Lights, Camera, Action: Plan a Perfect Date Night with These Dinner and a Movie Theme Night Ideas

When it comes to classic date night ideas, there’s no denying that dinner and a movie is the gold standard. Yet for some couples, the cost of going to a movie theater can be prohibitively expensive these days—especially when you add in the cost of 3D, IMAX, jumbo popcorn, and all of the other frills that have become part of the modern movie-going experience.

However, that doesn’t mean that you and your special someone have to give up the time-honored tradition of dinner and a movie. A fantastic idea is to choose a classic film and pair it with a thematically appropriate dinner to make for a fun, unforgettable date night. You know that you and your date will be watching a movie you both enjoy, you’ll get to save money, and you can get a little creative to boot!

Here are some of our favorite dinner and a movie theme night ideas:

Hit It Out of the Park

Even if you aren’t a sports enthusiast, there’s no denying that movies about baseball are a cornerstone of American cinema. From A League of Their Own’s “There’s no crying in baseball” to Field of Dreams’s “If you build it, they will come” (and even “You’re killing me smalls!” from The Sandlot), there are plenty of classic films about America’s favorite pastime. Make your date night a game day affair by watching some of your favorites while munching on ballpark hallmarks like hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks; if you really want to knock it out of the park, you and your date can wear jerseys repping your team of choice. No matter which film you choose, this is one date night idea that’s sure to be a home run.

Throw It Back

When it comes to sweet, heartfelt romantic comedies that are sure to please dates of all ages, the ‘80s simply can’t be beat. Break out the Pop Rocks and Razzies and put on your favorite John Hughes film for a totally tubular date night that will take you and your special someone back to the future. Whip up some breakfast for dinner while spending time with Claire, John, and the rest of The Breakfast Club. Make a cookie cake together and blow out Sixteen Candles for dessert. Or, pick up a pizza to go and relive Julia Roberts’s heyday with Mystic Pizza. Regardless of what your favorite throwback films are, your date is sure to love this blast from the past.

Go Gangster

This is one date night idea your special someone won’t be able to refuse. Have a blast cooking up some of your favorite Italian dishes together, from classics like spaghetti and meatballs to something more exotic like mushroom risotto. Then fire up a classic gangster film like The Godfather, Goodfellas, or The Departed and pair with wine for a date night so satisfying it should be criminal. Still have room for dessert afterwards? Grab a cannoli and put on The Godfather: Part II.

Get Super

Throw on the cape and cowl and come to the rescue of your next date night by planning a festive superhero-themed date. With how many superhero movies have been released recently, there’s no shortage of ideas for pairing your favorite crime fighter with your favorite kind of cuisine. Cook up a healthy dinner full of superfoods to enjoy while watching Man of Steel, or dig into some deep-dish pizza to celebrate Spider-Man. If you’re feeling exceptionally punny, pick up some gyros and make it a true “super-gyro” affair; either way, you’re in for an action-packed and delicious evening.

Get Spooked

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good scare to bring you and your special someone together. Scare up a steak dinner and some fava beans while watching The Silence of the Lambs. Alternatively, get creative a put a flair on some of your favorite foods to give them a spooky edge—Texas Chainsaw Toast and Freddy’s Chicken Fingers while watching A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th, anyone? If you’re looking for dessert, grab some fun-size candy bars and pretend it’s Halloween all over again.

Enter A Whole New Dating World

Do you still catch yourself humming “Part of Your World,” “Be Our Guest,” or “Whistle While You Work” all the time? You’re not alone—Disney movies have timeless appeal regardless of how old you are. You and your date can revisit the days of yesteryear by grabbing some Disney classics and chowing down on childhood favorites, whether it’s Mulan and macaroni and cheese, Toy Story and tater tots, or Hercules and hamburgers. For dessert, pick up some pastries and watch a recent Pixar favorite like Ratatouille, Wall-E, or Up.

Using these ideas, you can rewrite the rules on dinner and a movie and make a date night standard into something exceptional. No matter what kind of films you and your special someone enjoy, you’ll always remember your special themed evening—so pass the popcorn and press play on date night bliss.

Date Night Cincinnati

Author: Date Night Cincinnati

Date Night Cincinnati is your one-stop resource to plan date night -- from tips on great destinations and budget friendly dates, to deals and specials.