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If you're meeting someone from OKCupid for the first time, a drive out to Ennis might not be the brightest idea. But once you have a pretty good sense that your potential partner isn't a serial killer or, worse, an excessive chatterbox, making the half-hour drive from Dallas to see a movie the old-fashioned way is a perfect date. For $7 you can see two brand-new features back-to-back — cheaper than any other theater in town. There are seven screens to choose from and the first movie starts playing at 8:45 p.m., or as soon as it's dark enough. As far we know it's the only drive-in movie theater still operating in the area. Bring some blankets, back your car in, open the trunk and have a movie-going experience that's more comfortable than the fanciest new movie theaters.

There are a dozen places to roller skate in Dallas, but one of the best is city owned and operated Southern Skates off Ledbetter Drive. On Sunday night, the pros come out to adult skate, which runs from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Gene Kelly has nothing on the dancers here — couples who dance together more gracefully than most can manage wearing regular shoes and entire packs performing choreographed routines. In the center of the rink, skaters breakdance or just catch their breath and observe the scene around them. Two DJs man the booth and for the first couple of hours hip-hop, rap and R&B dominate the music selection. But once the lights are dimmed around midnight, the mirrored ball starts spinning and disco tracks take hold. Amateurs are more than welcome, and you'll see a few, but if you're wobbly on skates you'd do best to stick to the center. The people on the outer limits of the rink move fast — as fast as you should move to check out this Dallas institution while it's still hot.

Assassination Derby, one of Dallas' best roller derby teams, gave their seal of approval to this more than 50-year-old skating rink located in Mesquite. While it looks like it was built in 1961, a roller skater can't beat the price at Dad's, where skate rentals are only a $1. The skating rink is large. The bathrooms smell like a bathroom should smell and the service is exceptionally friendly. Dad's also offers skating classes for children and hosts dance skating between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. every Friday for the star-crossed junior lovers or older couples who wish to reminiscence.

Kathy Tran

Alamo Drafthouse brought movies back to Dallas urban core with a bang in 2016, debuting their newest multiplex in the Cedars. Like its siblings in the Alamo chain, Alamo Cedars brings a great beer selection and decent food right to your seat, which at the Dallas location happens to be a very comfy recliner. Add in specialty screenings, a staff who actually seem to care about the movies they show and a strict no-kids-under-6 policy, and the theater is well on its way to becoming a Dallas institution.

Readers' Pick:

Alamo Drafthouse, Cedars

In an ideal world, more people would have the patience and desire to sit through a full symphony, but the fact is a lot of people simply didn't get the introduction to or education in classical music that would allow them to enjoy that experience. That's why the Dallas Symphony was so smart to start the ReMix series at Dallas City Performance Hall, which combines a shorter program with a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres hour. Events like this spring's with Bryce Dessner of popular rock band the National, where they performed his composition Lachrimae for the Oscar-winning film The Revenant, drew people out with a celebrity connection and the promise of a s'mores bar. But the surprise stunner of the night was Wojciech Kilar's chamber string orchestra composition Orawa. ReMix may be a gimmick, but it's a gimmick that seems to be working to get more people excited about classical music, and that's a good thing.

We don't like to toss around the term world class, 'cause Mayor Mike Rawlings likes it too much, but unfortunately that's one of the best ways to describe the annual Soluna Festival. Right out of the gate, the interdisciplinary festival, which merges classical music with other artistic mediums such as dance and visual art, had the clout to foster huge collaborations. And for its second year it was able to maintain that momentum, following up the St. Vincent performance with "Rules of the Game," a world premiere collaboration between pop artist Pharrell Williams, choreographer Jonah Bokaer and New York-based visual artist Daniel Arsham. And that was only one element of the two-week long festival sponsored by Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and built around the Dallas Symphony Orchestra: The symphony's Jaap Van Zweden conducting Mahler and performances by Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret set to music at the Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Contemporary were also highlights. Soluna has already proved the first year wasn't a fluke, and Dallas is lucky for it.

Readers' Pick:

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

Whether or not Dallas' Barrett Brown deserves to be serving 63 months in federal prison for linking to data obtained from Anonymous' hack of Stratfor, an intelligence contractor, is beside the point. In the time he's spent in prison, Brown has proved himself as one of the best magazine writers in the United States. He doesn't write for D anymore, but the work he churns out for The Intercept — featuring a perfect mix of humor, insight and melancholy — is as good as anything one could ever hope to read about prison life. Brown's literary criticism, as evidenced by his essay "Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels," is pretty great, too.

In the midst of what would end up being a not-so-competitive battle for the Democratic nomination for a Dallas County Commissioner Court seat, the incumbent John Wiley Price and his challenger Dwaine Caraway got into a brawl at Dallas radio station KHVN. Caraway accused Price of sleeping with his ex-wife, one of Caraway's staffers sued the commissioner and a radio station employee was left to lament that KHVN was a "Christian station." It was a side-show that was better than the actual show, as Price beat Caraway handily in the March 1 primary.

The literary arts upswing in Dallas continues, but some of the best contributions to the scene retain that do-it-yourself spirit. Spiderweb Salon is a group out of Denton run by Connor Wallace and Courtney Marie. The collective casts a wide net for poets, authors, musicians and artists throughout North Texas. They host a variety of events throughout the year, they publish a zine, host a literary podcast and lead writing workshops. Find them on Facebook.

In the run-up to the 2015 Dallas City Council election, Tiffinni Young could easily have been mistaken for more of the same. She was endorsed by Carolyn Davis, District 7's outgoing council member, and didn't do anything to stir the imagination before taking office. Since doing so, however, Young has done exactly what any constituent would want from his or her representative. She's stuck up for her Fair Park and South Dallas neighborhood every time, whether it's been fighting southern Dallas' enormous loose dog problem or trying to get a full-service grocery store into Dallas' biggest food desert. Granted, she was sued recently, accused of illegally soliciting the daughter of dog-mauling victim Antoinette Brown on behalf of a lawyer. But that case hasn't been decided yet, and this is Dallas City Council we're talking about — a little legal trouble is to be expected.

Language is a skill. Language is a tool. Language is a weapon. DaVerse Lounge empowers young people to express themselves through language. With the goal of helping middle and high school students find their voices, DaVerse offers after school programs that build up to an open-mic night. The nights are rowdy, poetic adventures that will renew or strengthen your belief in the next generation.

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