AccessReel Debate: Is The Cinema a Goer For a First Date?

AccessReel Debate: Is The Cinema a Goer For a First Date?

Just about every first date I’ve had involved going to the movies….and usually my second… and even my third. Call me unsociable but I’m not the only one.  Catching a flick is one of the easiest and most popular scenarios for a first date. But is sitting in a dark room avoiding eye contact and conversation the best way to start a relationship?

Let the debate begin! We have our focus group: 20 men and women aged 16 to 30years.

Selected below for your reading pleasure is a representative sample of those who contributed.

What are the pros of cinema as a first date?

There are certainly some advantages to taking the easy option of ‘catching a flick’ for that daunting first date.

Some of the group describe dinner and a movie as a ‘classic first date’. Who are we to doubt a long-standing tradition?

But it’s not just the test of time that argues ‘for’ the cinema option.  One of our female focus group members has nothing but good things to say:

“The movies is a great first date because you don’t have any awkward moments. You can have a longer date without having to fill it with ‘so how’s this weather’ chatter” she says “It also helps give you something to chat about for an after movie drink”

But it’s not just a good choice for the conversationally challenged. According to this cinema activist, going to the movies can help you dodge a bullet early on – even as soon as film selection:

“You can gauge how a guy is going to treat you by what kind of movie you go to. If he is dead set against a chick flick then you’re never going to get your way in any aspect – if he isn’t willing to compromise on a first date, he never will!”

A good point indeed! So if your date isn’t budging on their film choice you can save yourself a lot of hassle: Feign a trip to the loo and run! Saves you having to reject them later. That’s gotta be a good argument ‘for’ the film option?

But others have a lot to say in rebuttal.


What are the ‘cons’ of cinema dating?

The biggest ‘pro’ for some of our focus group members is the biggest ‘con’ for others: no conversation.

“How are you to get to know someone when talking is banned?” One male group member demands.

Another male points out that cinema is “no way to generate or develop a connection with someone” and “it dramatically reduces the chance of getting physical”. Yikes!

Cinema scheduling is also raised as an imposition. With the night session block commencing around 9pm, a trip to the cinema would finish awkwardly late and put a pesky time limit on any preceding dinner.

While the evening sessions start inconveniently early (at around 6pm) meaning a rush to get there from work.

The topic of film genre is another bone of contention. Crappy film could equal crappy date, and what if one of you likes it but the other doesn’t?

Sex scenes are also mentioned. Guys be warned: take your ‘Mrs To Be’ to a steamy film and it’s likely she will think you’re after one thing…not a good way to impress.

One female focus group member flatly turns down cinema dates due personal experience in boys taking her up the back expecting a snog….though admittedly this may be seen as a good thing for some…

Another female contributor accuses cinema of being good only for a sympathy date:

“You don’t get to talk to eachother or even look at eachother. Plus I personally get a focused ‘concentration look’ on my face – not a good look!” she adds.

Hmmm: reduced chance of (or pressure to be) physical…sex scenes causing tension…ugly facial expressions…it sounds as though there are just as many negatives to movie dates as there are positives.

But say we fancy a first date less demanding conversationally and opt for the movies; what about tips for conduct?


 What’s the etiquette candybar wise? Do you chow down on the first date?

This is one of the only points where we have a general consensus within our focus group, the decision: do as you normally would.

Besides, sharing popcorn or sweets is even suggested as an opportunity to engage in some “accidental hand-brushing-against-hand action” – snigger all you want, but even mature daters find corny ways to make contact early in the courting process!

So, according to our focus group, candybar is a definite pit-stop on any cinema date!

But now for the big question:


Who pays? Girl or guy?

Access Reel is proud to announce: chivalry is not dead!  Every male votes that they should definitely pay, though it is suggested the girl should offer for appearances sake!

One particularly generous beau states simply: “The guy pays, always, no exceptions. Unless she’s in the market for a douchebag, as most girls are these days.”

99% of females involved vote for the half and half option with many recommending the good old ‘boys buy the tickets, girls buy the popcorn’ ritual.

This question appears to be easily solved. Boys: cough up! Ladies: atleast pretend you want to pay!

So enough debate, what’s the verdict?

It’s clear from our mixed bag of opinions, suggesting catching a flick for a first date can be potentially treacherous.

But it is generally agreed that going to the movies is ok if:

  1. You are a teenager!
  2. You don’t know your date very well / blind date
  3. You are not confident in your ability to generate conversation without a stimulant
  4. You organize to do something before or after the film as well
  5. You steer clear of sexy films!






Sian's love for movies spawned from having a tight mother whose generosity stretched only to hiring movies once a week for entertainment. As a pre-teen Sian spent more pocket money then she earned on cinema tickets and thus sought a job at the cinema. Over the next decade she rose to be one of the greats in her backwater, six-screen cinema complex, zooming through the ranks from candy bar wench with upselling superpowers, to pasty projectionist, to a manager rocking a pencil skirt. Sian went on to study Journalism at university though feels her popcorn shovelling days were far more educational