Provided what you see isn’t terrible, going to the movies could be a great time. Plus, it’s the fall now, so it’s time to grudgingly look at some indoor activities to keep you entertained. Though movie tickets may cost lots of money and the shirt off your back, and a popcorn and soda will cost your shoes, your phone, and you’ll have to work at the theater for a couple of days, the moviegoing experience doesn’t have to be the beginning and the end of your night.
If you’re on a date that, after the theater lights go up, you’re not ready to end, there’s no need to sulk right on home if the ticket took a decent bite out of your wallet. Just because the credits rolled doesn’t mean the good times can’t, and these cheap bars and restaurants within walking distance of the movies will keep them going for you.
136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
Nitehawk is a great time, and they even have full meal service, but if you don’t want to spend $8 for a veggie empanada, you can always head over to The Levee (212 Berry St.) and have some of their bar snacks. Sure, it’s arguable that cheese balls, Twizzlers, and Blow Pops do not a real dinner make, but they’re all free for your noshing pleasure and you’re not the boss of me. Anyway, if you do have a few bucks to spare, they have some heartier options like Frito Pies ($4) and chili cheese dogs ($3) that you can wash down with some cheap beer. If you really want to get crazy, you can have a drink called the orange creamsicle (a concoction made with vanilla vodka and orange soda), but if you want to keep it simple, you can have one of their beer and shot specials that hover right around $5. Also crucial to note: before leaving the Nitehawk, be sure to bring your ticket stub to their bar if you’d like to partake in a $4 draft beer or well drink special.
217 Grand St., Williamsburg
We’ve alerted you to this great deal in the past, but what the hell, it’s so good we want to remind you again. Take your ticket stub over to Full Circle Bar (318 Grand St.), and not only will you be able to play some skeeball, but you’ll get a free Genesee Cream Ale or Genny Light, for your troubles. Maximize those savings by going on a Tuesday or Thursday, when tickets at Williamsburg Cinemas are $8. If you’re down for a different game, you can check out Good Co. (10 Hope St.), where you can play cornhole, darts, or a game of enormous Jenga. If you’re on a date and you’re there during their weekday happy hour (2pm – 8pm), you can both get a well drink for the price of one. Good Co. also has a food truck there from Stan’s Cafecito with tacos in the $3-4 range, so feel free to just park it in the patio and fill all your food and drink needs. If tacos costing that much is out of your range, not to worry: Oasis (161 N. 7th St.) and their delicious, packed $3 falafel sandwiches will do the trick.
UA Court Street Stadium
106 Court St., Brooklyn Heights
The UA theater at Court Street is as tall as it is kinda dingy, but it’s surrounded by endless food and drink options. No matter what you’re down to eat, you’ll be covered within half a mile, but not only is Fast and Fresh Deli (84 Hoyt St.) a crazy cheap authentic Mexican option, it is seriously the goods. With tacos as good as any this side of Sunset Park, Fast and Fresh is easy to miss, as it looks like any ho-hum Brooklyn bodega/deli. To the surprise of many who enter for the first time though, there’s a backyard with picnic tables at which to sit and eat. Tacos, including classics like carnitas and al pastor, go for $6 for a trio, and burritos go for an average of $6.50. If you’re itching to go to a nearby watering hole where you can enjoy your delicious bounty, The Brazen Head (228 Atlantic Ave.) has you covered. They have plenty of space in their backyard for you to bring your tortas and talk about what the ending to the movie really meant until 11pm on the weekdays and midnight on the weekends, then it’s back inside, not totally a bad thing if you’re up for a game of darts (or maybe skip the darts). They have rotating weekday drink specials for happy hour (5pm-8pm) that should do the trick for your thirst, but if you head there on a Monday, you can skip the taco place altogether; free chicken wings (and thighs) fly (and… walk?) from 5pm on. And on Wednesday, wines are $1 off and cheese to pair with it is gratis.
Cobble Hill Cinemas
265 Court St., Cobble Hill
Cobble Hill’s tiny theater, down the street from the UA massiveplex, has all-day $8 pricing on tickets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and after the show you can wander over to Boat Bar (175 Smith St.) where the beers are already cheap. If you took in an early enough show, enjoy a $4 beer or well drink during their happy hour which lasts until 8pm. Once you’re done there, it’s time to grab some food at Zaytoons (283 Smith St.) for some Mediterranean fare that you can share in the form of the Zaytoon’s Combo Plate, featuring five different small plate salads ($8.50), pitzas ($8.50 for a veggie), or the trusty, hearty falafel sandwich ($5.50) if you don’t want anyone else’s mitts in your food. Also, Zaytoon’s is BYOB, so if you’ve picked up some cheap booze on the way, you’re all set. Another great option is Hanco’s (134 Smith St.) if you’d rather have banh mi, as all of the sandwiches will run you $7.00 flat. If you’re ready to resume your alcohol intake and want a few extra salty, flaky snacks to nosh on, why not try Zombie Hut (273 Smith St.)? There, you can have all the goldfish crackers you can shove down your gullet, and share one of their zombie bowls with your date, in your own boozy version of The Lady and the Tramp. Their yard is huge, and you can break the ice with a game of Jenga, Connect 4 or one of their many board games.
