Night out like a night in

If I haven’t made this clear yet, I love movies. Naturally, seeing the premiere of a new film is a special treat, and can be even more excellent depending on the venue.

Imagine having a cinema-size screen accompanied by surround sound, along with a personal concession stand, right in your basement. You could munch away on freshly buttered popcorn and sip cold Dr. Pepper, curled up all cozy in the corner of your sofa, all whilst being blown away by an unheard of in-home movie-watching experience.

Take a drive down Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis. Regal stairs lead to the entrance of a massive brick building built in 1912 by the Moolah Shriners as the 28th Shrine Temple. In 2004, $17.2 million was spent renovating the urban palace, and it is now a popular venue for moviegoers and bowlers living in the St. Louis area. Meet the Moolah Theatre.

The Moolah is a single screen theater with 30 or so lush leather couches, traditional stadium seating, as well as balcony seating. Outside, there is a traditional concession stand and a bar serving all sorts of adult beverages. The Moolah screens new releases, such as the film I saw, “The Master,” which premiered Thursday at midnight, as well as showing retro flicks, such as “The Labyrinth” and Halloween favorite “Hocus Pocus.”

In addition to an amazing theater, the Moolah also houses the yet unfinished “Moolah Lanes: St. Louis’ Bowling Temple,” a retro-styled bowling alley with eight lanes, pool tables, and a grill.

The Moolah offers so many opportunities for a great night out without leaving you secretly wishing that you were still curled up on your couch with a blanket and snacks watching a classic movie. You can do all this and more at the Moolah. Watch a great movie, bowl a few frames, then go for a walk in a truly great city.

If you are interested in seeing “The Master,” a film about the charismatic cult leader of The Cause and his growing hold on the mind of psychologically troubled Joaquin Phoenix, the Moolah is offering tickets for $5 until Thursday. It is an excellent film, but I recommend reading some reviews before you commit to it due to the uncomfortable nature of the film.

And make sure you snag a couch when you go!