Belting out karaoke can be a scary prospect for some, but Stage 7 offers a remedy for this particular brand of stage fright. Inside their private karaoke rooms, groups of three to 30 can sing alongside their friends, secure in the knowledge that they will not be mocked by strangers or have their uvula photographed without their consent. Rooms of varying sizes are furnished with sofas and tables so visitors can relax and socialize while they choose from a selection of more than 7,000 English-language songs?which range from classic rock to Top 40?as well as thousands more in Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Filipino. Waitresses ferry snacks and drinks to each room, keeping singing pipes well-oiled with sake, soju, domestic beers, and imports such as Tsingtao and Asahi.
An endless amount of stories flicker across the screen at these cinemas, which offer stadium seating and digital sound. The theater plays films chosen from Hollywood’s newest releases, featuring stars just plucked from the vines where they grow in the California hills. Between whispered critiques of each preview, audience members can wash down fluffy kernels of popcorn with soda from the concession stand. The theater also opens its doors for birthday parties and large private screenings for up to 300 guests.
University of Florida fans tuck into booths, sit along the bar, and lean across a blue-felt pool table while they enjoy the lively atmosphere and sports action at Gator Tales Sports Bar. The kitchen sates patrons with a long list of edibles, and bartenders keep whistles whetted and in tune with cool drafts of Miller Lite and Amber Bock. Ceiling fans manufacture breezes on the outdoor tiki bar, surrounded by key-lime-green walls and twin flat-screen TVs, and a mounted gator head smiles above the bar inside.
Mary Hencher and her team of certified instructors lead Dance Trance classes that set high-energy dance moves to upbeat music. Because the classes emphasize the energy of the music, instructors don’t shout out commands; instead, they use a series of hand gestures and intuitive, easy-to-follow dance moves to guide students through the classes.
Each year, the Cinema Verde festival celebrates environmentally conscious films and art. Visitors flock to the four-day event to watch more than 30 films on issues such as water access, waste disposal, and sustainable practices. The festival also features live music, art exhibits, and eco-tours that highlight the lush, natural environment of north central Florida.