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene
Sure, you can hang out in the BAMcafé after your movie and enjoy the convenience of not having to rejoin civilization for just a little while longer, but walk a few blocks in any direction and you can shave a few bucks off the dinner bill. If $1 slices at 2 Bros. Pizza aren’t your thing, the Smoke Joint (97 South Elliott Place) has a ton of cheaper food options like the Joint Dog ($3), corn on the cob ($2.50) and mac and cheese ($4.50). If you’d rather sit down to a full meal for less, National (723 Fulton St.) has you covered with cheap but tasty Thai food. Fried spring rolls ($2.95) can start you off at this sister restaurant to other Brooklyn Thai faves Joya and Song. Once you’re done swearing up and down that you’re ordering something different at a Thai place this time, breaking down and getting the usual spicy noodles will only set you back $7.95. Did you feel like making it a double feature? Ask your date out on a Sunday and go to Habana Outpost (757 Fulton St.), where you can have a Cuban sandwich ($8.75) and a side of sweet plantains ($3.50), then relax and take in another movie, projected on the outside wall from May until Halloween.
188 Prospect Park W, Park Slope
It’s the only game in the immediate Prospect Park/Park Slope area, but they show just about everything that’s out at a given time. So, if you decided to take in a flick at the beleaguered theater and are jonesing for some sweet, sweet pizza (and beer), take a walk to American Cheez (444 7th Ave.). Though it’s got a nondescript look on the outside, you’ll still call it a magical place because, like the Alligator Lounge, this place offers a free personal pizza with every drink purchase. This is a great deal, since the pizza will soak up the alcohol which means you can have more beer, which will then necessitate the need for more pizza (which we did mention is free, right?) and… well, you get the glorious point.
6817 5th Ave., Bay Ridge
Bay Ridge’s own Alpine recently got a few minor upgrades, so it’s no longer a given that you’ll come across a row of broken seats with a line of duct tape over them, which is nice! Therefore, it’s still a viable (and okay yes, the only) option for a movie in the area. If you and your date are interested in sharing plates, head over to Taj Mahal (7315 3rd Ave.) for some fantastic Indian food. The prices are more or less the average for Indian, with chicken tikka masala at $11.50, saag paneer at $9.25, and samosas at $3.50, but the portions are so outrageously huge, like it’s your grandmother feeding you, that you can split just the one entree and still be plenty, plenty fed. Once you’re out and ready to get your drink on, go on to Irish pub 3 Jolly Pigeons (6802 3rd Ave.). The drinks are cheap and, if it’s Saturday, you’ll likely see live music for the low, low price of free. If you’re there on a Friday, feel free to demonstrate the power in those pipes with karaoke, and if you’re there on Thursday, test your knowledge of useless information – and try to win a paid tab – in their trivia contest.
1168 Coney Island Ave., Flatbush
Now sure, this place might have a smaller screen than most of the others on this list, and they might not have the absolute latest blockbusters, but where else are you going to see a 3D movie for $11 dollars? And that’s without any matinee pricing. On Saturdays and Sundays for shows before 1pm, those will only run you $8 apiece. Finally, you too can experience a major Hollywood feature with all the realism of looking into a ViewMaster. And how about regular ol’ adult tickets? Well, those are a relative steal too, at $9, and $6 for matinee shows. Wednesdays give you the very best deal, with all 2D tickets running you $5, while 3D shows cost $7.50 a ticket. After the movie, nearby Cortelyou Road’s flush with choices where you and your date can enjoy a libation or two, but you can show off your multitasking ability by going to Sycamore (1118 Cortelyou Rd.), the bar that’s also a flower shop (before 6pm Tuesday-Friday, before 5pm Saturday and Sunday), and a food court (Saturdays and Sunday 2pm-8pm, and Thursday and Friday nights). This one-time The National performance venue will have everything you need to continue having a great night, featuring a different food vendor every day, so hopefully you’re both on the spontaneous side when it comes to eating. It’s also got a late night $1 off happy hour Monday-Thursday from midnight until 2am and different daily drink and food specials (like TNT Tuesdays: $8 for a tamale, can of Narragansett and a shot of Tequila), so there’s basically no reason not to check it out.
If you’re ready to make it a movie night, consider yourself learnt, and go forth. Follow our advice, and you and your date can be just like these two in no time.
Follow Dave for more true romance at @DaveRosado