During Reel Babies movie showings, theatres transform into child-friendly arenas where new parents can enjoy recent releases while tending to tykes. Empire Theatres keeps the auditorium lights dim and lowers the volume on new films such as Our Idiot Brother, One Day, and The Debt, ensuring an environment conducive to child-care. Parents can transport their mini-me to the auditorium's "exersaucer", baby swing, and play mat, allowing young minds to expend energy otherwise spent solving Fermat's Last Theorem. Additionally, a changing table and bottle warmer ensures parents can remain in the theatre for all reunion scenes between protagonists and their coffee makers.
CentreStage Theatre showcases local talent in musicals, comedies, and dramas produced entirely by volunteer artists. The amateur thespians dedicate themselves to exploring works by Canadian wordsmiths as well as internationally acclaimed shows. Upcoming productions include theatrical fare designed to induce toe tapping, tug at heartstrings, tickle funny bones, and sweet-talk pancreases. Performers tread the boards at CentreStage's newfound brickfront venue, which seats 100 in its stadium-style theatre. The site also boasts a wheelchair-accessible entrance and ample parking for cars and airships.
Mixing modern aesthetics with classical form, BJM Danse crafts riveting pieces, choreographed by some of the preeminent names in contemporary dance. Patrons can marvel at muscular dance moves and impress past versions of themselves at time travelling dinner parties by witnessing the world premiere of BJM guest choreographer Cayetano Soto's Fuel. Rossini Cards sets the sumptuous, kinetic choreography of Italian ballet director Mauro Bigonzetti to the familiar, operatic tunes of Rossini. The Rebecca Cohn Auditorium provides ample space for dancers to undertake rhythmic feats, with balcony seating proffering clear views of the stage.
Since its first year more than 25 years ago, Greek Fest has immersed attendees in Greek culture and culinary tradition with a four-day indoor and outdoor festival. Each day, visitors can explore a cultural exhibition spanning traditional crafts, art replicas, and religious artefacts; guided tours roam within the local Byzantine Greek Orthodox church to highlight colourful iconography and ornate interior architecture. A massive white-tented dome hosts live music played on painted mandolins while dance troupes perform regional dances. Children can work out extra adrenalin in a kids' area, where coaches supervise soccer-training zones to keep them away from wild vuvuzelas. A contest running throughout the festival can award two participants with a trip to Greece, allowing them to further explore Greek culture.
Foodies can placate their palates with a range of authentic Greek dishes, assembled from the grill and formed into plates of souvlaki, chicken-filled pitas, and beef donair kebabs. Mythologists can also explore the obsessions of Dionysus at a Greek wine tasting led by local sommeliers Costa Elles.
Named Best Martini and Best Cocktail by the Coast, Bitter End Martini Bar & Restaurant lives up to its name by doling out sumptuous edibles and extravagant cocktails into the wee hours of the night. Challenge barkeeps on the spot to concoct a favourite drink, an unlisted spirit, or a dove from behind a scarf to prove the depth of his or her mixology knowledge. Swirl the frothy Caramel Apple martini ($10), the snappy Envy martini ($10), or the sour I've Got a Secretini ($10) while you thoughtfully appraise the bold paintings on display, portraying European architecture, photogenic cows, and matching hand models.
In the years since its 1938 construction, the Chester Playhouse has seen use as a movie theatre, live performance space, and even the home of a puppet theatre company. The venue grew in size as it bounced between owners and occupants, but it maintains the intimate feel of its community roots, and almost none of the feral marionettes. The cheery blue building, resembling a beach house with its wide outer balcony and strand of flags along its awning, hosts professional productions and musicians throughout the year, along with playing host to after school programs and summer theatre workshops.