First-run movies, including 3-D and family films, light up the screens at Republic Theatre Group, LLC's six locations in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Concession stands attract nostrils and stomachs alike with fragrant popcorn, taste-bud-tickling candy, and canteens of soda.
McSwain's Smokehouse gathers a medley of classic recipes from the country's most respected barbecuing regions—Texas, Memphis, the Carolinas, and Kansas City. Hickory smokers cook bacon-wrapped ribs, polish sausages, and slow-smoked beef brisket. In addition to these, chefs build more than a dozen sandwiches, including the McSwain burger topped with shaved brisket, barbecue sauce, and cole slaw. Though the restaurant's food spans different parts of the country, its drink list tends to celebrate Indiana, with a variety of locally brewed beers available in the outdoor beer garden.
The neon glow of televisions and beer signs makes up most of the light inside Hoopsters Sports Bar & Grill. The space has sheltered diners from the light of day since 1994, keeping the bar dimmed to movie-theater levels to help diners enjoy the technicolor action of their favorite sports teams. When televised competition fails to entertain, the staff instead augments their selection of burgers and sandwiches with Tuesday-night trivia contests, Friday-night karaoke, and Saturday-night DJ-driven dance parties. Sunday even has a special designation as the staff flips over all channels to view NASCAR contests and speaks only in motor sounds.
Whether you're a vino virgin or wine aficionado, one of Vintage's 100 wines is sure to tickle your tongue and glamorize your gullet. Sixty-five grapen goodnesses are available by the glass, including the Sicilian Arnacio Nero D'Avola ($5) and the South African Jam Jar 2009 Sweet Shiraz ($6). Taste three wines at once during a flight such as the Chardonnay flight, which includes wines from Sonoma, South Africa, and the Central Coast of California ($12). To complement the grape blood, there’s small plates ($4 and up) such as pan seared goat cheese cakes with pear jam and entrees ($14 and up) like the herb gnocchi with butternut squash and sage brown butter. Or, combine one of more than 25 beer selections with pizza ($9 and up) made on Vintage's house-made dough.
Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis in White River State Park, the Indiana State Museum showcases the state’s art, science and cultural history from the prehistoric era to now. The museum’s permanent collection tells Indiana’s story, from glaciers to the first settlers, with a Native American exhibit that highlights the various cultures of local and regional tribes. The first floor showcases the state’s natural history while the second floor has its cultural history, with exhibits like The Ancient Seas, Birth of the Earth, Crossroads of America and Global Indiana. Each year, several traveling exhibits pass through the museum, allowing visitors to see something new with each trip. During Christmastime every year, part of the museum’s third floor transforms into Santa’s home, and children can ride the Santa Claus Express train. The museum also contains an IMAX theater, showing documentaries and family-friendly movies.
It seems fitting for the Indiana Repertory Theatre to be housed in such a dramatically beautiful 1927 multi-story concrete building. With its white terra cotta façade, emphasized by the Spanish-baroque style triangular curved arch, the building draws attention to the theatre troupe’s glowing marquee in downtown Indianapolis. Inside, the cadre of actors pull crowds in further, showcasing classic productions and newer works with seeming ease. A marble-floored grand lobby welcomes in theatergoers looking to catch one of their nine annual productions, while the sweeping staircase shows mezzanine level patrons to their plush seats. The not-for-profit Indiana Repertory Theatre, founded in 1972, is the only League of Resident Theatres entity in Indiana, sporting more than 100 seasonal and full-time staff.