The DJ is spinning hits, the MC is keeping the fun flowing smoothly, and the dance floor is packed, all in a room decked out with billowing fabric, crystal chandeliers, and dramatic lighting. Guests standing in the photo-booth line gaze at video screens, or scope out a spot on comfy mod lounge furniture. The scene isn't a hip nightclub—it could be any event managed by Elevated Event Design. The company aims to make parties as fun to throw as they are to attend by providing a comprehensive bundle of services under one roof. Opportunities for customization abound, whether hosts are selecting a set from a music library of 150,000 songs, designing a monogram for the center of a portable dance floor, or deciding whether there's any risk of guests mistaking Chinese lanterns for piñatas.
A job in corporate finance spurred Joe Mulvey to start his own business?one that would allow him to create a comfortable environment for both employees and clients. So in 1986 he opened the doors to Classic Media Productions, Inc. and has been creating and transferring film and media ever since.
Beginning with duplication services for companies such as Frito Lay, Classic Media?s techniques have evolved over the years, from creating web-based content to transferring recordings from antiquated hardware onto up-to-date formats, such as DVD and Blu-ray. Aside from transferring existing film, Joe and his staff also create tender memorial photo montages and videos in honor of loved ones or special events, elegantly capturing a newlywed couple?s first kiss with each other and then their ensuing kisses with the ice sculpture.
Just through the front door of Silk Roses Salon Spa, a huge, hand-painted rose blossoms on the wall?an explosion of color against the white background lit by the sun streaming through the window. The vibrant crimson of that rose sets the tone the entire space, instilling its passionate hues in the paint and furniture and?at least figuratively?the stylists and aestheticians. Specializing in nail services, massage, and skin treatments, the staff relies on professional grade products such as Remy Laure and G.M. Collin to keep clients looking their best. Services take place either in the open salon amid friendly conversation or within private massage rooms where clients can relax knowing that no one can hear them purr and discover they're a cat.
A nonprofit theater helmed by passionate cinephiles, Facets Cinematheque instills a love of film in its youngest moviegoers through its groundbreaking children's programs. Since establishing their first children's film exhibition series in 1975, the theater's stewards have branched out into education and outreach, introducing students to positive films and the inspiring stories behind them through channels including family film events, in-school screenings, and the Facets Kids Film Camp. They also oversee the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, which presents hundreds of films from around the globe during its annual autumn run. Though the festival caters to its smallest attendees, its scope is impressively large; welcoming over 20,000 attendees each year, the festival often offers the first screenings of award-winning fare, such as recent Academy Award winner The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
In addition to their children's programming, the theater also lights up its silver screen with indie films, award winners, foreign flicks, and documentaries. Celluloid-caretakers curate a collection of reels that seldom see screenings elsewhere in Chicago, frequently enjoying their city debut within the intimate 125-seat theater. Occasionally, production-team members or film experts join audiences immediately following the show for Q&A sessions—known as film dialogues—taking questions, exploring themes, and providing tips for removing stubborn popcorn kernels from teeth. Upcoming films can be found on Facets’ website.
Eyeballs absorb moving pictures thanks to the dual capabilities of Facets’ projection system, which handles digital and 35 mm films with equal aplomb. While the ephemeral stories fill brains with new ideas, soda and popcorn—acquirable at the old-fashioned concession stand—fill mouths with flavors that have defined every classic moviegoing experience since Orson Welles first invented the snack.
Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.