The inaugural movie is A Magical Life: Circus Flora, which is a behind-the-scenes look at the famous one-ring circus that has long been a staple of summer entertainment at Grand Center. The film features a re-enactment of the Flying Wallenda Family's Seven-Person Pyramid high-wire routine and screens on Tuesday, July 6.
Music fans won't want to miss Eroica! on Tuesday, July 20, because it documents the year-long trials and tribulations behind the commissioning of a triple concerto that had its world premiere here in November of 2001.
Jonesin' for St. Louis folklore? Then you can't miss the series finale, Built for Speed: The Coral Court Motel. This documentary delivers plenty of lurid details from patrons and employees of the famous Route 66 Art Deco-style motel, and the dirt is dished on Tuesday, July 27.
The films screen at 8 p.m. Tickets per film are $5, but if you're a member of either the Contemporary Art Museum or Cinema St. Louis, they're free. Beverages, including those alcoholic, will be available. Also, the dinner/movie thing couldn't be easier considering that Wolfgang Puck's Tempt Café is located in the museum. For more information, call 314-535-4660 or visit www.contemporarystl.org. -- Guy Gray
Recent online polling has indicated that, while most people are content with the current state of technology in porn movies, there are some grumblings about what could be done to improve the experience. "Smell-O-Vision" was, of course, number one on that list, but a close second was the need for more 3-D movies. Guess what, dreamers? Lollipop Girls in Hard Candy, a late-'70s widescreen porn epic, is playing at midnight at the Tivoli Theatre on Friday, July 2, and Saturday, July 3, and it's in 3-D. There's a plot of some sort, but the salient feature here is that John Holmes makes a cameo. Warning to the first ten rows: You will get wet -- and you may lose an eye. The Tivoli is located at 6350 Delmar Boulevard; call 314-995-6270 for prices. -- Paul Friswold
It's every hip young bachelor's worst nightmare: You've convinced the luscious honey of your dreams to accompany you on a Fourth of July picnic, which you intend to prepare yourself. "Just bring the wine and your gorgeous smile," you tell her. You then spend most of July 3 in your kitchenette, desperately trying to prepare something that looks hip and delicious, but all you know how to make is Ants on a Log.
So you get to the park, picnic basket and blanket in hand, and settle down under a nice oak, hoping your boyish charm will make her forget she's about to eat celery stalks smeared with peanut butter and studded with raisins. And as you go to slice the celery, your knife (appropriated from a college roommate) slips and you open a gash on your hand and somehow stab yourself in the thigh. Next stop: the emergency room.
All of this could have been avoided if you'd just attended Whole Foods' "Swanky Picnic Foods" class (6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 1; $20) and taken the "Knife Skills and Sauce Basics" course (6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 2; $15). Whole Foods is located at 1601 South Brentwood Boulevard; call 314-968-7744 for a reservation. -- Paul Friswold
The only creativity during most Ladies Nights involves politely fending off drunken suitors. No thanks! Call the Broadway Center of Arts at 618-233-0431 (124 East Main Street, Belleville, Illinois) for information about a more favorable version of the night. There, on Friday, July 2 (and the first Friday of each month), creativity flourishes from 6 to 9 p.m. and prices vary (so it's not free, who cares?). Order pizza and bring wine to enjoy while painting a bowl, plate or something else -- with no date-deflecting required. -- Alison Sieloff