Facilitating the fan-delighting collision of comic-book universes and intergalactic heroes, Wizard World organizes Comic Cons and pop-culture conventions across the continent. At each event, stars from the silver screen set down roots in booths across the convention floor, wielding markers for autographs and their photo-op-ready smiles. Past guests have run the gamut from William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and the cast of AMC?s The Walking Dead. Away from the crowds, stars also participate in talks and Q&A panels as part of the event?s programming. Along with beloved actors, Wizard World?s conventions grant guests a chance to interact with writers and artists as well as partake in activities such as gaming tournaments and costume contests.
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.
Sweating is a great way to meet new people, and Sports Monster has proved that since it started its first adult league in 1994. With year-round offerings that include volleyball, kickball, soccer, bowling, and other sports, interested kickers, hitters, and dribblers can sign up solo or with a fully formed team of friends or coworkers. Games take place all around the St. Louis area. With many nights available, participants can choose a time and location that best suits them. Annual members of Sports Monster leagues get an additional perk: free online dating opportunities with other league members, the only facet of the experience that doesn’t offer any season-end trophies.
Possibly the only National Football Conference team to escape the treacherous Oregon Trail unscathed, the St. Louis Rams boast dazzling versatility and hard-hitting prowess while mesmerizing fans like a time-lapse video of a beautiful caterpillar’s transformation into a delicate hummingbird. With a seating capacity of approximately 66,000 fans, the Edward Jones Dome offers a convenient indoor climate and 73,000 square feet of AstroTurf maintained by a herd of electric sheep that only dreams about itself. This year, the Rams are led by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford–the 2010 NFL Draft’s first overall pick–and a young core of supporting players that is buttressed by two-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson.
A longtime tennis player, Mark Platt began teaching the sport as soon as he graduated from high school. However, after a brief period of instructing at local country clubs, he realized that his heart wasn’t in the work. The country clubs catered to intermediate and advanced players, and Mark wanted to teach beginners. In the absence of a satisfactory beginning tennis program in the area, he founded Mark Platt’s Beginner’s World Tennis in 1984.
As a tennis instructor, Mark has won numerous awards from such prestigious publications as Tennis Pro and Tennis Industry, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Specifically geared toward beginners, his program combines lessons with special events including camps, leagues, and parties designed to encourage socializing—so far, his program has spawned 53 marriages. He and his small staff have big plans for the beginning tennis world; this year alone, they expect to introduce 10,000 adults, children, and marionettes to the sport.