First Dates at the Cinema: An Outdated Tradition?
Going for a first date to the cinema; it’s safe to say we have pretty much all been there, whether you’re 13 or 30, for some reason, it has become a part of society, but why? Is it because you can kiss in the dark and pretend people can’t see you? Or whether the boy can do the stereotypical arm over the shoulder move to break the ice? Either way, it comes off as a strange setting for a first date. Sure; you could easily sit in a dark room for 2 hours and watch a sappy rom-com, but there’s no conversation, just sitting in silence staring at a screen.
Certainly, for friends or those in established relationships this is totally normal, and easily understandable; yet for a first date, something that should be memorable, is a trip to the cinema really that memorable? The lack of talking, and the only real noise stemming from the screen, rustling of popcorn and slurping of Tango Ice-Blasts creates something of an awkward atmosphere for a first date. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the cinema, that much that I even own an unlimited card, but would I want to go for there for a first date? Probably not, depending on the film. If it was a comedy or romantic film, then sure I’d give it a go, but to go on a first date to see something like Nightcrawler or Interstellar is something I would totally avoid. Unless of course that said date is interested too, then that would definitely be a possibility, because it would become memorable.
There is no hatred within me for this concept, it has been a big part of society for a century, and in the silent comedy era I am certain that I would have thoroughly enjoyed a first date to the cinema, but in today’s world; with a sheer lack of grasp for certain films (I’m sorry but Inception isn’t that complicated), it doesn’t seem to have a place. Going out for a meal or out with other people on a first date seems far more relevant and necessary, as there is an actual opportunity for conversation, rather than an awkward silence as you nervously shift around in your seat whilst failing to even make eye contact with your date. I can totally see the appeal of watching films at a someone’s house, because the atmosphere is relaxed, you’re allowed to talk, plus who really wants to go on a date and sit in a hot, popcorn covered seat? The harshest part of it all is that when the lights go down, the date is essentially over; for the next two hours barely a word will be spoken, plus the awkwardness of having to squeeze past a row of people to go out to the toilet is truly cringeworthy.
Finally, this isn’t me trying to tell everyone what to do; if you want to take your date to the cinema then by all means do it. All I am trying to say is that is it really the perfect first date everyone cracks it up to be? Definitely not. Sure, films are great and you can thoroughly enjoy watching the film, but if you want to do that then go alone or go with friends, or even after a few dates, but not the first. The first should be memorable; perhaps about funny conversations you had or the moment you realised that person was the one for you; but that is an aspect almost impossible to get from going to the cinema. I mean, when has anyone ever said: “I fell in love with him/her when they sipped their coke and laughed at Will Ferrell.”? (No-offence Will you’re totally hilarious). Going to the cinema on a first date has become an outdated tradition, in days gone by I am sure that a trip to the cinema was the perfect date, as it was far more rare than it is today, but in today’s world, it doesn’t seem fit. Now, anyone who disagrees can continue to go on first dates to the cinema, that’s fine, it’s just a question of asking: is this really going to be that special? If it is, then good for you! Oh and for your information, everyone knows you only ever get seats on the back row so you can kiss and think nobody will notice, but we do. We all do…
Words by Elliott Jones