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.
“Slawn-cha,” April says, pronouncing the pub’s name in slow, punchy syllables. “It’s Gaelic. It means 'cheers to good health'—” she stops abruptly, spying a familiar face behind the bar. “Let me let you talk to Clem. Don’t let his accent throw you. It’s thick—and he knows it!” The two scuffle a bit before he comes forward. “You were talking to an obnoxious lady, were you?” he says. “She’s better known as the princess. She drives me crazy.”
But April’s right. Clem's intonation is heavy with lilts, a nod to his Irish birthplace; it’s perfectly at home amid the thick-slatted wood floors, rustic stacked-stone walls, and wooden furniture all imported from Ireland. “There’s also live music five nights a week. And there’s the food,” he adds. “I’ve always been in the bar business, and these recipes are from top chefs in Ireland.” He’s especially proud of the fish 'n' chips. “Best in the county,” he says. “Made with cod and homemade beer batter—my family’s recipe.”
Clem goes on to explain that he met his partner at a St. Baldrick’s festival—an event dedicated to children fighting cancer. He throws out a startling statistic: “we’ve raised over $1,000,000 for the charity over the last four years.” With this humble side note, and with what he says next, it’s clear the earlier banter comes from a place of deep caring. “My favorite thing is the people I get to meet, everyone from firefighters to teachers. There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.”
Kids aged 6 months to 10 years wander from workstation to workstation, tickling the ivories on a toy piano here, stacking blocks there, and socializing with their peers. The center offers 10 stations in all where kids play and learn with interactive materials such as puzzles, dolls, and a toy kitchen—each part of The Bee's Knees Learn & Play‘s Montessori-inspired methods for engaging young minds. Founded on the idea that kids learn more efficiently when play and education are intertwined, the facility's educators let kids learn from each other, the instructors, and the toys populating the play space at their own pace. They let children of different ages mingle to nurture development, and also add structure with 60-minute age-specific classes that feature activities such as singing, story time, and take-home projects. Kids aged 2–3 years work with letters and colors, and kids aged 5–10 years may begin mastering Spanish before reenacting telenovelas at the puppet theater. In keeping with the Montessori method, there are no mechanized toys onsite. Instead there are wooden rocking horses, dolls, manual train sets, and other child-powered toys that provoke kids to use their full imaginations. Parents can also bring their kids to the learn-and-play center for open play and private birthday parties.
Palm trees, grassy shrubs, and crimson blossoms flourish among the neatly manicured fairways of Cypress Creek Country Club’s golf course, designed by Robert von Hagge. The course debuted in 1964 but was recently renovated to keep up with contemporary standards. Five unique, tricky par-3 holes present a challenge to golfers of any level, and water hazards pop up throughout the course.
At the Don Law Golf Academy, you can take lessons from PGA and LPGA professionals to improve your swing or learn how to repurpose old 9-irons as fireplace pokers. Stop by the restaurant for a bite to eat after working up an appetite on the course, at a lesson, or at one of the range’s five hitting stations.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,531 yards * Course rating of 72.0 * Slope rating of 131 * See the scorecard
Art-Sea Living owner Babs Lentz caught the entrepreneurial bug at age 12, when she helped her father sell his car for $200 more than what he was asking. But Lentz has always intertwined her business savvy with free-spirit artistry, creating a children’s clothing line, designing jewelry, and opening the Art-Sea Living boutique gallery. Inside this welcoming studio, Lentz displays her own handmade creations as well as items from other local designers. Above all, she believes that art can be a great healer. Visitors can unleash their own inner artists during pottery-painting sessions, clay-sculpting classes, and watercolor studies. And for special events, Art-Sea Living can bring its studio on wheels to your party, offering paint-your-own pottery, wineglass painting, and more.
After teaching foreign languages and working as a sales rep, Alice Abrams realized that the biggest constant in her life—exercise—should be her next career move. Her 16 years of Pilates training prompted her to open Pilates of Boynton Beach, where she mans classes alongside her daughter, Elyssa Zion, and a squad of certified instructors. The curriculum shapes lean bodies with a variety of stretching and dance techniques. Mat and equipment Pilates work alongside Xtend Barre lessons to stretch muscles while improving posture, and Zumba classes incorporate festive music to fuel cardio choreography. All sessions, whether group or private, are meant to accommodate students of any skill level so long as they bring a permission slip signed by each vertebra.