Getaway Artist

Dinner Date Night with Butte County Movies

For those who love nights-in over nights-out, a movie night paired with great take­out is an excel­lent option for date night. Make it even bet­ter with our pair­ings of a few local favorite eater­ies with some movies actu­al­ly filmed right in Butte Coun­ty. So find a com­bi­na­tion you like from this list, or mix and match to your heart’s content!

Clas­sic Americana

Mag­ic Town & Com­fort Food

If you’re look­ing for a lit­tle slice of Amer­i­cana in your life, you’ll find no more com­fort­ing a com­bo than the home-grown fla­vors of Chico favorite Mom’s and a young Jim­my Stew­art in 1947’s under-viewed clas­sic Mag­ic Town. The film fol­lows the adven­tures of a poll­ster (Stew­art) who stum­bles across a town that per­fect­ly encap­su­lates a cross sec­tion of the Amer­i­can pop­u­lace, but hijinks ensue as he attempts to keep the local news­pa­per edi­tor with a dri­ve to shake things up from endan­ger­ing his new­found gold mine. The film fea­tures Chico’s Amtrak Sta­tion (for­mer­ly the South­ern Pacif­ic Sta­tion), a piece of Butte Coun­ty his­to­ry dat­ing all the way back to the late 1800s. Today, the space is home to the Chico Art Cen­ter and is only a few blocks away from the Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Chico cam­pus, as well as many oth­er shops and restau­rants downtown.

Mom’s pro­vides the per­fect com­pli­ment to the warm feel­ing of the film’s mid-20th cen­tu­ry Amer­i­ca with a like­wise pic­ture-per­fect slice of down-home Amer­i­can cui­sine that offers heaps of top-notch com­fort food for when you need a pick-me-up or a lit­tle pam­per­ing. Their brunch take­out menu show­cas­es every­thing from omelets and scram­bles to spe­cial­ties like chi­laquiles, bis­cuits and gravy, and corned beef (or veg­gie) hash. It’s round­ed out with bene­dicts, sand­wich­es, the oblig­a­tory pan­cakes and waf­fles, a few sal­ads and health­i­er options for the dis­cern­ing, and even an assort­ment of alco­holic bev­er­ages for those who live to lean in.

Casi­no Night

George B. & Casi­no Eats

On the flip side of the coin, we have a movie about the per­fect­ly imper­fect. In George B., David Morse plays the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter, a sim­ple man who ends up win­ning big at a casi­no before falling into the wily manip­u­la­tions of an oppor­tunis­tic clerk. This warm char­ac­ter study fea­tures shots from Oroville and, mem­o­rably, Chico’s Miller Man­sion , a rebuilt Vic­to­ri­an home that, next to the Bid­well Man­sion and Oroville’s C.F. Lott Home, stands as one of the most icon­ic his­toric homes of the area.

Since George strikes it rich in Reno, we can’t imag­ine a bet­ter food pair­ing than from one of Oroville’s excel­lent casi­no eater­ies, like the Feath­er Falls Brew­ing Com­pa­ny restau­rant. A sub­stan­tial take­out menu fea­tures every­thing from a gold­mine of appe­tiz­ers to burg­ers, steaks, sal­ads, piz­za, seafood, and even sushi (and don’t for­get to grab some of their beer from a local shop while you’re at it). Almost any­one you’re watch­ing with will find an appe­tiz­er and entrée com­bi­na­tion to accom­pa­ny their movie experience.

Action & Adventure

The Chase & Mexican

If the above movies were too sleepy for you, you might try 1966’s The Chase to sat­is­fy your need for more action. A star-stud­ded affair that fea­tures Robert Red­ford, Mar­lon Bran­do, Jane Fon­da, Robert Duvall, Ang­ie Dick­in­son, and E.G. Mar­shall, The Chase fol­lows the exploits of Bub­ber (Red­ford) after his escape from prison, where he returns to his Texas home­town for help after get­ting mixed up in a mur­der com­mit­ted by a fel­low escapee, only to fall into a dra­ma near­ly as big as the cast’s accents. Texas is here rep­re­sent­ed entire­ly by Cal­i­for­nia, from Cal­abasas to Chico, includ­ing Chico’s gor­geous, pic­nic-ready, emi­nent­ly hike­able Bid­well Park.

