What Dreams May Come Martini

Moolah Theatre and Lounge, 3821 Lindell Boulevard, 314-446-6868

If you're sly, wearing your most seductive cologne and have a willing accomplice, you could probably get to third base pretty easily at the newly minted Moolah Theatre in midtown. Whereas other, more orthodox movie theaters offer hard-backed chairs with armrests that serve as natural dividers, at the Moolah you and your date can sit in a very squishy love seat. You can slouch down real low, snuggle, smooch, fondle and, yes, even do a little heavy petting. And if you can keep the grunts and groans to a minimum, no one -- save, of course, your accomplice -- will be the wiser.

The Moolah Theatre and Lounge offers one big-ass screen, and on it play first-run movies. Last week Moolah was showing In Good Company, an ace offering that we highly recommend featuring Dennis Quaid, Scarlett Johansson and Topher Grace. The massive, domed auditorium is gorgeous and rivals the Tivoli Theatre for sheer atmospheric beauty. The difference is, of course, is that the Tivoli was originally built as a theater, and the Moolah was built as a place for drunken Shriners to practice their secret handshakes, forge bumper medallions and learn how to race around in tiny go-carts.

As a result, sorry to say, the seating arrangement is kind of weird, and if you're not sitting in smack-dab middle, the screen view is awkward. Seated to the side, it feels like you're drunk. Scarlett Johansson's pillow-lips seem to stretch wider and longer than they should, and Dennis Quaid's brow seems even more furrowed. So get there early, lest you and your honey feel drunk when you're not.

Another grand thing about the Moolah is the bar. Yes, you can shove popcorn into your piehole and plug it with a beer, a glass of wine or a martini. The drink menu is vast and impressive, the wine list is as extensive as many good restaurants', and the beer menu features not only the A-Bs, but Peroni, Boddington's, Beamish and a few dozen others, along with a couple Schlaflys on draught.

Then there's the martini list. Each is named after a film. There's "Speed" (Stoli Vanil, espresso, Baileys and caramel syrup), "The Way We Were" (a basic gin martini), "Pretty in Pink" (Absolut Citron, cranberry and Cointreau). We opted for "What Dreams May Come." Despite the fact that it's named after a treacly Robin Williams vehicle, "Dreams" is a choco-orange lover's heaven: Absolut Mandarin, Godiva white-chocolate liqueur and white crème de cacao, garnished with an orange slice. In our case, the bartender was out of white-choco Godiva, so he substituted Godiva dark-chocolate liqueur. And it was excellent, kind of like those Terry's dark chocolate oranges that you bang on the counter. By the time we had finished it (and a white Russian, truth be told), we were feeling easy, feeling like maybe we could get some action during one of the Scarlett-less scenes. Like maybe a triple was in the game plan.

 
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