Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
At Kinetic Arts Center, students run away to the circus because it's a more fun way to stay fit than running around a track. There they learn circus arts such as modern dance steps, adventurous trapeze routines, and physics-bending parkour moves. And not only do classes keep students, who range from toddlers to adults, in good shape, but they also prepare them for performing in front of a crowd. Pupils can also study juggling and clowning. They're taught by a roster of teachers whose long r?sum?s include backgrounds in dance, theater, and the circus arts.
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.
At The New Parkway Theater, viewers nestle into love seats or lounge on cozy couches while munching on comfort food and popcorn, a weekend viewing party writ large. If its owners had their way, the biggest difference between a friend's house and their theater would be the size of the screen. Conceived as a community space, New Parkway's colorful cafe and couch-filled screening rooms encourage showgoers to make friends, sitting with strangers and striking up conversations with particularly interesting throw pillows. An ever-changing schedule reinforces the space's sense of discovery, constantly cycling through indie darlings, classic flicks, and second-run blockbusters.
The menu of comfort food comes out of the kitchen and straight to the seats, letting viewers chow down during flicks. Prepared with locally sourced ingredients, options include burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and spicy fries. Beer and wine selections all come from brewers and vintners within 100 miles of Oakland.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
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.