Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 7th 2011
For those of us who don't know ballroom dancing and can't tell our cravat from our cummerbund, a classic date is dinner and a movie. If you've got the money – and even if you haven't – Melbourne offers a wealth of romantic opportunities. How can an aspiring lover narrow it down? A sweaty date is an unhappy date, so you'll want the cinema and restaurant to be close to each other. You'll want a measure of class, too – that means no cask wine and instant noodles. With that in mind, here are the top three dinner and movie combinations in Melbourne:
Rooftop Cinema and Andiamo
Are your date's eyes more beautiful than the city lights? You decide.
What's more romantic than a dark movie theatre? A dark rooftop, of course. In a stroke of genius the folks at Curtin House combined the two, giving the world Rooftop Cinema. Relax after the many flights of stairs with a drink from the Rooftop Bar – preferably something strong enough to make you forget how much you're paying – and treat your date to a panoramic view of Melbourne. The movie itself is almost guaranteed to be a classic, which means a good movie rather than an overly sentimental one. It's very hard to mess the date up from this point on – you could probably grab a packet of crisps for dinner and your date would write it up as quirky and sophisticated. If you're looking for a more traditional option, however, Degraves St is a short walk away. Eat at Café Andiamo: it's quiet enough for good conversation and inexpensive enough so you won't have to live off baked beans and noodles for the foreseeable future.
Hoyts and Yoyogi
On a bit of a budget? Not looking to impress on a first date? For couples who have fallen into a comfortable rhythm, Hoyts at Melbourne Central is an excellent option. Do the teenagers-in-love thing and buy tickets for the Halfpipe, a cinema with two-person beanbags instead of chairs. You couldn't be any more cheesy if you bought a single milkshake and two straws from the candy bar. Seeing a movie at Hoyts won't break the bank, and afterwards you can wander down to Yoyogi, a reliable Japanese restaurant. The whole date should cost less than fifty dollars – twenty-five each if you go Dutch, but if this is a first date you're pushing your luck with the cheap options as it is. Be prepared to pay the check if you want a second one.
Cinema Nova and Brunswick St
This logo just screams 'classy'.
Lygon St may be overrated as a food precinct, but Cinema Nova is one of the few worthwhile places on it: an arty cinema that manages to be both one of the least expensive and one of the classiest movie theatres in Melbourne. This is the artistic option, so break out that beret you've been saving for a rainy day and prepare to act like you speak French. For bonus points, see one of the foreign language movies. They've all got subtitles, but if you can convince your date that you don't need them you'll impress her like nothing else. Unless you're looking to waste all those brownie points, don't eat on Lygon St – instead, walk down a few blocks to Brunswick St and eat there. Have dinner at Yong Green Food, which is approximately a hundred times better than anywhere on Lygon St. You can pretend to be a vegan for extra points, but unless your date is one too you're probably better off not even trying.
Feel free to mix it up – there are plenty of other cinema-dinner combos than the three I've named. However, unless this is the love of your life or you're rich enough to actually buy one of these cinemas, the second and third ideas are probably the safest. Expensive meals and movie tickets can add up fast, and before you know it, you'll be forced to try other options for dating.
Cinema Nova is my favourite cinema by far. Largest range of films, and sometimes the only place to see particular titles that aren't generic Hollywood fare. Not only that but Monday is discount day at $6 a ticket before 4 PM!
By Ellen Maiorano - senior reviewer Wednesday, 24th of August @ 01:13 pm