How To: Dinner and a Movie

Ever since going on a date with my husband has carried an extra $15 per hour expense (that’s for the babysitter, for those of you who have just entered the world of parenthood), we’ve been looking for ways to squeeze dinner and a movie into as little time as possible. While we spend some of our date nights lingering over long dinners alone or with friends, a fair number are also spent at the theater.  (We go out every week, as we have our babysitter on retainer.)

Here are some ways to make it work:

1) Go to the El Cerrito Rialto theater. A full menu of entrees, dominated by pizza, plus beer and wine are available at the concession stand. Order when you enter, have a seat, and wait for your food to be delivered. (Translation: eat dinner during the movie.)

2) Eat in 20 minutes or less. Reduce your expectations for a nice meal and choose a super casual dinner destination:

  • Cancun Taqueria in downtown Berkeley is walking distance to the theaters in that neighborhood.
  • At the Bay Street mall, buy your movie tickets, then eat at one of the onsite order-at-the-counter restaurants.
  • In Emeryville, rave reviews are coming in for Hot Italian, a new grown-up pizza place, very close to the EmeryBay theater.
  • Holy Land offers Mediterranean fare at the Elmwood location and right near the Grand Lake theater.

3) Pick up take-out earlier in the day so that you get the “no-cooking” benefit of date night. Eat it before you leave the house and head out for the movie.