Dinner and a MovieSummer movie season is here, and Tinseltown has quite the buffet of blockbusters lined up for us moviegoers.  Whether your “to see” list includes superheroes, sequels, or monsters, now’s the time to grab your kids, your friends or your date and head to the theater for a taste of Hollywood.

But wait –  what’s that growling sound?  You’re hungry.  And popcorn and Red Vines do not a meal make.  What’s a movie goer to do?  Add a restaurant visit to the itinerary, of course!  Dinner and a movie are the perfect pair, but lots of pairs we know disagree on one particular point: should dinner come before or after the movie?  The He Said/She Said team weighs in:

He Said – by Phil V.

This one is pretty easy for me.  You need to go before the movie.  I personally am never in a mood for a sit down dinner after a movie and I’m not a huge fan of eating at the theater, so I like to get in a great meal beforehand.  This way, you can eat what you want and not fill up on popcorn and candy at the show.  I have never loved how I feel after that popcorn, Twizzlers and slushee dinner!

I think the dinner and a movie night can be an incredible experience, but the order is important for me.  I don’t like sitting in a show and looking at the time because you have a dinner reservation coming up or simply not enjoying the movie as much because you are starving and thinking about your meal instead of relaxing and taking in the show.  Get to dinner with plenty of time to make your movie and relax and enjoy yourself.  Once you get to the show you can sit back and enjoy on a full stomach.

Of course, I do like a snack at the movies, but having eaten a good meal before allows me to get a single snack that I can enjoy, rather than an assortment of sugary treats that I’ll regret later.  Going to a movie theater hungry is pretty much the same as going to the grocery store hungry.  It leads to poor decisions.  Walking by the food counter with your stomach growling will inevitably lead to that jumbo popcorn, hot dog and cola meal deal that costs about $40.  Take that money and spend it on a real meal before you go to the theater instead.

Now, I do have an underlying motive here: one of my favorite post-movie activities is getting ice cream or yogurt.  And if I had to go to dinner afterwards, I would miss out on that treat.  Now, I know you can get desert at the restaurant, but for me it just isn’t the same.  The perfect movie night for me is dinner, movie, ice cream.  That has just always been the perfect cap to the movie night for me and going to dinner afterwards would take that away.  I say, go to dinner before, enjoy the movie and treat yourself afterwards.  The perfect end caps to a great night at the theater.

She Said – by Elizabeth C.

After careful consideration, my vote on this issue goes to after.  There are several factors that lead me to this opinion.

1. The Food Coma – If you’re going to enjoy a meal with your movie, odds are you will go somewhere to indulge a bit.  Maybe you’ll even have a drink or two.  We all know what happens next:  the food coma.  Nobody wants to be uncomfortably full and dozing off in the middle of an action scene!  Save the meal for after the movie and head straight to the comfort of your couch to lounge it off.

2. Don’t Rush Me! – If you make your dining plans before the movie, you have a deadline to meet.  No one wants to be checking their watch nervously throughout dinner, worrying whether the fajitas will come out in time for you to make the show.  Save yourself the frantic request for the check during your salads and dine out after when you can take your time and actually enjoy your meal.

3. Early Bird Blues – Most movie times fall smack in the middle of the hours when you’d normally be eating dinner.  So if you want to eat first, it’s probably the early bird special for you.  Scheduling dinner for 5 p.m. can be tough to do, even on a weekend.  Making your dining plans for after the movie will open up your afternoon and prevent the urge to enjoy a fourth meal when you’re starving again at 9 p.m.

What do you think – should dinner come before or after the show?  Tell us in the comments section below!