Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
Just blocks from the 72-degree waters of the Comal River, Comal Tubes provides inflatable passports to the spring-fed waters that converge in downtown New Braunfels with the Guadalupe River's choppier rapids. Toes and fingers trail in the temperate waters throughout a two-hour float, alternately slipping past tree-lined shores and whipping down faster-moving tube chutes, while others seize their aquatic destinies by the oars with kayak rentals. Comal Tubes' free parking and shuttle service grant more time for the water, and the shop outfits river riders with refreshments, ice, sunscreen, and other gear to escape the mundanity of land-based life's preoccupation with shirts and shoes.
Texas Ski Ranch sends wakeboarders, kneeboarders, and water-skiers skimming across the placid surface of a cable lake—all without the use of a boat. Ropes connected to a circulating cable high above the water pull up to six athletes at a time around the lake, with kickers and sliders stationed throughout to provide opportunities for big air, and a Little Bro cable system is available for beginners. Aside from the cable park, the 70-acre action-filled sports wonderland also boasts a 15,000-square-foot city-style skate park, as well as an indoor trampoline park, beach area, portable rock wall, and Wahoo's Fish Taco restaurant. A staff of coaches and a fully stocked board shop help visitors explore other adrenaline sports, such as wake surfing and extreme sunburning.
An electrifying array of games, golf, and high-speed competition cater to adrenaline aficionados of all ages at Malibu Grand Prix’s bustling amusement center. Lead-footed motorists can experience unlimited access to Malibu's high-performance go-karts, zipping around hairpin turns, picking up speed on straightaways, and flying over banked curves with a passenger in tow aboard Malibu's safe and speedy four-wheeled chariots. Like the violent water warfare portrayed in Monet's Water Lilies, aqueous enthusiasts can hop aboard bumper boats to execute broadside collisions or blasts from the onboard water cannon to drench dry loved ones. A variety of electronic entertainment populates the game room, while the thoughtful, zen-like meditation that is miniature golf makes for a relaxing way to cap off an afternoon of speed.