UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes 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.
When the San Diego Dance Centre was established in 1974, the school had 35 students. Over the years, the school has grown to more than 400 students, necessitating a move into a 9,000-square-foot studio with five dance studio rooms, full-length mirrors, and marley flooring that provides traction and support. Passionate, experienced instructors, including owner Kristen Hibbs, guide students through jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and other dance styles, and also through acrobatic and tumbling classes. The school welcomes dancers of all experience levels, from total beginners to advanced dancers such as Sophia Lucia, a student featured on the television show Dance Moms.
Leila Parello has been teaching ballet for more than 40 years. At The School of Ballet Arts, which Leila founded in 1974, she and her team of professional instructors cultivate a noncompetitive environment in which students can learn the joy of dance through the lens of classical ballet. They teach proper ballet technique, pointe, classical variations, stretch, and jazz, culminating in a well-rounded curriculum for dancers of all ages and skill levels.
As they grip the microphone and pace before the red curtain, The Comedy Palace's standups execute quips, rants, and anecdotes they've honed on such outlets as Comedy Central and late-night television. Viewers can munch on finger foods, burgers, rib-eye steak, Atlantic salmon and pages from a full menu of cuisine while watching a national headliner's set.
El Cajon Grand has been keeping the tradition of the neighborhood pub alive since 1950, and today it's still a great spot to nurse a drink while watching the big game. Inside the newly remodeled, 3,500-square-foot space, post up near one of nine flat-screen TVs or head outside to the patio for a leisurely game of horseshoe. Nightly specials include deals on appetizer baskets and craft beers and well drinks from the bar.
A childhood peppered with basketball, football, and volleyball couldn't keep Mary Murphy out of the ballroom after she was struck by the athleticism of the sport while watching a championship performance in her early twenties. She began to compete around the world, eventually slowing down enough to found Champion Ballroom Academy in 1990 and finally teaching there full-time in between stints on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.
Mary has plucked like-minded instructors for her studio, some of whom created Core Rhythms, a Latin dance-based aerobics program. Many of the other teachers are competitive-dance champions or black belts in hula hoop. Aside from running a flourishing dance studio, Mary's palpable passion for the art form has also driven her to play a leading role in San Diego's Chance to Dance program, a curriculum that introduces school kids to the artistry and strength-building foundations of dance.