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Movies O

ver the past decade, the average price of a movie ticket rose from $5.39 in 2000 to $7.89 in 2010. Factor in some

pop and popcorn and a family of four can easily drop $60 for a weekend at the movies. Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive, though. Throughout West Michigan, there are a number of venues offering discounted tickets for those of you looking to see a good movie. Celebration! Cinema at the Woodland

Mall has affectionately been called the “cheap theater.” While the facilities are superbly nice, movie-goers can see couple-months-old films for $3.99. For $2 more, you can view Digital 3-D presentations. In general, Celebration! Cinema has a

number of deals going on at one of its the- aters. Every Sunday night, it teams up with radio stations across the region to offer you movies for $3. The Rivertown, North and South locations all participate. “We work really hard at offering value” said Steve VanWagoner, vice president of

marketing for Celebration! Cinema.” We serve a wide variety of demographics and they like everything from blockbuster mov- ies on opening night to classic movies and cult favorites during the week. We like to think that great promotions and value is a service for our guests, and drives attendance. Everybody wins.” Also check out the Late Night Cult

Favorites every Friday and Saturday and the Celebrating the Classics series every Tuesday and Thursday. For $4, you can see movies like Jurassic Park, The Breakfast Club, Rear Window and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Celebration! Cinema also offers some

cheap films for families in the form of Flick’s Family Film Fest. Children 12 and under are FREE while adults are just $3.50. As if to solidify their cool factor, the

Meanwhile Bar in East Grand Rapids hosts a film every Tuesday at Wealthy Street Theater. All films start at 8 p.m. and are $5. Movies showing this month include Tremors and The Exorcist. By Sasha E. Wolff

Family Fun Q

SITE:LAB — For ART.DOWNTOWN, Site:Lab will present Praxis, a one-night-only exhibition of site-specific installations created by more than 100 art students and faculty on April 15. Pictured: Site:Lab’s new space in the old

Junior Achievement building. PHOTO: NATE UMSTEAD

BELOW: ArtPrize — see the whole city canvassed in art, for free! Coming Sept. 21–Oct. 9, 2011. Pictured: 2010’s 3rd place

winner Beili Liu’s installation at UICA. PHOTO: KIM KIBBY

uick — imagine the floor is hot lava and you can only jump on furniture to get

around! How much does that cost? Nothing but a little of your pre- cious imagination — which is free, and The Pretend Store (1503 Lake Dr. SE) is powered by it. Pretend toys recycled from everyday ob- jects mean less money spent on packaging and more dollars head- ing towards a ready-to-play block set that comes in a basket that doubles as storage. “We’re trying to teach children that reusing things is socially responsible. The idea is to use things over again and give things new life,” says co-owner Jane Podolak. Affordable and reason-

Art I

n West Michigan, there is rarely a dearth of quality visual art. The UICA is a hotspot for free exhibitions all

year round. Coming up on April 15 is ART.DOWNTOWN, one of the largest studio hops in West Michigan. Hop on the Grand Rapids trolley to visit local arts venues Wealthy Street, Avenue for the Arts galleries, Kendall Studio spaces and the UICA itself. View photography, film, crafts and more for the cheap price of free. Happening on the same day is the Opening Reception for Associations will feature more than 25 invited artists and the work of the UICA’s Visual Arts Committee. Along with free admission,

hors d’oeuvres and drinks comes the op- portunity to connect with the participating artists. The art exhibited in the GVSU Art Gallery is not only free for viewing in real life; the entire collection is available for perusing online. In addition to the pieces that hang in the Performing Arts Center, there are two galleries on the Allendale campus and one in the downtown Pew Campus. As always, Grand Rapids Art Museum offers Friday Nights at GRAM free for members and $5 for non-members. Galleries stay open late while Friday Night Conversations presents themed guest speakers, gallery talks, and demonstrations by local artists. Head to Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for free ad- mission anytime (special exhibitions cost a few bucks). By Samara Napolitan

able price points such as $6 reinvention kits, which consist of odds-and-ends of leftover toys to make whatever you want (robot anyone?), equal guilt-free consumption with the bonus of buying local. Children can play dress-up inside the store (and purchase those feather boas, hats, and jewelry for $15 for five items), entertain themselves with kitchen sets (now 20% off) and explore a wooden climbing structure. Costs plummet even further

when you add in free gift wrapping and card for presents and the fact that shelling out tooth-fairy money means half-priced merchandise. By Missy Black




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