Because Bub­ber might have had an eas­i­er time of things if he’d fol­lowed through with his ini­tial plan to escape to Mex­i­co, we’re pair­ing The Chase with the authen­tic cui­sine from Mee­hos Mex­i­can Restau­rant in Par­adise, which serves up deli­cious Mex­i­can com­fort food. Taco wag­on-style tacos, giant half-pound, pound, or even two-pound bur­ri­tos (in reg­u­lar and break­fast vari­eties), and suc­cu­lent char­broiled chick­en are sure to make you glad that you made bet­ter choic­es than Bub­ber. And if you can’t find your way to Par­adise, the area has any num­ber of great Mex­i­can restau­rants doing curb­side take­out, like Papacito’s in Oroville or La Hacien­da in Chico.

Wild West

The Out­law Josey Wales & BBQ 

If Robert Red­ford and Mar­lon Bran­do can’t pro­vide quite enough brava­do for your day, your next obvi­ous choice is Clint East­wood in 1976’s The Out­law Josey Wales. Nom­i­nat­ed for an Acad­e­my Award, the film is a post-Civ­il War adven­ture that daz­zled audi­ences and achieved great com­mer­cial suc­cess dur­ing its the­atri­cal run. Filmed in a vari­ety of loca­tions across Amer­i­ca, it includes scenes of Oroville’s sur­round­ing nat­ur­al beau­ty, and it’s even rumored that East­wood, while stay­ing in an Oroville hotel dur­ing film­ing, shout­ed out — stark naked — his love for co-star Son­dra Locke.

We can’t think of any­thing more appro­pri­ate for a West­ern than some excel­lent BBQ, and for that you need look no fur­ther than Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ in Chico, where you can get any­thing from a rack of ribs to a rich, hearty sand­wich or sump­tu­ous dessert. Locat­ed in Chico’s beau­ti­ful down­town, it’s also close to just about any­where else you might want to walk. If you’d rather find an actu­al Oroville eatery to chan­nel some of the ener­gy that seem­ing­ly pos­sessed East­wood dur­ing his stay, check out the Boss Burg­er, with big por­tions and a rus­tic vibe to ele­vate your movie view­ing experience.

Fam­i­ly Friendly

Under Wraps & Pizza

Need some­thing for the whole fam­i­ly? Then you may already be aware of the 1997 kid’s clas­sic Under Wraps, where three kids acci­den­tal­ly release a 3,000 year-old mum­my on the world and have to find a way to return it before mid­night on Hal­loween. This Hal­loween romp was the Dis­ney Channel’s first orig­i­nal movie and was filmed in Chico! It promi­nent­ly fea­tures the north­west cor­ner of Hazel and West 3rd Street where the mum­my resides, the Chico Vet­er­ans Memo­r­i­al Hall, and the Down­town Park Plaza at East 5th and Main.

Our go-to choice to pair with this piece of 90s nos­tal­gia is piz­za, and as luck would have it, there are a vari­ety of options that will sat­is­fy not only the kids, but the adults too! With fresh ingre­di­ents cre­at­ing some won­der­ful fla­vor com­bi­na­tions and grown-up deli­cious­ness, Farm Star Piz­za has some­thing for every­one — veg­ans, veg­e­tar­i­ans, and car­ni­vores includ­ed. Starters like the loaded mac and cheese or baked brie cheese wedge set the stage, and a huge range of wild­ly dif­fer­ent piz­zas bring it all home, but you can even get a sat­is­fy­ing sal­ad or dessert to com­plete the meal. For piz­za by the slice, Celesti­no’s is anoth­er heavy­weight Chico con­tender worth a vis­it. And if your trav­els take you to Big­gs, don’t miss the chance to stop by Piz­za Round-Up , a long-time local favorite.