The aroma of salt and butter fills Alco Capital Theaters in Boynton Beach. Manager Larry Forbes has worked in theaters for three decades, having started out projecting midnight rock flicks at a drive-in in Fort Lauderdale. He therefore balances a sentimental attachment to film with the practical aspects that make it good for business. "If there's a problem and you have a technician—which we do onsite all the time—you can fix it immediately," he points out. Although the majority of work is projected from film, the theater's eight screening rooms are not warehouses for nostalgia. Digital and Dolby 3-D projectors deliver sharp pictures and immersive experiences to stadiums of 1,500 lumbar-supportive seats, as digital speakers and ADA listening devices make eardrums quake.
During the winter, moviegoers prepare for the upcoming awards season with a full slate of Academy Award–nominated films. On some summer days 700–800 kids will flood the theater by 10 a.m. for adventure flicks and romantic comedies, and when things slow down in the fall, Forbes fires off notices of indie premieres and director Q&A sessions to members of the Movi-E Mail Club, who have chatted with director Susan Seidelman and burgeoning stars from The Palm Beach County Film & Television Institute. On federal holidays, the staff host a special matinee for students, and every Tuesday they pile free popcorn into reusable plastic buckets and vacant laps. The theater's dedication to its audience extends to special requests—Forbes remembers slipping a man's wedding-proposal video into the previews one night. Although he doesn't remember the film, Forbes does remember the woman's answer: she said yes.
Palm Beach Paddleboards gets water riders up and running with lessons, tours, and a slate of boards and accessories. On daytime paddling jaunts, tour-goers can explore the natural inlets, bays, and canals of the Intracoastal Waterway, which spans 3,000 miles of Florida's Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. While benefiting from both the full-body workout and the inherent peacefulness of paddling, adventurers can encounter members of the local eco system, such as manatees, turtles, and stingrays, and also scope out the grand waterfront homes and vacationing English castles sprawled throughout Palm Beach. Inside the store, vessel experts outfit adventurers with a slate of boards and accessories from brands such as Suplove, Tahoe, and Kialoa.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Not many actors can say they've performed in a production directed by a 12-year-old, but Erin Coley has always had an instinctive sense of how to put on a show. Years later, she and her husband, J.R., founded Standing Ovation Performing Arts, assembling eight other experts in the field to encourage kids to get on the stage as early as possible. Improv comedy, puppetry, and playwriting help students express themselves while giving them the skills to deliver confident class presentations and rousing monologues on the futility of naptime.
The Sea Mist drift-fishing fleet first began scouring South Florida waters in 1956. Today, the 72-foot, all-aluminum Sea Mist III picks up where its predecessors left off. It drifts around Boynton Beach while groups attempt to snag grey grouper, red snapper, yellowtail, or any of the other species that are often encountered during excursions. Also on board, the boat's professional crewmembers dole out occasional humor, steady guidance, and assistance—from baiting hooks to cleaning catches.
Boynton Beach Boat Rentals provides the means to enjoy all that the area's waterways have to offer. Guests can power through the intercostal channels or venture to Peanut Island seated in a bowrider, deckboat, or sport-cabin powerboat as the wind whips through the vessel's open top. Boat rentals facilitate aquatic activities such as water skiing, tubing, or diving and fishing expeditions, as well as the chance to find out what salt tastes like.