agree – it really winds me up when people don’t shut up in the cinema. We’ve got a thing called ‘tight-arse Tuesday’ here in Australia where cinemas are pretty much half price. I’ve always avoided it even though it’s cheaper on Tuesdays for fear of talkers. Went for the first time the other day and was pleasantly surprised. Everyone stayed quiet!
Hope Australia sees you soon.
Cheers – Jim