National Date Your Mate Month :: A Soda City Twist on Dinner and a Movie


May is National Date Your Mate Month. While I couldn’t find much history on it, I do know that May, with its warm weather and blooming flowers, can be a great month for rekindling that spark between romantic partners. Columbia offers many opportunities for a great date. Here are some twists on the classic dinner and a movie date night that you can experience right here in Soda City!

Dinner and a DIY Movie Theater

Dinner and a movie don’t have to be an expensive affair. Richland Library’s Library of Things has projection kits and projection screens available for checkout, along with its extensive movie collection. You can set up in your garage (inside or outside), backyard, or bedroom, with enough space for your own DIY movie theater. If your kids have an early bedtime, save on the babysitter or trip to grandma and “catch a movie” after you put them down for the night. Throw in some delivery or takeout food along with popcorn from your pantry, and you can have dinner and a movie date without the price. 

Dinner (or Lunch) and Richland Library

Before we move on from Richland Library, Richland Library Main has a theater where you can catch a matinee for free. Located downtown, you have the choice of lunch at one of the many restaurants a block away on Main Street, or you can wait until after the movie to enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants within walking distance of the library. Some options include Camon Restaurant and Sushi Bar and The Aristocrat. Before heading to the library, make sure you check their event page for movie times and adhere to their food and beverage policy.

Dinner and The Big Mo

Monetta Drive-In Theater (a.k.a The Big Mo) is worth the trip to nearby Monetta, SC. Admission is cash only and covers a double feature. You can bring your own food, but make it a date and enjoy the onsite concessions with burgers and chili fries, or classic movie snacks like popcorn and nachos. An added bonus is that you can squeeze in some uninterrupted conversation since you don’t have to worry about disturbing other moviegoers.

Dinner and The Nickelodeon

The Nickelodeon Theatre in downtown Columbia adds a vintage spin on dinner and a movie. The Nick, as it’s affectionately known, offers diverse showings of new, classic, indie, and foreign films. It’s quieter and far less crowded than the multiplex theaters around town. Its located on Main Street and is within walking distance of several eateries including Good Life Cafe right across the street. Also, their no outside food or drink policy makes an exception for foods and drinks from nearby Sweet Cream Company and barrel candy from their next-door neighbor, Mast General Store.

Dinner and Hotel Trundle 

Last year, I booked a much-needed solo, staycation at Hotel Trundle in downtown Columbia. I fell in love with its boutique-style, quiet atmosphere, and super soft bed. The complimentary breakfast didn’t hurt, either. I just knew that the next time I booked a room I was going to bring my husband along for the experience.

Being less than a mile from some of the best local restaurants in the city, Hotel Trundle also offers packages that make planning a date night seemingly effortless. Conclude a night out on the town by streaming a movie on your room’s 55-inch TV with Sonifi Staycast technology. Their movie night-in package is designed for a family of four but who couldn’t use some extra snacks?

Seasonal allergies aside, I am itching to get out and celebrate National Date Your Mate Month. The weather is great, and Columbia has so much to offer that can turn an average date into something special!

What date night recommendations would you add to this list? 


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