Is a Movie a Bad Location for a First Date? 10 Things to Consider

Watch enough romantic comedies or read enough advice articles and you’re bound to hear “dinner and a movie” on repeat when people are talking about first dates. But is a movie really a great location for a first date? 

Sure, we love movies…our date probably loves movies…popcorn is delicious…has to be great, right? Well, not so fast. The most iconic and most repeated first date suggestion just might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Couple Watching a Movie in a Theater

In this article, we want to look at the pros and cons of a movie date and answer the ever-pressing question of whether or not a movie is a bad (or good) location for a first date. 

Dim the lights…cue the film…and let’s get rolling!

4 Pros of Going to a Movie on a First Date

Before we give you our final decision on whether or not a first date should be to the movies, we want to look at the option from both sides of the aisle. First, let’s look at some of the biggest pros of choosing to go to the movies on a first date.

1. Everyone Loves Movies 

Okay, not everyone loves movies but the large majority of people do. That means that if you select going to see a movie for the first date, the chances are it’s going to fall on the list of things your date likes to do. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to like the movie you pick, but we’ll get into that more later. 

2. It Sets a Nice Time on the Date

People are often worried about how long a first date should last. When it comes to a movie, though, that time is basically agreed upon beforehand. Both of you know that the date will last from the start of the movie to the end of the movie and then maybe to grab ice cream, go for a walk, or something like that afterward. This can alleviate some of the stress of preparing for a first date. 

3. You Don’t Have to Talk As Much

Okay, so we’re putting this a pro because a lot of people use this as the reason to choose a movie as a first date. However, it comes with a big disclaimer. As you’ll see when you read our section on the cons of a movie as the first date, this also makes that list. 

Yes, you’ll have less awkwardness and won’t have to think of as much to talk about.

However, when you really look at what the true purpose of a first date is (to see if there is compatibility with the person you’re going out with), this is not ideal. Again, though, we’re including it here for completeness.

4. Affordability

While movies aren’t as cheap as they used to be, they are still fairly cost effective in the grand scheme of things. One of the nice perks is that even if your date “orders the most expensive thing on the snack menu”, it’s not going to be that expensive. 

6 Cons of Going to a Movie on a First Date

Now that we’ve talked about the good side of the aisle, let’s head over and discuss some of the drawbacks to choosing a movie for a first date. 

1. You Don’t Get to Talk

The whole point of a first date is to get to know the person you’re going out with! If all you do is stare silently at a screen together, you’re not going to get any closer to establishing a connection and getting to know them better.

For this reason alone, movies may be one of the worst first date ideas out there.

2. There Can Be Awkward Situations in the Movie

If you’re just getting to know this person, you don’t know where they stand on certain issues. Maybe swearing or certain graphic scenes upset them? You never know. And if you’re on a date and a movie really upsets them, that could be a problem. 

3. A Bad Movie Can Give a Bad Impression

Speaking of how the movie might affect the quality of your first date, what if it’s a terrible movie? Unless it’s comically bad where you both can laugh about it together, this might make him or her think that the date was bad just because the movie was bad. That’s not what you’re looking for. 

4. Physical Contact Can be Weird

Not that there needs to be any physical contact on a first date, but sometimes it can be a subtle way of showing that you’re interested. We’re referring to things like a light tough on the back when you’re walking through a door or something like that.

These things become quite odd when you’re sitting next to each other in a dark movie theater. Pretty much anything you do could backfire pretty aggressively. 

5. Higher Probability of Seeing People You Know

There’s nothing more awkward than running into an ex or even sometimes your friends while out on a date. If you live in a smaller town where there are limited things to do on a weekend night, the odds of seeing someone you know at the movies is a lot higher.

What makes it weirder, though, is that if you’re seeing the same movie and sitting next to each other, that can just be downright awkward. If you run into them somewhere else, you can always just walk away or move somewhere else. You lose that ability in a movie.

6. There’s No Escape If It’s a Bad Date

If you’re grabbing coffee or a drink and the date is terrible, you can politely bounce out after one drink or a few minutes. However, if you’re in a movie, you might feel obligated to stick around to the end of the movie. Movie first dates don’t give you that escape route that you have for other dates when things don’t go as you expect them to. 

Our Take – Is a Movie a Good or Bad First Date Idea?

While there are some positives to the idea, here’s our bottom line answer. Going to the movies for a first date is a bad idea, mainly because it doesn’t allow you to get to know the person you’re on a date with. The entire purpose of a first date is to gauge compatibility and get to know one another. This is basically impossible sitting there in a dark room where you’re not supposed to be talking. 

It can also make it nearly impossible to know if they’re interested in a second date.

Take our advice. Choose something other than the movies for a first date.

If you’re looking for more resources on how to master the first date, make sure you check out our complete list of guides on first dates. It is absolutely packed with helpful information you’re going to want to know!