I've never really understood this idea of spending the first date at a place where you gonna be sitting still for the next couple of hours, not talking and not seeing each other's faces. That's ridiculous. Why would you offer/agree to go to the movies at a first date? What's the point of it?
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Most Helpful Girl
gives you something to talk about, helps you feel less awkward since the attention is on the movie, not on each other directly.1
Most Helpful Guy
It's not ideal, but it may not be a completely stupid idea. I did it once as a first date. The ending was depressing, even though the real event, while sad, did eventually happen to work out, but it did end on a bad note. Which made the ending to the date a bit awkward.
It's generally not ideal because there is some expense to it (though not a huge amount). You're in the dark with someone, you can't really talk much, and if there's something that one of you is offended by (and the other laughs), it becomes a really awkward situation quickly.
A date going to the movies tends to be better when you sort of already know the person.
If you both know each other, both know you have the same taste in films, then it's fine. Otherwise, if things are new, you want to do something where you can bow out in grace quickly, something inexpensive... that's the best type of first date when you are still trying to get to know someone. That way, if they don't show, or are horrible, you're not out much.