The most popular films at the Alaska Experience Theater covers a monumental moment in area history: the devastating Good Friday Earthquake of March 27, 1964. After learning about the quake's massive power in the adjoining museum, viewers enter an earthquake simulator, shaking along with hydraulic tremors as a brand new documentary drives home the quake's destructive scale.
The Alaska Earthquake Experience is just one of the various short documentaries on Alaskan history and lifestyle screened at the theater throughout the year. In the 96-seat main theater, a 40-foot screen commands attention. The theater displays longer documentaries along with cult classics, independent films, and wide release blockbusters. In addition to hosting these screenings, the theater can also be rented out for use in weddings, conventions, or other memorable events.
The Alaska Experience Theater's dedication to lively historical learning also extends outside of its walls. Out in the marketplace, two permanent exhibits reveal more information about the earthquake and display the full collection of prints by Alaskan artist Fred Machetanz.
The Anchorage Ballet and its academy have been preserving the art of classical dance since 1997 through a well-rounded curriculum based on the Russian Vaganova method, and has prepared young dancers for international careers with the American Ballet Theatre, the Kirov Academy, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and The Juilliard School. Each student is placed into the appropriate level of classes?which include pointe and pas de deux?according to age, talent, attitude, and musicality. It is through these classes, seasonal performances, and summer camps that the school's skilled teachers and guest instructors teach ballerinas to harmonize the entire body's movements, creating expressive leaps and pirouettes via Vaganova's vision. The academy partners with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Atwood Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts to help bring ballet to Alaska's arts community and particularly limber polar bears. The academy won the 2010 award for outstanding arts organization at the Mayor's Arts Award ceremony.
Founded as a nonprofit by philanthropist Shana Harris, the Alaska Quake strives to build confidence and character through exhibition and education of basketball. A recent expansion member of the American Basketball Association, the Quake suit up against West Coast competitors that include the Seattle Mountaineers. During games, the athletic young men of the Quake careen over the hardcourt with smooth pick-and-rolls and rim-rattling dunks, powered on by the cheers of the crowd and the energetic moves of the Quake Girls dance team. In addition to their regular-season competitive schedule, team players and coaches also lead youth skills sessions in the offseason, teaching future all-stars the finer points of foul shooting, ball handling, and ref-tickling.
A quaint, family-friendly eatery ensconced in a deep red, house-like building in the heart of Girdwood’s town square, Silvertip Grill cooks homespun American classics and slakes thirsts with a wide assortment of beer and wine. In addition to timeless dinner entrees such as fish 'n' chips, Silvertip's staff prepares breakfast all day. At the hand-built spruce bar, tenders pour eight beers from the tap and pass out approximately 30 varieties of microbrews and specialty bottles. The libation crew also liquefies stemmed glassware with 10–12 wines. Outside in the spacious beer garden, guests can practice tossing or trying on horseshoes in one of two pits, gather around a fire pit—which is typically used for pig roasts—or dine to the beat of live music on the weekends.
Alaska Fighting Championship pits some of the state’s toughest combatants against each other in cards packed with intense mixed-martial-arts matches. Season after season, AFC sets the stage for homegrown fighters to showcase their skills. From lightweight to super heavyweight, AFC events feature bruisers of all makes and models, each vying to climb the ranks and become a champion in the weight class. All AFC matches unfold at George M. Sullivan Sports Arena, where fans can sit close enough to the action to hear punches land and feed the fighters handfuls of candy between rounds.
Having adopted the nickname of Alaskan aviation innovator Bob Reeve, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots have had the state's history in their lifeblood since they first took the field in 1969. Over the years, the Pilots' rising collegiate stars have won the National Baseball Congress World Series—held in Wichita, Kansas—five times. Each game, up to 5,300 baseball fans can pack the stands at Mulcahy Stadium, which was built back in 1953 when every American was legally obligated to eat a whole apple pie during the seventh-inning stretch.