The Desert Film Society showcases independent, foreign, and artistic cinematic creations, promoting an appreciation of filmmaking, stimulating post-viewing conversation, and titillating film-focused neurons. Screenings are held at 9:30 a.m. several times a month, with upcoming films including the Portuguese melodrama To Die Like a Man, which tells the story of a transsexual caught between personal identity and religion, and the German drama The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, about an amnesiac’s effort to rediscover his past. See the schedule for a full list of future offerings.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.
Named for the subject of a legendary tale from 19th-century California, Willie Boys Saloon & Dance Hall surrounds visitors with fun, food, and drink, as well as the rustic frontier atmosphere of the Old West. Diners can feast on pulled pork, spare ribs, fish and chips, and burgers, pairing them with beer and wine as revelers on the spacious dance floor groove to country, classic rock, and top 40 hits. The space prides itself on its collection of antiques and memorabilia, including an authentic Brunswick-made bar from the 1800s, a 19th-century bank-teller gate, and a jail cell from Deadwood believed to have once housed the killer of Wild Bill Hickok and a man who said a curse word on a Sunday.
Ristorante Mamma Gina transports the tastes of northern Italy, where its parent restaurant stands in Florence, to the stomachs of eager diners. During dinner, the zuppa papa al pomodoro swathes palates in the warmth of herbal tomato flavors ($8.25), and the lemon-vinaigrette-marinated, thin-sliced artichokes of the carciofi empolese gently rouse taste buds to attention ($11.90). Over the crisply baked eggplant of the melanzane al forno, families can bask in conversation or arm-wrestle their grandparents ($23.90). Meanwhile, lunch-goers enjoy a menu of treats such as the grilled panino filetto, a combination of filet mignon and avocado slathered in light mustard dressing ($13.90).
Hickory Ranch Steak House takes the steak in its name seriously. All of the steaks here are certified 100% USDA-choice Angus beef, and so are the burgers?the Black Label burger, for example, consists of a blend of Angus cuts, including short rib. The rest of the menu focuses on seafood and hearty meat dishes, from beer-battered or grilled shrimp to rotisserie chicken and spare ribs rubbed in a Texas spice blend. Frosty margaritas and bottled American craft beers pair well with the savory plates. As for entertainment, the restaurant's big-screen TV often shows extreme sports, such as motocross and basketball games where the players don't wear helmets.