The rolling thunderclaps of scattering pins fill the air at Imperial Bowl, where sphere flingers hunt strikes and spares across 30 lanes set in an ultraclean, modern facility. As bowlers attempt to stay out of the gutter like a renegade raindrop, automated scorekeeping charts the current pin count, displaying all scores on a digital screen. Imperial Bowl complements its slick lanes with entertaining extras, including arcade games, pool tables, and cosmic bowling. The alleyway also hosts leagues for casual and serious competitors alike, and a full-service bar and concession area ensures ball-free hands remain filled with beers, sodas, and snacks.
Today's Groupon gives adventurous art-lovers a yearlong individual membership with all the perks, at the award-winning Contemporary Art Museum for $20. Get a membership to take advantage of the museum's most ambitious group show since its grand opening: For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there.
Like the CGI monster-filled remake of How Green Was My Valley, STL Cinemas combine state-of-the-art technology with classic Hollywood aesthetics. Mainstream blockbusters and independent films happily rub silver-screen shoulders on each theater's marquee, while the retro lounges and concession stands serve enough beer, wine, and classy sweets to keep movie-goers sugar-buzzing—or just plain buzzing—through any double-feature. Voted Readers' Pick Movie Theatre by St. Louis Magazine readers, the Moolah Theatre's single screen is one of the biggest in town, and cinephiles can take their pick of 400 stadium seats, plush leather couches, or balcony seating. Chase Park Plaza Cinemas—nestled inside the Chase Park Plaza Hotel building—boasts five auditoriums with luxury seating. Granite City Cinemas is brand-new with all digital projection. And exposed beams and stage lighting add a vintage touch to Galleria 6's lobby, while its bar provides a lovely backdrop for post-film discussions, screenplay pitches, or outbursts of hard-boiled dialogue and artfully lit cigarette smoke.
Before hosting moviegoers, the 111,000-square-foot Moolah Temple was home to a colony of pigeons. According to Amy Gill, co-head of the 1913-built temple's restoration team in 2003, the birds were "living in every crack and crevice" among debris, peeling paint, and cracked floors. Thanks to the team's refurbishing, leather couches and love seats, as well as balcony and stadium seating, now adorn the bird-free theater. Moolah Theatre only boasts a single screen, but what it lacks in quantity is made up for in size: its 20-by-45-foot screen showcases everything from the latest Hollywood releases to midnight movie staples such as The Big Lebowski.
Like "The Dude," Moolah Theatre celebrates bowling with eight lanes at its in-house retro alley. Post-flick fun can also include playing billiards, blasting tunes on the StarLink Internet Jukebox, or burping arcade games that ate too many quarters. Some lucky residents even call these amenities home—besides the theater and bowling alley, Moolah Temple makes room upstairs for 40 luxury lofts.
Celebrating its 25th-anniversary jubilee year, Circus Flora dazzles audiences with exhilarating theatrical routines in a modern, European-style circus. During the circus’ brand-new show, Vagabond Adventures, a talented troupe of human and animal performers grace the ring, including tightrope walkers, acrobats, and trick riders, as they tell an enchanting story rife with espionage and feats of heroism set aboard a floating, Civil War–era circus. Marvel at the gravity-defying acrobatics of The Flying Pages, a family of aerialists known for feats of mid-air tumbling, ribbon hanging, and history of rescuing kittens from the tops of skyscrapers. Reach your giggle quota with the hilarious antics of Giovanni Zoppe, the youngest-ever performer to be inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame, or marvel at the roping virtuoso of Vince Bruce, the most famous British cowboy after Duke Morrison.
The Fountain On Locust has earned accolades such as St. Louis Magazine's award for Best Restaurant On a Budget in 2012 and an honorable mention as one of Sauce Magazine's favorite restaurants to impress out-of-towners. Described as "luscious" by Sauce Magazine reviewers, the café's ice-cream creations skew toward adults. They may be topped with hand-crafted sauces or blended into champagne floats and eclectic ice-cream martinis. On the menu, these sweets converge with a panoply of vintage cocktails and playful café dishes that include hot roast-beef melts and a turkey BLT "so good you might cry."
The retro cuisine meshes perfectly with the vintage-inspired decor, highlighted by walls of hand-painted midnight-blue murals. Black and white tile floors spread out from a wooden bar lit with art deco-style hanging lamps, much like the kind F. Scott Fitzgerald described in his unpublished novella about Gatsby's electrician. And yet the restaurant's eclectic design isn't limited to the dining space—The Fountain won Cintas' America's Best Restroom Award in 2010.