I think all men and even some women have been in this position before: you want to take a special someone out, but you don’t want to spend a fortune doing it, and you don’t want to come off as cheap. Twin City Guy has just the thing for you. How about a movie, dinner and drinks for two for less than $40 – and when I say dinner and a movie, I am not talking about a free drive-in from a hilltop four football fields away and a swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru. I’m talking about a night out at THE BEST movie theater in the Twin Cities, and a very solid restaurant in Uptown. My girlfriend and I did this last night for our biweekly date night, and we both agreed it was one of the best, thriftiest dates we had ever been on. And for us that’s saying something.
You can start at the Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis. Tonight being Saturday, they have The Social Network playing at 7:00, Love & Other Drugs at 9:15, and Due Date at 11:15. Of course these movies aren’t brand new, but they’re good, and you’ll pay only $3 for admission ($2 for a matinee or all day on Tuesdays). While I have not been to every theater in the Twin Cities, Riverview has to be the best. In my humble opinion, it is certainly better than the Landmark Trifecta of theaters in Uptown and Edina, and far better than any of these new multiplexes in Apple Valley, Burnsville, or St. Louis Park. The Riverview has a 1950s retro feel with a very spacious lobby and some very cool chairs and couches to lounge around on. There is only one screen, but they have 700 seats and every single one has a great view and is as comfortable as any you’ll ever find. Two small drinks and a medium popcorn ran us $6.50. FYI- the small drinks were more like mediums and the medium popcorn was more like a large. So far, after 2 tickets, 2 drinks and a popcorn we were in for $9.50 (had a 2-for-1 coupon from our Happenings Book), the same thing at a multiplex would run you around $30, easily.
For dinner, you can go to CrowdCut.com right now and buy a $35 voucher for Aura Restaurant in Uptown, for only $15. $35 may not seem like much these days, but at Aura it is more than enough for dinner for two with drinks. The $35 voucher is also valid with the famous ‘Happy Aura’, which offers cheap drinks and $6 pizzas and calzones large enough to fill you up. I know this because I ordered a $6 margherita pizza Neapolitan-style and it was delicious and filling; similar to Punch Pizza, but not quite as good. My girlfriend ordered the Tequila Chicken Pasta, $11, not great but good enough. The portions are responsible and the prices are good (most expensive dish on the menu is the 8 oz Filet Mignon with multiple sides for $16). After spending $17 on our food, we had to splurge on drinks just to use up the whole $35. I had the three drinks and my better half had two. Counting the Crowd Cut voucher and a generous tip, our dinner total was $27. Including the movie, that’s a grand total of $36.50. If you can find a cheaper way to enjoy a night out similar to this, I’d love to hear about it!
Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment, I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog and your feedback is greatly appreciated!
-Only street parking is available at the Riverview, and it can be tough to find a spot within a block of the place if you don’t arrive early. You may be greeted with a line out the door, but don’t worry, it moves fast and the theater never sells out.
-Aura is tiny, maybe six booths, a 15-seat bar, and four or five hi-tops and with the Crowd Cut deals they have been offering they are much busier than normal. They buy their food fresh daily, so if you arrive late (like we did at 9:30), don’t be surprised if they are out of certain things. Make reservations.
-You can purchase the Crowd Cut deal through Midnight on Sunday 1/30/11, but the voucher is good until 5/26/11, so there is no rush in using it if tonight wouldn’t work for you.