One of the Science Museum of Virginia’s current exhibits includes a few basketball players—just don’t expect LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. These basketball players are two rats, playing a live one-on-one game to demonstrate operant and classical conditioning. Throughout the three-story museum, more hands-on examples of science await at five permanent exhibits. Inspect a rock from the moon, explore a life-size space capsule, and generate energy by pedaling a stationary bike. Kids can even build their own playground with materials such as mats and foam blocks.
Inside the IMAX Dome, a screen 10 times the size of a typical 35 mm screen shows a wide range of educational films. Outside the museum, plants in the BayScapes Garden thrive without pesticide, fertilizer, or the encouragement of a motivational speaker, and an onsite greenhouse offers free planting areas for visitors to contribute greenery and learn about sustainable farming.
At CinéBistro, a luxurious dining theater, patrons settle into wide cushioned seats as they watch the latest action flicks and comedies flicker on the silver screen. Viewing companions alternate drawing buttery, salty puffed maize out of a shared tub of popcorn, hoping to find Gene Hackman's golden business card buried somewhere inside. Although not included with this Groupon, CinéBistro serves seated cinema aficionados a wide menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts to complement their popcorn, from a caesar salad for a light meal ($10.75) to a pan-seared Atlantic salmon cooked to order ($19.50). Dessert indulgences include a deconstructed peanut-butter pie ($8), and liquid indulgences proffer a wine list full of international vintages to guzzle during foreign movies, as well as domestic and imported beers, martinis, and cocktails.
Elegantly lit and plushly upholstered, The Byrd Theatre looks much the same as it did on its opening day in 1928—and sounds much the same, too, thanks to its centerpiece, the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Every Saturday night, resident organist Bob Gulledge takes his seat at the orchestra-pit console and might preface the evening's second-run screening of a blockbuster film with selections from Phantom of the Opera or a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The antique pipes and bells—which occupy four rooms above the stage—roar back to life with a candy-colored sonority that triggers nostalgia and wakes up any vaudeville performers napping inside.
Since 2007, The Byrd Theatre Foundation has helped facilitate the restoration and preservation of the 1,300-seat auditorium and its organ, making sure it stays State and National Historic Landmark it is today. The Byrd Theatre supplements regular screenings with year-round events, ranging from film and comedy festivals to public-arts forums.
Studio owner Khalima?s knack for putting others at ease helps her students to drop their inhibitions in favor of fun, sensual choreography. Khalima and her highly trained staff host seminars in several styles, ranging from classic and tribal to improvisational fusion. They showcase their steps on a sprung wood floor, twirling in front of a mirrored wall to better examine their form and check to see if their navels are still fastened. Whether they are hosting a weekly series, a special workshop, or a private party, the teachers preserve a welcoming atmosphere for guests of all ages and abilities.
ComedySportz Improv Theater's best known for its resident troupe of comedians, called The Playerz. They comprise two teams?the Richmond Legends and the Virginia Hams?who duke it out onstage in improv battles for audience laughs and official points. Their duels, though colorful, remain all-ages friendly, and the wide range of appeal has consistently landed them on Style Weekly's Best of Richmond lists.
Aside from performances, however, they also hold camps and workshops to help new improvisers discover a love for made-up scenes and silly songs. They generally start kids off with one-week camps that meet Tuesday - Friday and culminate in a performance for family and friends. Students who are interested can then pursue a more in-depth education in the Intro to Improv Training Series, which teaches techniques for finding a story, developing characters, and disabling your ability to memorize things. Ultimately, improvisers enter the ComedySportz leagues, where they engage in casual, supportive ComedySportz shows with friends and bring smiles to faces.
Sinking into the luxury stadium seats, patrons at Muvico Rosemont 18 enjoy the latest blockbusters in crystal-clear Sony 4K digital projection. Huge armrests in the Premier section leave room for midmovie dining and pre-movie thumb wars. Muvico also shows golden oldies in addition to new releases, and hosts live events, such as live comedy, sporting events, and beer and wine tastings.