Recently we published some tips for making movie night a must-attend family gathering. But what if you don’t want the whole family to attend? Yes, you love your kids, but a romantic, just-the-two-of-you evening sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Whether you’re planning your first movie date night or it’s a weekly ritual at your house, we have some ideas to ensure it is a romantic night in.

Make It a True Cinema Experience

You don’t have to leave home to get a true movie night ambiance. If you have a dedicated home theater, all the better. But you can create the mood in any room simply by turning off all the lights. That directs your full attention to the screen, transporting you into the movie’s milieu. Turn off your cell phones, too. Movie night is all about the two of you.

How and where you mount your TV makes a noticeable difference in your viewing enjoyment. That’s especially true if you don’t (yet) have the luxury of a home theater. If you use your TV to watch movies, sports and play video games, then a well-planned TV positioning will transform your space to make the most of each of these activities.

No Date Night Is Complete Without Food

Make your romantic evening in the total package – dinner, movie and snacks. Dinner can be as simple or elaborate as you like, given the time you have available and your culinary inclinations. How ’bout a meal that matches your chosen movie’s theme? For example, Southern Fried Chicken before Sweet Home Alabama. Or homemade pizza before The Godfather.

Or a picnic on the floor. Or you could simply make it an evening of tapas and other snacks. Go simple with toasted nuts, fruit, popcorn and nachos (Netflix and chili?), or make your own tasty selection of goodies. Check out these recipes for everything from garlic hummus and hot spinach dip to – yes! – theater-inspired sweets such as homemade malted milk balls and chocolate peppermints. Why buy boxes of Junior Mints?

Whatever you serve, don’t forget to add an adult beverage to your romantic movie date night menu. You can even feel free to indulge in an extra beverage, too. No designated driver needed for movie date night at home.

Remember That Sharing Is Good

Turning dinner or snack prep into a joint effort adds to the “togetherness” of your evening. However, sharing the load when it comes to choosing movies is even more important. Many couples have different preferences, and taking turns ensures you both get to see what you like best.

Steal Smooches

Or cuddle up under a blanket. After all, it’s your house, not a public theater. Romantic, indeed.