Dinner and a movie is a classic date-night formula, but theaters around the world are improving on the tried-and-true concept by combining the two into one.
Following in the footsteps of places like Portland, Oregon’s McMenamin’s Bagdad Theater and Kennedy School and the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, movie houses around the world are moving way past popcorn and offering guests signature cocktails, lobster dinners, handmade dumplings, and menus designed by gourmet chefs.
Here are nine options for your next date night:
Chestnut Hill Showcase SuperLux, Boston
If you want to sip a shaken martini while you watch James Bond shoot ’em up in Spectre, head to this upscale Boston movie theater. The Chestnut Hill Showcase SuperLux features a full cocktail bar, meaning you can sip on a sidecar or one of their signature cocktails from a fully reclining leather seat. When you’re ready to eat, use the iPad at your seat to order short rib paninis, parmesan truffle fries, Lobster Campanelle or just a refill on the complimentary popcorn.
Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok, Thailand
Sure Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but it also has a few good reasons to stay inside. Namely, the movie theaters owned by Major Cineplex. Some of their cinemas, like the one at Bangkok’s Paradise Park, are 4D theaters with moving seats, surround sound, and even smell and wind effects that put viewers in the action. Then there’s Paragon Cineplex, which features such perks as electronic reclining seats, free snacks (think pasta and three flavors of popcorn) in the theater’s VIP lounge, a karaoke room for pre-movie entertainment, and something you wouldn’t see at your average mall theater—a complimentary foot massage.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Walt Disney World, Florida
Experience the joy of a drive-in without the need to pick popcorn out of the backseat of your Volvo at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Inside Walt Disney World’s drive-in style theater, patrons can chow down on all-American burgers and milkshakes, house-made candy bars, or even breakfast, while sitting in booths built into 1950s style cars. On the screen: campy sci-fi movies filled with alien attacks and robots on a rampage.
Cine-De Chef, Kathmandu, Nepal
Sure, you could order up traditional movie fare like popcorn and soda at Cine-De Chef in Nepal, but why would you want to when Cine-De Chef serves up local cuisine like chicken tikka, mo-mos, and kathi rolls, and international favorites like pasta arabbiatta, pizza margarita, or a juicy burger? To wash down all that fabulous food, the theater features an extensive beer, wine, and cocktail list. After you dine, sit back and relax in leather armchairs that recline 150-degrees and feature built-in back massagers and enjoy the state-of-the-art surround sound and the country’s first 4K movie projector.
Nitehawk Cinemas, Brooklyn, New York
Leave the Junior Mints at home when you head to Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema, because head chef Kurt Applegate has something better on the menu. There’s a pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich, burrata crostini, and bacon-wrapped scallops, in addition to burgers and cheese-and-meat plates. If you need a sweet fix, order the popcorn mixed with maple honey-butter and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal or the Nutella soft serve ice cream to which you can add a shot of whisky for $5. Ideal snacks for watching mix of first-run indie and art films and midnight screenings of classic, campy movies.
Electric Cinema, London, UK
Their are 65 leather armchairs, complete with footrests and side tables at the Portobello Road branch of London’s Electric Cinemas, but the best seats in the house aren’t seats at all—they’re the six double beds that make up the front row of the movie house. Reserve a bed online and grab a pre-movie bite at the Electric Diner next door. While the mini-chain’s Shoreditch branch doesn’t have beds, it does offer plush armchairs with cashmere blankets to curl up under while sipping a lager and munching on a Cornish pasty or whatever else happens to be on the extensive menu that day.
Cine De Chef, Seoul, South Korea
Korea’s Cine de Chef theater claims the title of the world’s first reclining bed theater, which lets patrons fully unwind on memory foam mattresses while watching a movie. To complete the experience, the theaters provide slippers and dinner in bed with gourmet French and Italian cuisine. In addition to a menu that boasts items like poached lobster, paella, and Korean tenderloin, they also offer state-of-the-art sound system, complimentary drinks, and an all-important cellphone charging service.
Hoyts, Melbourne, Australia
You won’t go hungry watching The Hunger Games at the Australian chain, Hoyts. The Lux theaters offer a diverse menu of international favorites like Buffalo wings, pulled pork nachos, prawn dumplings, duck pancakes, and Wagyu burgers. Top it off with a jam-donut sundae, a peanut butter pretzel milkshake, or an apple pie and custard dumpling. Try and save some room for the complimentary popcorn or just recline in their comfy seats and watch the film.
The New Parkway Theater, Oakland, California
The New Parkway Theater’s eclectic assortment of furniture makes the place feel like a pleasant college apartment. Make yourself at home on a cozy sofa, order up a pizza, pot pie, or burger, and, of course, some beer or wine to your seat, and settle in to watch a movie. In addition to showing films, this Oakland theater doubles as a community space with open mic, bingo, and trivia nights, drink-and-draws, and more. The entire space has a relaxed vibe that makes it the most comfortable place to watch a movie outside of your own couch.