Fine Arts Theatres? four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, The Fine Arts Theatres hosts special independent screenings throughout the year including the Kansas International Film Festival (Oct. 10-16th) that features 55 films in 7 days and the Latin American Film Festival every September.
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.
Each of Cinetopia's locations adds a touch of luxury to the movie-watching experience, accenting stunning, lifelike projections of blockbusters with fine wine, a selection of local microbrews, fresh market-to-table cuisine, and plush, cozy seats.
At the newest Overland Park location, movies in the GXL theater light up a 75-foot wide, super-high-definition screen equipped with high-tech sound systems like Dolby Atmos and Meyer EXP. Up to 300 guests fully recline in its plush, oversized seats, which are steeply banked to maximize visibility. The living-room theater cultivates a more intimate atmosphere with full restaurant service and comfy leather seats, while the new movie parlor imitates a celebrity home screening room with its cozy "cuddle couches" and its top-of-the-line digital 7.1-channel surround sound. 18 LED screens dance with themed animations to complete the immersive experience.
Patrons can order food made fresh in Vinotopia and wine from waiters and dine during their movies. Viewers can also eat before or after in the on-site restaurants, where live musicians often serenade diners on weekends with tunes such as "I Love You Just The Way You Are (Full of Food)."
For the late Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes, the most important things in life were science and the arts. The good doctor wanted to share this devotion with the Indianapolis community, so he devised and funded Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Completed in 1963, the hall shares Butler's gorgeous aesthetic with its arching stone façade and lush crimson interior, which has room for over 2,000 patrons. In addition to major touring productions and public speakers, Clowes Memorial Hall is also the home of the Indianapolis Opera, the Butler Ballet, and the Indy 500.
From June to November each year, a cast of actors, directors, and designers descends upon Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre to produce eight celebrated shows, many along the lines of To Kill A Mockingbird and The Music Man. The cozy, unassuming theater has been welcoming performers for more than 50 years, staging renowned productions and Broadway plays to the delight of theater fans and comforters that aspire to be stage curtains.