Dipson Theatres celebrates a reputation as a regional movie institution with a network of 9 locations lighting 46 silver screens across Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Though the company now spreads across the northeast United States, it began in the small city of Batavia, NY, in 1939?a time when movies were called ?picture shows,? Roosevelt was in the White House, and everybody could only see in black and white. Today that tradition underlies the cinematic experience as patrons chomp popcorn and sip sodas, marveling at modern 3-D visual adventures, summer action movies, family-friendly features, or even indie art flicks and footage from world-renowned opera performances.
The Industrial Revolution's innovation and muscle come to life during cruises aboard the "Chautauqua Belle," a historic open-air steamboat. The eponymous vessel glides across the calm surface of Chautauqua Lake as guides educate guests of all ages on the lake's colorful history. Guests can enjoy snacks and libations from the full-service bar as they glimpse picturesque beaches and lush forests during dinner, fireworks, and private charters or narrated history tours.
The beautiful and informative tours take place in association with the Chautauqua Institution, a historical society located in an even more historical building. Formerly known as the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, the society first perched itself on the edge of the lake in 1874, and by 1880 was a nationally recognized forum where intellectuals discussed global politics, scientific developments, the arts, and favorite fishing holes. The name may have changed, but the Chautauqua Institution carries on that spirit of inquisitiveness and community development today in educational programs, artists' outreach, and religious services.
Inside Cinema Center, moviegoers are enveloped in a state-of-the art film-viewing environment to enjoy the latest Hollywood flicks. Bring a friend or frenemy to catch a new release, such as The Dilemma, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, or The Green Hornet, a quirky take on the superhero genre starring Seth Rogen. Indulge eardrums with the mellifluous luxury of digital surround sound while Cinema Center theaters’ stadium seating ensures clear sightlines and good angles for not throwing popcorn.
When the Roff family donated a plot of land to be used for a schoolhouse in the 1930s, they probably didn't predict the 250 craft microbrews that later would represent that site. They probably didn't expect a pool table either. Or burgers and pizzas whose flavors are as bold as the plates' bawdy names. But time brings many changes, and, lucky for beer and beef fans, the site of Roff School Tavern has slung tavern fare since 1977. It seems every inch is steeped in history, even when things change. Today, the 8,000 square feet of a German-style beer garden encourage sunlit eating punctuated by frisbees. Inside, knots in the walls' wood panels echo the wooden bar top and the circular trunk slices that act as tables.
Roff School Tavern's menu works in an inventive way: it lists 20 different topping combos and gives customers the option of placing them on burgers or pizzas. Ciabatta bookends handmade steak patties. Pizza crusts are made with a choice of white or whole flour, and topping combos include the Wake 'n' Bake with sausage gravy, fried egg, and mozzarella, or the Bluth's Banana with fried plantains, pulled pork, banana peppers, and thousand-island dressing.
Zottola’s Pub & Eatery specializes in evening entrees, serving up a dinner menu stocked with European-inspired dishes and delicious desserts. Coronate a feast with friends using an order of PEI mussels ($11) before savoring a tongue-tingling house favorite, such as three-cheese or beef ravioli, served slathered in a special tomato-herb sauce that sets the bar of aspiration for newborn tomatoes ($13), or wrestle the broiled wild haddock away from a shark and savor the delicate flavor of sweet, sea-caught victory ($16). Each dinner entree comes with a house salad and chef's side of the day. For lighter eating, try a pub sandwich, such as the asiago chicken, which combines chicken, bread, cheese, and awesome for a handheld feast ($8.25), or an old-time pub burger—a half-pound patty of hand-formed ground beef cooked to order and dropped straight onto your appetite ($8.50).
South Pike Cinemas showers moviegoers with celluloid visions of first-run films and sweet and salty snacks. Treats such as slushies, Starbucks Frappuccinos, and cheesy nachos join classic popcorn, candy, and sodas at the festive concession stand. At birthday parties, youngsters take a behind-the-scenes journey into the world of cinema as they’re offered a tour of the projection booth, a souvenir strip of film, and the opportunity to try out every seat in the theater to see which is the bounciest.