While watching the Super Bowl halftime performance a couple Sundays ago, perhaps you were reminded of that glorious summer when Guns N' Roses not only performed a more convincing "Live and Let Die" but also scored additional points with you for the piano opus "November Rain." Yes, that was the Use Your Illusion summer, the summer of 1991, the summer of the Riverport riot...the summer of Axl. When you think of GNR, you don't think of well-mannered martini-sippers. Instead, GNR evokes images of beer-drinking folks who are a little wild and spend most of their time in bars or, say, bowling alleys, not in society's more genteel establishments.
Fitting enough, then, that our first few frames of bowling at the new Moolah Lanes (314-446-6866) in the recently renovated Moolah building (3821 Lindell Boulevard) were complemented by "November Rain" rocking from the high-tech jukebox system. Below Ana Hartenbach's cool cityscape paintings, the roll-roll-roll-crash of the balls striking the pins provided the song with an extra drumbeat, and while "Rain" is no "Welcome to the Jungle," it did stamp a feeling of authenticity, a feeling of "real" to the newness of these -- ah, well-lit -- eight lanes. Drink some Moolah Brew, and experience some real bowling yourself from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday; games cost $4 to $5 per person, and shoe rental costs $3 -- even if GNR no longer rawks, new bowling shoes certainly do.
Later, when we moved upstairs, we discovered the beautiful and decidedly un-GNR part of the historic building: the balconied, 400-seat, single-screen Moolah Theatre (314-446-6806). You can enjoy the finer things here -- like martinis, wine and swe-ee-et plush leather couches -- as you watch one of this week's features ($5 to $8; visit www.stlouiscinema.com/moolah for shows and times). Even if you don't like the movie that's screening, the ever-changing, planetarium-esque lights on the theater's dome should keep you mesmerized. But know this to avoid Axl-like, camera-provoked annoyance: If you're attending a late show, don't expect drinks after the film. The lounge could be closed by then, especially on weekdays.