Spread out among 132,000 square feet and three levels are a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits that represent the museum’s goal of innovative inspiration. The recently opened, hands-on, and interactive exhibit Invention at Play examines the evolution of playtime from the hoop-and-stick of yesteryear to the portable holographic virtual wristwatches of today. The art, film, and music-focused Tech Virtual Test Zone conceptualizes ideas from the virtual world of Second Life with interactive wonders such as the Wall of Musical Buttons. The Wall allows visitors to experiment with note intervals in familiar musical melodies, and Mashup Masterpiece gives visitors the ability to add their own creative modifications after observing an artist's artistic process. Aspiring weatherpersons can learn about the powers of wind, water, and sun in Green by Design, or budding Beakmans can perform various science experiments in the Exploration Gallery. Keep the stimulation going while giving tired legs a rest with the included educational IMAX movie. Check out current offerings such as Arabia or Under the Sea or peruse the schedule for other upcoming shows at The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater.
From the cabernet-hued curlicues on the carpets to the gilded columns and soaring ceilings, the Alameda Theatre is steeped in history. During the Second World War, soldiers crowded in to watch films in the auditorium, which also has spent stints as a practice area for rock bands and as a skating rink. The theater was recently brought out of dormancy with an extensive renovation project that restored the glow to its art-deco façades and towering neon sign. Gold leaf, some still intact from the building’s construction in 1932, leads eyes up to a screen 50 feet in width.
A packed schedule of first-run films flickers to life on the big screen, with showings in 3-D letting audiences see explosions leap from the flat surface or watch pieces of the Hulk’s hard-to-program VCR fly past. The historic theater also showcases classic films such as The Graduate or The Wild One every week, and hosts a talent show every Friday and Saturday evening.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
Red Door Movies stocks a massive selection of indie films, foreign flicks, and hard-to-find treasures from yesterday’s forgotten cinemas. Chuckle the night away with comedy titles such as Arsenic and Old Lace, a 1944 classic starring Cary Grant, or multitask a study in Hitchcock with a quiet, romantic date night at home watching The Birds or The Lady Vanishes. Charm dainty guests with a post-dinner screening of Man Bites Dog, which satirizes media violence with playful images of men sloppily eating hot dogs. If you’re an indecisive renter, simply refer to the list of 1,001 movies you must see before you die and spend the next several years not dying as you watch them all.