At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
Founded and exclusively run by practicing theater artists, the Kansas City Actors Theatre brings peerless artistry to carefully curated seasons of theatrical classics. Eschewing such crutches as flashy effects, ornate costumes, and post-show hypnotists that tell the audience they enjoyed themselves, the Theatre relies foremost on the talent of its actors to bring plays to life.
Sponsored by the ACF Kansas City Chef’s Association, the annual Best of Kansas City Chefs benefit lets guests meet and taste the signature dishes of the area's best culinary masterminds. This year’s food venues—which range from Jon Russell’s Barbeque to the Dark Horse Distillery—satisfy appetites with samples from some of Kansas City’s best restaurants, and pairs of celebrity chefs—including Kevin Gillespie from Bravo’s Top Chef and multiple James Beard nominee Colby Garrelts of bluestem Restaurant—throw down in epic duels between skillets. During the three-hour event, attendees may also participate in live and silent auctions for a chance to win a BeefEater two-burner grill from event sponsor Smoke 'n' Fire—a prize valued at $800.
As patrons cheer for their favorite teams shown on The Landing?s many high-definition monitors, the chefs craft pub classics to help fans celebrate victories and overcome defeats. They smother fries in queso and house-made chili as well as toss award-winning wings in sauce. Local and national musicians fill the pub with rocking tunes on weekends, but even weekday nights feel festive with events such as trivia and poker. Along with a main bar, The Landing accommodates guests with an open-air patio and private spaces that hold up to 40 diners each.
Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet holds rank amongst the top ballet institutions in the U.S. At its two locations?including one at the newly renovated Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity?the company divides its services between two divisions. On the Academy side, more than 20 instructors utilize their varied performing backgrounds to school aspiring professionals in dance, beginning with children ages 3 and up.
But you don?t have to yearn for the spotlight to tap into Kansas City Ballet?s wisdom. For recreational steppers, or those simply hoping to make trips to the grocery store more interesting by pirouetting down the aisles, the company also features a Studio division aimed at dancers of all ages and abilities. There, fitness and fun get blended into a schedule of classes that includes Zumba, flamenco, and jazz, as well as Pilates, yoga, and boot camp-style offerings.
You don?t have to book a room at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel At Crown Center to enjoy the gastropub grub and libations at Spectators Restaurant & Bar. Tucked into the hotel?s second floor, the eatery treats both hotel guests and the general public to executive chef Frank Marciniak?s creations. He and his kitchen team craft pan-seared rainbow trout, pork wings, and beer-battered fish and chips. And on special occasions like Father?s Day, Marciniak celebrates with special dishes, such as an espresso-encrusted duck served with raspberry sauce and horseradish mashed potatoes. A small fleet of TVs at the bar plays the latest sporting events so people can cheer for their favorite commercials in between bites. Parking is validated for free for all Spectator's guests.