Dipson Theatres celebrates a reputation as a regional movie institution with a network of 9 locations lighting 46 silver screens across Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Though the company now spreads across the northeast United States, it began in the small city of Batavia, NY, in 1939?a time when movies were called ?picture shows,? Roosevelt was in the White House, and everybody could only see in black and white. Today that tradition underlies the cinematic experience as patrons chomp popcorn and sip sodas, marveling at modern 3-D visual adventures, summer action movies, family-friendly features, or even indie art flicks and footage from world-renowned opera performances.
The Industrial Revolution's innovation and muscle come to life during cruises aboard the "Chautauqua Belle," a historic open-air steamboat. The eponymous vessel glides across the calm surface of Chautauqua Lake as guides educate guests of all ages on the lake's colorful history. Guests can enjoy snacks and libations from the full-service bar as they glimpse picturesque beaches and lush forests during dinner, fireworks, and private charters or narrated history tours.
The beautiful and informative tours take place in association with the Chautauqua Institution, a historical society located in an even more historical building. Formerly known as the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, the society first perched itself on the edge of the lake in 1874, and by 1880 was a nationally recognized forum where intellectuals discussed global politics, scientific developments, the arts, and favorite fishing holes. The name may have changed, but the Chautauqua Institution carries on that spirit of inquisitiveness and community development today in educational programs, artists' outreach, and religious services.
TJ's Dinner Theatre serves up classic American food and entertainment in a casual setting. Cooks prepare burgers, pizzas, and giant soft pretzels while patrons relax and watch movies. Though the theater opened in its current location in February 2013, its centerpiece is much older: "Shirley," the projector that casts movies onto the big screen, has been in use since 1949, reports metroWNY.
Chefs at Toro Tapas Bar infuse their genre-defying tapas with creative fusion cuisine such as bison quesadillas and saffron lobster. Waiters transport small- to medium-size plates to glossy red tables, where diners share bites family style, as mixologists behind a dramatically backlit bar fill goblets with more than 100 wines. High ceilings with exposed girders soar above the space, and terra cotta walls bear abstract paintings that, if stared at long enough, reveal a 3D image of which diner will pick up the bill.
It's fitting that Alleyway Theatre makes its home in a renovated bus depot—the venue is a destination for local talent. The company focuses on Buffalo artists, frequently staging world premieres and fostering the work of homegrown playwrights. Freshly penned plays and acclaimed shorts entertain audiences in the historic venue, which sports the curved walls, stainless steel trimmings, and distinctive mustache of the Art Moderne architectural style.