Air conditioning is pretty much a requirement during Columbia's sweltering summer days, but summer evenings are the perfect time to grab a blanket and enjoy the outdoors.
A few places around Columbia are offering movies on an outdoor big screen so you can chill out on hot summer nights. Just be sure to take some bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes.
Last summer, the Historic Columbia Speedway hosted a pop-up drive-in theater as one of What's Next Midlands' projects. The Speedway did not respond to an email asking whether it would screen movies this summer.
Movie series at Finlay Park
The city of Columbia's Parks & Recreation Department offers movies in the park every summer, this year at Finlay Park, 930 Laurel St. Pre-show activities begin at 7:45 p.m., and moviegoers can bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers. No pets, glass containers or alcohol. Free. www.columbiasc.net.
"The Emoji Movie" (2017), dusk Friday, June 1. Gene (T.J. Miller), a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji. Also starring James Corden and Anna Faris. Rated PG.
"Peter Rabbit" (2018), dusk Friday, June 15. This feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic children's story is the tale of a rebellious rabbit (James Corden) trying to sneak into a farmer's (Sam Neill) vegetable garden. Also starring Fayssal Bazzi and Domhnall Gleeson. Rated PG.
"Hoodwinked" (2005), dusk Friday, June 29. Little Red Riding Hood (Anne Hathaway), the Wolf (Patrick Warburton), the Woodsman (Jim Belushi), and Granny (Glenn Close) all tell the police the events that led to their encounter. Rated PG.
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (2017), dusk Friday, July 13. Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart. Rated PG-13.
"Justice League" (2017), dusk Friday, July 27. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. Rated PG-13.
Lexington County Movies in the Park
Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission hosts Movies in the Park at various facilities. Free; no tickets required. www.facebook.com/lcrac.
"Darkest Hour" (2017), 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, at Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington.. In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), who must decide whether to negotiate or fight with Germany. Also starring Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas. Rated PG-13.
"Black Panther" (2018), 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, in the gym at Tri-City Leisure City, 485 Brooks Ave., West Columbia. T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider (Michael B. Jordan). Also starring Lupita Nyong'o. Rated PG-13.
"Super 8" (2011), 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, at Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington. This J.J. Abrams film portrays a group of friends who, during the summer of 1979, witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. Starring Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka and Kyle Chandler. Rated PG-13.
The "Super 8" showing is part of Star*Struck, a pop culture event to celebrate Lexington County's Meals on Wheels volunteers and recruit new ones. The 1980s-themed evening also includes music, popcorn, food trucks, vendors and prizes. Break out your shoulder pads and leg warmers, and bring a canned food donation if you like.
"The Greatest Showman" (2017), 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, at Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington. This film celebrates the birth of show business and tells the story of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Also starring Michelle Williams. Rated PG.
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (2017), 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Swansea Sports Complex, 616 I.W. Hutto Road, Swansea. Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart. Rated PG-13.
"Megamind" (2010), 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Gilbert-Summit Gym Soccer Field. The supervillain Megamind (Will Ferrell) finally defeats his nemesis, the superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt). But without a hero, he loses all purpose. Also starring Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Ben Stiller. Rated PG.
"Ferdinand" (2017), 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Leesville College Park, Speaks Avenue and College Street, Leesville. After Ferdinand (John Cena), a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Also starring Kate McKinnon and Bobby Cannavale. Rated PG.
"Coco" (2017), 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17., at Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington. Confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, aspiring musician Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer. Also starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt. Rated PG.
Twilight in the Garden
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden normally closes at 5 p.m., but on a few Fridays in the summertime, Waterfall Junction reopens at 6 p.m. You can splash around until dusk, then watch a movie at the amphitheater at Riverbanks Botanical Garden, 500 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia. $5 ($3, members). Concessions available for purchase. www.riverbanks.org.
"Paddington 2" (2017), dusk Friday, June 8. Paddington (Ben Whishaw) and the Brown family must unmask a thief. Also starring Hugh Grant and Hugh Bonneville. Rated PG.
"The Lion King" (1994), dusk Friday, July 13. A lion prince (Jonathan Taylor Thomas; Matthew Broderick) is tricked by a treacherous uncle (Jeremy Irons) into thinking he caused the death of his father (James Earl Jones). Rated G.
"Coco" (2017), dusk Friday, Aug. 10. Confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, aspiring musician Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer. Also starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt. Rated PG.
The Big Mo
The nearest drive-in theater is a little less than an hour from downtown Columbia, at the Big Mo, 5822 Columbia Highway North, Monetta. Only cash is accepted. Three different screens show double features; each field requires a separate ticket. $9, ages 12 and up; $4, ages 4-11; free, children 3 and younger. Open "rain or moon," with no refunds granted for rain. Concessions available for purchase. See thebigmo.com for show times. Upcoming films include:
"Deadpool 2" (2018). Special premiere night Thursday, May 17. Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, (Ryan Reynolds) brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant Cable (Josh Brolin). Also starring Morena Baccarin and Zazie Beetz.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" (2018). During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) meets his future copilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and encounters Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) years before joining the Rebellion. Also starring Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke.
"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" (2018). When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Also starring Jeff Goldblum.
"Incredibles 2" (2018). Bob Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, (Craig T. Nelson) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen, aka Elastigirl, (Holly Hunter) is out saving the world. Also starring Samuel L. Jackson and Sophia Bush.