A union of the local organizations U Film Society and Oak Street Arts, the nonprofit Film Society of Minneapolis/Saint Paul brings an eclectic sampling of international cinema to its members and to the public at its yearly international film festival. The society's crew of film enthusiasts carefully curates a roster of classic, modern, foreign, and locally produced movies to showcase. They screen each year's lineup amid the cushy confines of the St. Anthony Main Theatre, the society's headquarters and site of the festival, which boasts around 400 different films each year and generally draws in more than 100,000 viewers. They further enlighten moviegoers by recruiting industry experts for informative panel discussions, educational events, and tips on how to feed popcorn to onscreen characters.
A modern take on the classic movie-going experience, ShowPlace Icon Theatre takes the legwork out of dinner and a movie by pairing comfortable sophisticated theaters with upscale, on-location dining, and advanced reserved seating. With digital cinema projectors capable of displaying 35 trillion colors and premium digital surround-sound systems, each stadium-seated auditorium is equipped to showcase buzz-worthy films exactly as the director, assistant director, second-assistant director, and second second-assistant director intended. Patrons to the theater pick their viewing spots ahead of time, eliminating the usual frenzied, darkened search for ideal seating and guaranteeing guests find seats together.
With towering pillars and sweeping arches, the lobby at Paragon Chateau 14 resembles an official monument to the pleasures of moviegoing. Sony 4K HD digital projection systems flash current-run films onto each screen. In addition to a fully-stocked concession stand, the theater hosts The Lot, a lounge where moviegoers can order beer, wine, and soda served in hollowed-out Golden Globes and listen to live music.
A five-minute drive from downtown, Uptown’s public spaces entice visitors with bike paths, sculpture gardens, and locals blasting impressions of Björk's pet swan over a megaphone. Nearby, rented canoes crisscross Lake Calhoun’s calm waters, and restaurants serve eclectic cuisines from fresh seafood to Japanese cuisine on outdoor patios. Visitors to Uptown can feast on American fare at restaurants such as Primebar, which serves up sandwiches, steak, and seafood with largely local brews; The Herkimer Pub & Brewery in Lyn-Lake, known for its small batches of craft beer; and the Uptown Cafeteria, offering trendy contemporary meals. Evenings out at Bar Louie tempt guests with martinis, margaritas, and other cocktails accompanied by pub food, and Chino Latino delights palettes with dishes small and large, spicy and explosive. Wayward mermaids dining at Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar can enjoy a feast fit for the sea with raw, grilled, and baked items, or step on shore and visit moto-i in Lyn-Lake to sample the food you’d find on Japanese streets.
Ken Davenport, the producer of Altar Boyz, crafted My First Time from a collection of more than 40,000 first-hand stories of people's first sexual experiences. The stories were all submitted anonymously to a website in 1998 and were drawn from the fossilized depths of the pre-socially networked Internet, where MIDI files swooped over vast primordial lakes of raw HTML. The range of pathos for such an assemblage is easy to envision, with tales vacillating from the sweet and silly to the absurd and existentially horrifying. Four fully clothed actors weave the anecdotes together from fine, lacy yarns of minimally graphic language while sitting monologue-style atop stools on center stage. Over the course of 90 minutes and without intermission, the play cheekily reveals true stories from real people and the five W's of their first adult trials. The result is a play infinitely more compelling than alternative premises such as My Initial Sandwich or New Shoes: The Blister Stories.