At Showplex Cinemas, it’s the same scene every night. The lights dim, and the crowd quickly falls silent. After some song-and-dance from the concession stand and a few thrilling trailers, main attractions from Hollywood’s biggest movie makers flicker to life on screen. Thanks to Showplex’s screening systems, moviegoers in five states share in this immersive entertainment tradition, which is as American as the hot dogs they sell in the lobby. Recently under the new management of Starplex Cinemas, Showplex has lowered ticket prices and added more items to the concessions lineup. The theaters’ Facebook page increases the community aspect, helping moviegoers stay abreast of the newest releases as well as flashback screenings of classic flicks.
As a nonprofit, art-house movie theater, Circle Cinema screens documentaries, independent films, and foreign films in an effort to deepen Tulsa’s understanding and appreciation of the diverse human experience. The theater first opened its doors in 1928 and, as the city's only pre-1960s theater, it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to providing shelter from screaming clouds, the theater fosters progressive forward thinking with a host of intellectually stimulating films. Screenings have included The Artist, which won the Academy Award for Best Film in 2012, as well as Revenge of the Electric Car, a documentary focused on auto manufacturers' race to perfect electric transportation. Circle Cinema also hosts premieres of locally produced films and films created by aspiring directors in high school and college courses.
Nearly 90 years of history have boogied across the spring-loaded maple dance floor at Cain's Ballroom. Once known as the Carnegie Hall of western swing, the ballroom played a key part in the boot-stomping genre’s history as the one-time home of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who used the neon-lit space to host raucous dances, broadcast a radio show, and do their laundry in the bathroom. Still a landmark of Tulsa’s music scene, the ballroom retains much of its original charm, from the barrel-vaulted ceiling to the oversize portraits of past stars to the fiddle-shaped light fixtures.
"Masterpieces of Change" features the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra taking on the timeless music of Mozart and Berlioz. Guest conductor Ron Spigelman leads the hard-hitting orchestra through a performance of Symphony No. 41, the final symphony written by Tom Hulce–lookalike Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before his death in 1791. Following Mozart's melodies is Hector Berlioz's extravagant Symphonie Fantastique, a noted piece of program music that tells the tale of a lovelorn artist. After the concert, stick around for the Meet the Musicians reception, where you can chat with the French-horn players, high-five the tuba players, and ask the conductor to sign your clarinet.
The Belly Dance Academy of Tulsa operates under the inspirational and gyrational mind of Shadia Dahlal, a 30-year dancing veteran and the vice president of the National Association for Teacher Certification in Middle Eastern Dance. Inside her spacious 3,200-square-foot studio, Shadia and her enthusiastic instructors treat graceful guests with a comprehensive class structure and a custom-built floating floor—the same surface used by the Tulsa Ballet. On the floor, students with little to no prior dance experience can slink into character in either the level 1 belly-dance class, which teaches the basic fundamentals of tummy toning and shaking, or the burlesque class, a strip-free celebration adorned by an abundance of feathers, rhinestones, and other eye-drawing accessories. During intermediate and advanced classes, experienced students hone their hip whispering by learning choreography, stage presence, and how to perform in various venues. Regardless of level, each class provides one full hour of low-impact cardio and creative exploration.