From the cabernet-hued curlicues on the carpets to the gilded columns and soaring ceilings, the Alameda Theatre is steeped in history. During the Second World War, soldiers crowded in to watch films in the auditorium, which also has spent stints as a practice area for rock bands and as a skating rink. The theater was recently brought out of dormancy with an extensive renovation project that restored the glow to its art-deco façades and towering neon sign. Gold leaf, some still intact from the building’s construction in 1932, leads eyes up to a screen 50 feet in width.
A packed schedule of first-run films flickers to life on the big screen, with showings in 3-D letting audiences see explosions leap from the flat surface or watch pieces of the Hulk’s hard-to-program VCR fly past. The historic theater also showcases classic films such as The Graduate or The Wild One every week, and hosts a talent show every Friday and Saturday evening.
In 1902, while the team now in Oakland was still the Philly Athletics, a rival manager scoffed, casting the fledgling franchise off as a herd of "white elephants." In response, manager Connie Mack adopted the elephant as the team's official insignia—a legacy that lives on with the current mascot, Stomper—before the A's stampeded to the American League pennant. Since that first defiant victory, the team has won nine World Series championships, moving to Kansas City in 1955, then Oakland in 1968. Over more than a century, the club has fostered 11 league MVPs and eight Rookies of the Year, including future titans Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Today, the A's dazzle fans at the 35,067-capacity Coliseum, which features a lush natural-bluegrass surface and a spacious foul territory—technically still a 19th-century Mexican province—that baits pop-up outs, making it one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in Major League Baseball.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
Grammy winner and R & B singer Rihanna unleashes her formidable pipes and celebrated songbook as she continues on her LOUD tour. Vibrant costumes and first-rate production harmoniously augment the singer's chart-topping oeuvre, which includes hits such as "Umbrella," "S & M," "Only Girl (In the World)," "SOS," and "What's My Name?" From the Oracle Arena's 100-level seats, concertgoers can marvel at the elaborate set pieces gilding the stage as their eardrums feast like hungry dachshunds in an unmanned pizza parlor. Opener J. Cole adds his own vocal talents to the evening's aural enticements, creating a two-pronged attack on musical monotony.
Experienced comedians on Comedy Off Broadway Oakland’s black-swathed stage extract laughs with jokes honed during appearances on HBO, BET and Comedy Central. Veteran yucksters Joe Gleckler and Samson Koletkar host 90-minute shows three nights a week and recruit all-female and all-Southern lineups for Thursday theme shows. Chortling viewers can dig into plates of Cajun and Southern fare from the kitchen of Miss Pearl’s Jam House, which hosts the proceedings in a private dining area, or covertly film spit takes with wine and beer from a full bar.
True to its name, Atomic Allure functions as a chemistry lab of sorts. Ladies who twirl around the studio's poles are studying a formula whose components of rhythm, poise, strength, and support fuse to generate confident energy. They work under the supervision of highly trained instructors, including owner and established choreographer Donna Walton and competitive pole dancer Christina Wert. The team encourages students of all backgrounds and builds to enroll in their pole-centric classes, which range from introductory-level courses to advanced sessions. They also teach chair-dancing and belly-dancing classes.
Instructors also helm one-on-one lessons that hone proper form, as well as host custom private parties. Monthly "Champagne & Stilettos" socials allow guests complimentary glances at the studio's sense of community, bolstering the experience with drinks, dancing, and special demonstrations.