Like the CGI monster-filled remake of How Green Was My Valley, STL Cinemas combine state-of-the-art technology with classic Hollywood aesthetics. Mainstream blockbusters and independent films happily rub silver-screen shoulders on each theater's marquee, while the retro lounges and concession stands serve enough beer, wine, and classy sweets to keep movie-goers sugar-buzzing—or just plain buzzing—through any double-feature. Voted Readers' Pick Movie Theatre by St. Louis Magazine readers, the Moolah Theatre's single screen is one of the biggest in town, and cinephiles can take their pick of 400 stadium seats, plush leather couches, or balcony seating. Chase Park Plaza Cinemas—nestled inside the Chase Park Plaza Hotel building—boasts five auditoriums with luxury seating. Granite City Cinemas is brand-new with all digital projection. And exposed beams and stage lighting add a vintage touch to Galleria 6's lobby, while its bar provides a lovely backdrop for post-film discussions, screenplay pitches, or outbursts of hard-boiled dialogue and artfully lit cigarette smoke.
Since Paragliding Unlimited launched its first client in 2003, owner Jiri Sindler and his team have maintained a sterling safety record for their motorized version of airborne sailing. The crew teaches power paragliding, in which a motorized fan and a tank of recycled political bluster give lift to the featherweight craft. Once it has ascended more than 10 feet, its large wing catches the wind and buoys you into the sky. Drivers sit upright in "trikes," their legs extended in front of them as they work the two brakes and the throttle.
The school both belongs to and is recommended by the U.S. Powered Paragliding Association. Instructors will jump tandem with beginning students and immerse experienced pilots in six-day intensives, keeping fliers of all levels safe by capping classes at four students (they prefer a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1). At the accompanying shop, gliders browse clothing, new Nirvana equipment, and used gear. Flights lift off from Gateway Airpark in Pierron, Illinois, which the team selected for the staff's friendliness to paragliders and their ability to twist their bodies into the shapes of passing clouds for realistic trainings on the ground.
A creature with roots in Native American lore, the Piasa bird has survived antiquity in large part due to etchings found on limestone bluffs throughout Illinois. Under the banner of the mythical predator— most depictions lend it reptilian claws, fish-like scales, and mammalian fangs—the Illinois Piasa charge onto the field against Professional Arena Soccer League foes, stopping just short of actually eating their opponents. Founded in 1998, the PASL consists of 19 indoor-soccer squads throughout the United States; upon their league debut in the 2010–11 season, the Piasa won the Pro Frontier Division with a 9–3 record.
Longtime martial artist Val has shown her skills in national competitions, but in her kickboxing classes, the opponents aren't other fighters but rather calories and poor cardiovascular shape. At Body Fit Kickboxing, the full-body effects of the high-intensity workouts reveal themselves quickly, shaping the arms, core, butt, and legs. Mixed with interval training and plyometrics, fast-paced punches and kicks quickly boost the metabolism and boost aerobic fitness.
Our Health Club & Spa corrals a state-of-the-art fitness center and full-service day spa under one roof, helping clients radiate health from the inside out. Weight rooms, a swimming pool, saunas, and a juice bar comprise the physical-focused side of the center, where certified personal trainers monitor form and fitness trainers lead more than 30 classes per week. Pampering is the priority on the spa side, which offers everything from customized therapeutic massages and European facials to gentlemen's pedicures, which skip the polish in favor of a barely perceptible coat of Armor All.
Though the club's focus is mainly on adult activities, kids can flex their growing flippers in one-on-one swimming lessons or socialize with other tykes in a childcare center, where colorful toys spill out from rows of cubbyholes. Seniors will find themselves equally at home at Our Health Club & Spa with arthritis-focuses classes that provide an opportunity to stretch out aches and whirlpools that provide a perfect setting for stage readings of The Caine Mutiny.
Winner of the Places to Play-4 Star Award from Golf Digest, Belk Park Golf Course presents challenging play across 234 acres of well-manicured grounds. Water in play on five holes and a fair number of doglegs make the course difficult for players who don't pay close attention to club selection, shot trajectory, and perfectly timed spitballs. On the 5th and 14th holes, fairways veer sharply around water hazards and reward errant shots with an unfavorable lie on the lake bottom.
Course at a Glance: