At CinéBistro, a luxurious dining theater, patrons settle into wide cushioned seats as they watch the latest action flicks and comedies flicker on the silver screen. Viewing companions alternate drawing buttery, salty puffed maize out of a shared tub of popcorn, hoping to find Gene Hackman's golden business card buried somewhere inside. Although not included with this Groupon, CinéBistro serves seated cinema aficionados a wide menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts to complement their popcorn, from a caesar salad for a light meal ($10.75) to a pan-seared Atlantic salmon cooked to order ($19.50). Dessert indulgences include a deconstructed peanut-butter pie ($8), and liquid indulgences proffer a wine list full of international vintages to guzzle during foreign movies, as well as domestic and imported beers, martinis, and cocktails.
Kangaroo Jac's avenue of inflatable structures bustles with giggling swarms of children 10 and younger. During walk-in play, youngsters milk the all-access admission by repeatedly plummeting down the safe but steep fortress slide, hurdling over obstacles in the crossover course, and exploring the expansive Koombo Kombo—a two-story, inflatable dreamscape, elaborate enough to house a balloon animal Citizen Kane. Abiding by the facility's core values to provide "hassle-free birthdays," staff members help organize and clean up after parties, hosted in a private room where each child can gorge themselves on pizza, drinks, and birthday wishes.
The parent area's TVs and WiFi keeps adults up-to-date on national news, whereas the toddler area and MagicLand bounce zone keeps tots up to date on local gibberish. Throughout the year, Kangaroo Jac's supports the community by donating to local organizations and hosting dedicated playtime for children with special needs.
Elegantly lit and plushly upholstered, The Byrd Theatre looks much the same as it did on its opening day in 1928—and sounds much the same, too, thanks to its centerpiece, the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Every Saturday night, resident organist Bob Gulledge takes his seat at the orchestra-pit console and might preface the evening's second-run screening of a blockbuster film with selections from Phantom of the Opera or a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The antique pipes and bells—which occupy four rooms above the stage—roar back to life with a candy-colored sonority that triggers nostalgia and wakes up any vaudeville performers napping inside.
Since 2007, The Byrd Theatre Foundation has helped facilitate the restoration and preservation of the 1,300-seat auditorium and its organ, making sure it stays State and National Historic Landmark it is today. The Byrd Theatre supplements regular screenings with year-round events, ranging from film and comedy festivals to public-arts forums.
As they speed by, the drivers racing across American Indoor Karting's track resemble professional racecar drivers. The souped-up European go-karts allow speedsters as young as 8 to swerve through turns at nearly 1.5 lateral G's. The milieu is carefully cultivated to create the feeling of actual competitive auto racing. Helmets and safety briefing sessions are mandatory before racers take to the winding, professionally designed track. After each race, competitors scrutinize comprehensive race reports of their lap times and other statistics. Two breeds of go-kart reside on the premises and are maintained by a full-time mechanic. While younger kids drive less ferocious Junior Karts, adults qualify to operate Super Karts. The Super Kart is loaded up with a 9 hp Honda engine and travels 40 m.p.h. To race a Super Kart, drivers must prove they can handle the powerful hot rod by putting up a qualifying lap time and convincing the vehicle to eat a carrot directly from their hands.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 50+ people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: For walking tours, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, [and bring a] hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, and water
Handicap Accessible: No
Parking: Metered street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Hollywood Cemetery Walking Tours
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
Many of our tour guides have been with us for many years and are very passionate about Richmond history.
What special training do you or your staff have?
We offer a Guide School every few years through the University of Richmond's Professional & Continuing Studies Program. There are 10 classes and then a test is given. Upon completion and passing the test, a new guide must shadow a senior tour guide. Senior tour guides do research and develop tours for the upcoming seasons.
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
We are constantly refreshing the information for each of our tours. Our tour guides do a great job of conducting this research.