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  • Writer's pictureA.J. Sobel

Movie Theaters: The Return of the Date Night

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

It’s a time-honored tradition: Dinner and a movie. Whether you’re thirteen and paying for dinner with your allowance money, or you’re sixty-five, going to see the latest blockbuster with the love of your life, the cliché of dinner and a movie exists for a reason. It’s a really good time.

Over the past year, many of the things we took for granted were taken from us. I’m not going to go into the hows and the whys; whatever the reason (his heart or his shoes), we’ve all been stuck inside for the past year, hoping and praying we’d make it to 2021.

Well, we did; so what now? You want my answer? Dinner and a goddamned movie. When you’ve been married as long as I have, you start to forget how important date night is to the health of your relationship. All the bullshit, all the problems, all the petty fights, put aside for a few hours so you can go to Olive Garden (or wherever) and then park it in one of those fancy reclining seats a lot of theaters have converted to.

I don’t know about you, but I missed it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it, but damn, am I glad it’s making a comeback.

What I really love is that since studios aren’t releasing the latest and “greatest” (I have a whole other post lined up that), theaters are playing their greatest hits. In the past month or so, my wife and I have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers.

A small aside here: We got the chance to see Fellowship in IMAX. Holy shit — it was transcendent. I always knew that movie was good, but seeing it like that showed me just how good it was. Granted, I was eleven when it first released in theaters, so maybe I wasn’t old enough to fully appreciate it, but still. If you get the chance, go see it in IMAX!

What was I saying? Ah, yes, greatest hits. To my mind, this is the best thing theaters could be doing at the moment, and it’s a trend that I hope sticks around long after all the lockdowns are lifted.

Personally, I’d love it if a theater opened that devoted itself exclusively to the classics. The best of Alfred Hitchcock, anything Spielberg (pre-2003), a weekend of Marylin Monroe. God, I’m really dating myself here…

In any event, the long and short of it is that I’m thrilled that restaurants and theaters are opening up again. If you can, go to a local restaurant — a mom-and-pop joint you wouldn’t have looked twice at pre-lockdown; those guys are really hurting right now, and could definitely use the business.

Unfortunately, I only know of one, maybe two, privately-owned theaters in my area, but I do plan on patronizing them as soon as they open back up.

To those of you still stuck inside — and I know there are a lot of you — I highly recommend carving time out of the week, if at all possible, to do dinner and a movie. One night a week, doesn’t matter which one, just make it a habit. After all the Zoom calls are over, after the kids are all tucked in, cuddle up on the couch with a Digiorno pizza on the coffee table, box of Franzia beside it, and pick a movie. Any movie.

I’m just kidding about the Franzia by the way. Digiorno, on the other hand, has actually gotten pretty good lately.


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