A Cool, Dark Place

Houston kids know the appeal of air-conditioning during the summer; that's why they watch a lot of movies. And Cinemark Theatres may have just the remedy to the "Ma, I'm bored!" syndrome with its Summer Movie Clubhouse. At both Tinseltown theater locations, kids can see second runs of G/PG flicks like Ice Age, Rugrats in Paris, Charlotte's Web, The Wild Thornberrys, Jonah, Clockstoppers and more during weekday morning screenings. But since most of these titles are already out on home video -- and probably familiar to young eyes -- what's the appeal of seeing them yet again? "The large screen is magical. That's the way movies are meant to be seen," says Cinemark's Terrell Falk. "A darkened theater draws you into the story more. Seeing it on a TV or computer screen just doesn't compare."

While geared toward summer day-care-type groups, the Clubhouse is open to all, and for much less than it would cost to rent the same films. Just be sure to keep the kiddies away from the snack counter and video games. Twizzlers for $10, anyone? 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, through August 6. 3600 West Sam Houston Parkway South (713-952-1881) and 12920 Northwest Freeway (713-329-9975). For information and a full schedule, visit www.cinemark.com. Admission is 50 cents in advance and $1 at the door. -- Bob Ruggiero

SAT 5/30
Wee Theater

Is that a pea under your mattress or are you just happy to see me? Okay, the Children's Theatre Festival version of The Princess and the Pea may not be quite the knee-slapper that made Carol Burnett a household name. But the CTF's farcical take on the Hans Christian Andersen classic about the search for a real princess will delight parents and tykes alike. The Princess and the Pea is the festival's first offering in a series of professional children's performances. CTF shows tend to sell out, and this is a 25th anniversary series, so get tickets early. 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 30; Friday, June 6; and Thursday, June 12. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, June 2, through Thursday, June 5; and Monday, June 9, through Wednesday, June 11. Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre at the University of Houston, 133 Wortham. For information, call 713-743-2929. $6 to $7. -- Marene Gustin

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