Movies, activities and events to brighten up your Valentine’s Day

A teenage boy and teenage girl stand in a soccer field and look at each other.
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Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s Day is here — what are you going to do? Valentine’s Day is the most romantic of holidays and poses many opportunities for activities to do, whether you’re with a significant other, with friends or single! Here is a what’s what of events going on around Berkeley and the greater Bay Area that you can mark your calendars for, as well as some ideas for other romantic ways to spend the holiday.

First, since the holiday is falling on a Thursday this year, many of us will be busy with classes and other activities, but there are many ways to incorporate the holiday into your daily routine. Though the weather forecast looks to be staying cold and rainy, stop by Romeo’s Coffee for a love-themed beverage to start your day. On your way to campus, you might also want to check out one of the many local florists for a bouquet to brighten up your day!

Movies are an excellent option for a Valentine’s Day activity, whether you’re staying in or going to the theater. San Francisco’s Castro Theatre is holding a double feature of two noir films, with a showing of “Detour” at 7:30 p.m. and “The Hitch-Hiker” at 9 p.m. While not the most romantic of films themselves, the Castro Theatre’s elegant cinema has date-worthy ambiance in and of itself. Nearby, the SF IndieFest will also be on its last day Thursday, so there’s still a chance to catch some of the unique titles being shown, including “Billboard,” “Waterlily Jaguar” and “Is That You?” as well as an “Anti-Valentine’s Day ‘80s Power Ballad Sing-A-Long” (for those less enthused about the holiday).

For options closer to campus, the UC Theatre on University Avenue is holding a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 7 p.m. “Rocky Horror” is a cult classic, and seeing as audience participation is expected, it is sure to make for a fun night, whether you’re with a date or a group of friends. At this showing, there will also be prizes for best costume as well as a burlesque show. Shattuck Cinemas will also be showing this year’s live and animated Oscar-nominated shorts, which could be a fun way to spend time with a date while gearing up for the high point of awards season.

If you’re looking for a quieter night in, Netflix’s “Sex Education” is a critically acclaimed show about exploring sex and sexuality that could be a perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day binge-watch. Otherwise, peruse Netflix’s romance section, with iconic titles such as “Sliding Doors” — or maybe just a rewatch of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Throughout the day, various events will be going on to check out around Berkeley. If you’re in the Downtown area, there will be live music to accompany your romantic evening. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the James Zeller Trio will be performing at the plaza, bringing its signature jazz stylings to the Shattuck area.

If a concert is on your Valentine’s Day bucket list, there are a number of musical options across the bay. Chicago-based band Post Animal is playing a show along with Ron Gallo at The Chapel in San Francisco, bringing art rock/garage punk sounds to the intimate venue. The Starline Social Club will also be having its “Cupid’s Cabaret: a Valentine’s Day Romp” for the second year in a row, which promises to be “a scintillating celebration of love in all its forms.” Finally, for a local show, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse will be hosting La Misa Negra, a seven-piece band based in Oakland that specializes in a blend of Afro-Latin and cumbia styles. The dance floor will also be open!

On the subject of food, Berkeley has a number of great restaurants to dine out at, across a variety of cuisines. If you missed a reservation or feel like staying in, however, it could be a great chance to try out a recipe. Maybe a pasta dish with cherry tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella, or if you’re looking for something sweeter, these no-bake peanut butter cups or homemade chocolate truffles could hit the spot. Additionally, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Berkeley Farm Stand will be at the Downtown Berkeley Plaza for all your fresh produce needs — perfect for cooking up a delectable Valentine’s Day meal.

With all the options in Berkeley this Valentine’s Day, there’s sure to be something to occupy yourself during this holiday, no matter your relationship status!

Camryn Bell is the special issues editor. Contact her at [email protected] .