Operators of the Mayan Theatre have long known that the art house crowd likes specialty snacks, something beyond the realm of a crusty Milk Dud. But those who think the Mayan has grown stale should sink their teeth into some of these recent additions: an expanding collection of Ben & Jerry's gourmet ice cream bars, flavors of Republic of Tea ice teas such as ginseng peppermint and ginger peach and freshly-brewed bistro coffee with more body. And Sasha Webb, recently named manager of this landmark Landmark theater, promises more to come in the near future.
Cinderella Twin Drive-In
There aren't many drive-ins left in the Denver area, but judging from the lines that snake out from the entrance to the Cinderella Twin on weekend nights during the summer, there's still plenty of demand. This south metro area drive-in boasts two screens, each showing a double feature -- PG for the early show, R-rated later -- a full-dinner snack bar, FM radio sound in addition to traditional in-car speakers, and free admission for kids under eleven. And as the only local drive-in that runs during the spring -- it opens the weekend before Easter -- the Cinderella Twin also offers a nice place to cuddle: Special early-season deals, including in-car heaters and a $12 per carload price, last until May.
Holiday Twin Drive-In
It's too bad that most drive-ins are only open in the summer; otherwise, they'd be the perfect year-round cheap date for the starving -- and horny -- college student. As it is, only students attending Colorado State University's summer session get to make out at the Holiday Twin Drive-in. Although the pictures tend toward family fare, the location on the far west side of town gives you a great sunset view of Horsetooth Rock before the show starts.
These are rooms with a view -- of the motel's giant outdoor movie screen. The sound is piped into your room, and you can watch the show from the comfort of your own bed through huge picture windows. Don't get the wrong idea, though: The Star shows only G, PG and PG-13 flicks from May through September. And yes, if you'd rather not suffer the embarrassment of moseying over to the snack bar in your slippers, you can just drive in to the drive-in.
Colorado's Drive-In Theater Guide, www.carload.com, lists features and showtimes for all twelve of the state's active drive-ins, plus drive-in news and links to plenty of other drive-in-related sites. It hasn't been updated since the end of August, but Web master Michael Kilgore plans to start up his labor of love again at the end of April, when more screens open for the season.
Film is an art form, one that Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art recognizes with Reel Love. Curated by Denver Art Museum film curator Tom Delapa, the current series traces the history of avant-garde filmmaking in this country.

Best Big Museum Exhibit (Since March 2001)

Alice Neel

The reputation of late New York artist Alice Neel has been on the rise for decades, and her work became especially important to expressionists and to women artists beginning in the 1970s. It was then that Dianne Vanderlip, living in Philadelphia, organized the first-ever retrospective of Neel's career. In so doing, Vanderlip found herself on the ground floor of the discovery -- actually the rediscovery -- of Neel. Now, almost thirty years later, it seems appropriate that Vanderlip, the Denver Art Museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, would snag Alice Neel, the latest retrospective on the artist. Like that first show, this one came out of Philadelphia, and it packed in the crowds when it came to Denver this past fall and winter. Much to her credit, Vanderlip presented Neel's triumphs in a coherent, chronological way, something that's rarely done anymore.
Letters of the alphabet -- painted ones, wooden ones, mirrored ones -- made up a total environment for Between the Lines: Word Works by Roland Bernier at the Denver Art Museum. They climbed the walls and were stacked on pedestals covering the floor. Some were arranged into short words, though the meanings of the words were irrelevant, since Bernier's point wasn't to tell stories, but to create something purely aesthetic. And although it's not easy to use words without bringing in their meanings, Bernier did it. This show -- dedicated to the seventy-year-old conceptualist -- was put together by the museum's Nancy Tieken, and it was one of those rare occasions when a Denver artist was given the royal treatment at the DAM.
When the well-known and highly regarded Cydney Payton took the helm of Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art last year, the art world held its breadth and waited for the unveiling of one of her signature shows. The wait ended with 5 Abstract, a look at five of the state's most significant abstract artists: Al Wynne, Bev Rosen, Bob Mangold, Clark Richert and Dale Chisman. It was the latest in a series of exhibits exploring the history of Colorado's modern and contemporary art that Payton has done since long before she was hired by the MCA. And she promises it won't be the last. Each artist in this exhibit has his or her own strong style, which is not necessary compatible with the others. But Payton gave all five separate space -- a tough job in the cramped quarters of the MCA. Sorry you missed it? Don't be. Responding to popular demand, the MCA has extended it through May.
The smart-looking Clark Richert: Recent Paintings, at Rule Gallery on Broadway, showcased a small but significant group of the latest geometric pieces by Clark Richert, a former hippie and current art guru. Richert first came to fame in this area in the 1960s, when he designed and helped start Drop City, an art commune just outside of Trinidad in southern Colorado. And though decades

have gone by, Drop City is still on his mind. A number of paintings based on some of the buildings he designed there -- riffs on Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes -- were featured at Rule. It was Richert's recent work, which indicated a new and innovative shift for the artist, that was the truly captivating part of this show, however. Instead of being dense and complicated, like many of his earlier pieces, those displayed here are quite spare. It looks like Richert has dropped back in. Kudos to the artist and gallery owner Robin Rule for giving Denver the best solo-artist exhibit of the season.

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