The Desert Film Society showcases independent, foreign, and artistic cinematic creations, promoting an appreciation of filmmaking, stimulating post-viewing conversation, and titillating film-focused neurons. Screenings are held at 9:30 a.m. several times a month, with upcoming films including the Portuguese melodrama To Die Like a Man, which tells the story of a transsexual caught between personal identity and religion, and the German drama The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, about an amnesiac’s effort to rediscover his past. See the schedule for a full list of future offerings.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location 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.
Ryan Bros. Coffee's attentive owners match discerning tastes with artfully crafted blends of fair-trade coffees and mouthwatering café fare. Classic coffees include featured roasts ($1.75 for 12 oz., $2 for 20 oz.) such as bold Cowboy coffee or the full-bodied Broadway Blues, which are filtered for fuller tastes. Espresso drinks inject caffeine-packed shots into tongue-tickling flavors such as a warm, creamy mocha ($3.55–$3.95) or a chilly, blended Java Lava frappe ($4.25). Chompable menu items grant solid starts to the day, including the chipotle-bacon breakfast sandwich ($5.95), whereas real-fruit smoothies, including the refreshing mango patch ($4.25), rev bodies with vitamin-rich fuel. Salads ($6.50–$7.25) and freshly grilled paninis ($5.95–$6.95) are also available for consumption. Packaged portions of coffee, tea, and comestibles adorn shelves in front of burnt-orange walls and sun-sprayed indoor or outdoor seating areas offer the ideal space in which to enjoy free WiFi.
At Aces Comedy Club, a rotating lineup of local and touring standup comedians flocks to the stage to unpack its bag of funnies. The calendar of upcoming performers includes Patrick Deguire (May 10–13), a vision-impaired jokester who often pokes fun at needing his four kids to help him cross a dangerous intersection in his neighborhood. The freakishly talented Taylor Williamson (May 17–20) is the youngest comic ever to perform on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He's been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, and MTV's TRL––all of which were cancelled soon thereafter, which he wears as a badge of pride. Seasoned funnyman Vince Morris (May 24–27), who has made appearances on HBO's Sex and the City and BET's ComicView, simultaneously splits sides and challenges perceptions with a chuckle-inducing routine packed with social commentary.