Cinema Grill captures all angles of entertainment in its three show rooms, from newer movie releases and live sporting events blasting on giant screens to a rotating cast of comedians lobbing laugh bombs as crowds feast on fare from the full-service restaurant and bar. While actors work their best angles on the screen, patrons can translate their dialogue into Esperanto or order from the menu, which is laden with entrees and suds from the local brewmasters at Surly. The theater converts into a satellite stadium when it broadcasts live sporting events, which gain lifelike clarity on its giant 30-foot high-definition screen.
A union of the local organizations U Film Society and Oak Street Arts, the nonprofit Film Society of Minneapolis/Saint Paul brings an eclectic sampling of international cinema to its members and to the public at its yearly international film festival. The society's crew of film enthusiasts carefully curates a roster of classic, modern, foreign, and locally produced movies to showcase. They screen each year's lineup amid the cushy confines of the St. Anthony Main Theatre, the society's headquarters and site of the festival, which boasts around 400 different films each year and generally draws in more than 100,000 viewers. They further enlighten moviegoers by recruiting industry experts for informative panel discussions, educational events, and tips on how to feed popcorn to onscreen characters.
A modern take on the classic movie-going experience, ShowPlace Icon Theatre takes the legwork out of dinner and a movie by pairing comfortable sophisticated theaters with upscale, on-location dining, and advanced reserved seating. With digital cinema projectors capable of displaying 35 trillion colors and premium digital surround-sound systems, each stadium-seated auditorium is equipped to showcase buzz-worthy films exactly as the director, assistant director, second-assistant director, and second second-assistant director intended. Patrons to the theater pick their viewing spots ahead of time, eliminating the usual frenzied, darkened search for ideal seating and guaranteeing guests find seats together.
The legendary century-old, 1,000-seat Fitzgerald Theater is home to live recordings of A Prairie Home Companion, one of public radio’s longest-running programs that has established a considerable cult following. Fans of the show will be delighted to hear Garrison Keiller’s distinctive meandering Midwestern voice as he goes through his weekly monologue, storytelling, and piano-backed serenade segments. It’s not a one man show, though: there is a backing band and other musicians and humorists that stop by for additional entertainment. Tickets to each taping range from $30 - $50, the price depending on how close you want to be to the action.
Multi-Grammy-winning songwriters David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez take a reprieve from fronting the iconic East L.A. rock group Los Lobos for “Stories and Songs,” an intimate acoustic retrospective of 40 years of music. Friends and songwriting partners since high school, where they stole Simon and Garfunkel’s prom dates, Hidalgo and Pérez dip their skilled hands into every instrument and genre, seamlessly blending Americana roots rock, R & B, and traditional Spanish music into their massive songbook. In support of The Long Goodbye, an independent collection of rare and unreleased works, the Dos Lobos strip their catalog down to its birthday suit in an unvarnished performance full of whimsy, origin stories, and honeycomb harmonies. Starting the show, fellow troubadours David Greenberger and Paul Cebar charm with smoky tales of Midwestern living, apple blossoms, and runaway cheese wheels.
A five-minute drive from downtown, Uptown’s public spaces entice visitors with bike paths, sculpture gardens, and locals blasting impressions of Björk's pet swan over a megaphone. Nearby, rented canoes crisscross Lake Calhoun’s calm waters, and restaurants serve eclectic cuisines from fresh seafood to Japanese cuisine on outdoor patios. Visitors to Uptown can feast on American fare at restaurants such as Primebar, which serves up sandwiches, steak, and seafood with largely local brews; The Herkimer Pub & Brewery in Lyn-Lake, known for its small batches of craft beer; and the Uptown Cafeteria, offering trendy contemporary meals. Evenings out at Bar Louie tempt guests with martinis, margaritas, and other cocktails accompanied by pub food, and Chino Latino delights palettes with dishes small and large, spicy and explosive. Wayward mermaids dining at Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar can enjoy a feast fit for the sea with raw, grilled, and baked items, or step on shore and visit moto-i in Lyn-Lake to sample the food you’d find on Japanese streets.