Movies 8’s towering vertical sign flashes its red letters and pastel colors at passersby, enticing them to step inside and enjoy a night at the cinema. In the lobby, black-and-white checkered tiles, pink and orange walls, and neon signs hark back to the 1950s, when ladies often wore polka-dot dresses and gentlemen still slicked back their pompadours with crude motor oil. Before feasting their eyes on recently released blockbusters stretched across the silver screen, moviegoers line up at the snack counter, where an old-fashioned menu displays the theater’s bounty of popcorns, snacks, and drinks. Once movies let out, guests can test their button-mashing mettle in Movies 8’s arcade, which has its own separate nook.
GroupFit Studio’s owner Sherman Rosier is an NSCA-certified personal trainer, NSTA-certified running coach, certified nutrition specialist, and holds a first-degree black belt in tae kwon do. But no matter how advanced the accreditation he receives, he does not lose sight of the most basic tenant of exercise: whatever workouts you choose, have fun doing them. He tailors his classes to meet this requirement: his GroupFit90 classes work the entire body with lively tandem exercises aided by Bosu balls and resistance bands, and his DanceTance workouts fuel dance-based workouts with energetic funk, Latin, and hip-hop music. Exercisers who need an extra shot of oomph can also meet for a nutritional-coaching session, which provides a clearer insight into workout-friendly munching than spying on Sylvester Stallone while he shops for groceries.
Expert hands, marked by the evidence of careful labor, bring together frames with gilded baroque flourishes or sleek contemporary lines to shelter photos, paintings, mirrors, and cross-stitch samplers at Frames +. Computerized onsite mat cutting makes pieces seem to leap from the wall with color-complementing depth, drawing out the greens of a mountainscape or adding to the crayon signature on a fake diploma. Jerseys and souvenirs nestle in shadow boxes, and antique photos stay safe with conservation framing that preserves the visages of ancestors who traveled to America on the Mayflower or the barnacled back of a generous whale.:
Pockets caters to billiards buffs and gaming gurus with 24 pool tables, seven dartboards, and a menu of American pub fare. Settle long-standing scores and new-standing traffic disputes under the dim lights, where players can challenge each other to games of eight ball and nine ball ($9/hour). A brick-walled darts area provides indoor athletes with ample space for any plastic-tipped projectile (games start at $0.50), and more than 50 HDTVs air sports on a constant loop. For refueling purposes, the full bar and restaurant serves up a host of popular brews and snacks. Split a plate of chicken wings slathered in your choice of sauces ($5.95 for 8; $8.50 for 12) or chow down on a bacon cheeseburger ($8.50) so all-American it does catalog modeling part-time.
Professor Gallop Franklin shuns half measures. Not content to settle on one black belt, he trotted headlong into four—one in goju karate, one in tae kwon do, one in tang soo do, and one in nisei goju. A devoted martial artist since 1963, Gallop pulls from his lifetime of training and instructional experience to lead karate classes at his dojo, Gallop’s Karate. Red and blue mats stretch across the floor of a facility more than 2,000 square feet, where he and his staff of kick-smart martial artists lead students of all ages through karate techniques and training exercises, aiming to enhance physical fitness levels while building confidence and discipline. The instructors infuse adult classes with rigorous drills of functional exercises—a regimen described by reporters from Tallahassee Magazine as “a mind-boggling number of jumping jacks, pushups, karate sit-ups and leg lifts.”
In addition to traditional karate classes, trainers also conduct an energetic boot-camp program that combines martial arts movements with high-intensity exercises. The staff hosts a daily after-school program as well, where they engage youngsters in crafts, games, and karate lessons. They offer students assistance in homework, help them study for tests, and lend constructive feedback on their performance art pieces expressing anguish over bad cafeteria food.