North Shore Towers Cinema projects an average of five first-run films daily across its spacious screen. Moviegoers sit back and relax in comfortable seating to watch as Hollywood megastars fall in love with comegastars, battle aliens, or try to understand the physics of cotton candy. With two admissions, the ticketholder can choose any movie and bring a date, a friend, or a Teddy Ruxpin with the batteries removed. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase in the theater’s polite vending machines.
At Movie World Cinemas, a recently added café draws in early arrivers with sandwiches and fresh cappuccinos. Patrons can linger there before heading to one of seven handsome screening chambers with projection capacity for traditional film and 3-D movies. Once inside, guests recline on shiny, new seats styled by Mobiliario Seating. Each throne includes cushy upholstery, a built-in cup holder, and ergonomically engineered lumbar support. Newly installed digital projectors show crystal-clear images while digital surround-sound speakers shake seats with the screeches of onscreen car chases and the weeping of James Bond’s dry cleaner. In the large main lobby, the digital burble of a small arcade stirs air scented heavily by sunshine-hued popcorn. The staff has spent the past few years working on a series of updates and improvements, and the movie palace regularly hosts special events and children’s parties.
During Spencers Theatre of Illusion performances, Kevin and Cindy Spencer, recipients of the International Magicians Society Merlin Award, baffle audiences with magic and showmanship. The husband-and-wife illusionists put on a comedic and suspenseful spectacle that peaks with perplexing stunts, including extravagant phantasms of high-tech special effects and eye-catching sets. The Spencers work with industry leaders to bring audiences original illusions that cannot be seen anywhere else, including the most magical place on Earth, the inside of a vending machine.
While living the life of a peripatetic juggling duo in 1970s Europe, Paul Binder and Michael Christensen had a dream: a non-profit circus that would combine community outreach with shows by the world’s best performers. Today a rotating cast of acrobats, clowns, and daredevils tour with a menagerie of exotic animals. Led by animal trainer Jenny Vidbel. The circus's ponies, Arabian horses, and dogs perform sprightly routines, learned under humane training regimens based on positive reinforcement. Shows take place under the big top, custom designed so that every seat is within 50 feet of the ring. The tent is also engineered to keep showgoers comfortable with a raisable cupola that allows warm air to escape as guests relax on comfy cushions that keep incubating eggs from cracking in back pockets.
With more than 100 years of history behind it, the St. John's University athletics department has earned the respect of rival programs in a number of sports. The past century has seen the St. John's men's basketball team rack up the seventh-most victories in the NCAA, sending 60 players to the pros in the process. As a testament to its success, the basketball team now plays most of its home games at Madison Square Garden, world-famous for its bewildering lack of plantlife. The school has also had success in baseball and soccer, making six College World Series appearances and taking home the NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship in 1996.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites—including three female players—takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard TNT sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker Quake, whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 Too Tall and 7-foot-4 Stretch, the team’s tallest member.
During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters’ extensive travels haven’t gone unnoticed: they’re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.