With an ambitious repertoire that mixes ancient classics with groundbreaking new plays, Broken Gears Project Theatre puts on socially conscious spectacles aimed at challenging both spectator and performer. Creditors, on view through March 3, is a darkly comic tale of how old debts can reopen old wounds. Running March 17–26, The Magadalen Whitewash explores a dark chapter in Irish history when women were forced into abusive convents for becoming pregnant outside of marriage. Between April 21 and May 8, players don masks for a take on Sophocles' ancient Greek melodrama Oedipus The King, but utilize multimedia techniques to give it a decidedly modern feel. Finally, La Mano (The Hand) presents a magical realist fable about a rich man that buys a hand on the black market, and the original owner who wants it back, from June 6–26.
Since 1986 VideoFest has specialized in fiercely independent, imaginative, unusual, provocative and sometimes description-defying electronic media. VideoFest is a bastion of true independent media, offering viewpoints and voices and visual styles that don't always have expression in more mainstream festivals.
Movie Tavern transfixes one's taste buds and imagination by blending all-digital cinema with premium seating and sit-down dining. Moviegoers are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to showtime, so that they can leisurely peruse an extensive menu of chef-inspired American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. Nimble and unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. At select locations, guests can opt to sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the bar before heading in to see a show. Audiences get to enjoy first-run films every week, retro cinema every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and breakfast food paired with early morning movies on Saturday and Sunday. While geared toward adults, the family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies along with film-inspired dishes. Guests can head to the bar or straight to the movie without ordering food, giving them some latitude in shaping their night out.
Additionally, Movie Tavern treats audiences to myriad benefits with their membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free movie ticket on the spot and one free ticket every year on their birthday, as well as invites to screenings and other special events.
From its first days as a converted parking garage to its time as a host for Quentin Tarantino's five-day movie marathons, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its atypical auditoriums. The theaters subvert the industry standard by offering locally brewed beer and fine wines, a rotating menu of handcrafted snacks and desserts, and an advertisement-free experience. A long table stretches in front of every row of seats, enabling waiters to unobtrusively pick up written food orders throughout the night.
An even more refreshing break from the standard moviegoing experience is the strict no-talking, no-texting policy enforced by Alamo Drafthouse staff and an enormous shepherd's crook—with a few notable exceptions. For example, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and appearances by actors, directors, and other film celebrities append screenings with in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have helped build Alamo Drafthouse's reputation among cinephiles across the country, leading to nods from Entertainment Weekly, which called it “one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,” and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."
Alamo Drafthouse's schedule balances first-run blockbusters with silver-screen classics, projecting them in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Surround sound submerges audiences in the cinematic landscape, whether they're seated in one of the intimate theaters reserved for indie screenings or the more expansive spaces afforded to Hollywood epics.
Starplex Cinemas Forney Stadium 12 adds a little extra shine to every screening with modern technology and screening rooms. Viewers are thrust right into the action of the film by 3-D projectors. Plush chairs—stacked stadium style—envelope audience members in comfort while also providing them with the unobstructed sightline required to see every production assistant’s name in the credits. Other welcome amenities include wall-to-wall screens, digital surround sound and projectors, and a concession stand that serves the theater’s signature $1 hot dogs.
Like a rift in the space-time continuum, the brand-new Venetian Cinemas transports its clientele simultaneously to the past and the future. With architecture that pays homage to the ancient Venetians and Romans, the façade beckons passersby with towering cast-stone columns, enticing them through the doors and into the lobby, where vaulted hallways and more columns with Corinthian capitals sweep them along to the auditoriums. Four screens engross the eyes and ears while more than 800 stuffed leather seats cradle the body, and cuisine from the cinemas' restaurant delights the remaining senses for a complete entertainment experience akin to the famous Roman-gladiator chili cook-offs.
In front of the viewers, granite countertops hold a service button that, when pressed, beckons servers to take orders from the menu. Substantial gourmet offerings such as pizza topped with fresh mozzarella or tacos dressed with green-chili-roasted pork top plates and ready stomachs for belly laughs. While still in their seats, their eyes drawn to the on-screen drama on the wall-to-wall curved screens and their ears bathed in the waves of a 40,000-watt sound system, viewers can order cocktails, microbrews, or margaritas from a fully stocked bar. After the movie, staff members clean up, letting patrons leave their glasses, plates, and ketchup-scrawled plot summaries behind.