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Experience an L.A. virtual reality center where you can be a Jedi fighting Stormtroopers or John Wick fighting criminals

Experience an L.A. virtual reality center where you can be a Jedi fighting Stormtroopers or John Wick fighting criminals

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be on Tatooine, the sandy planet Anakin Skywalker hated, and fight the infamously bad-at-aiming Stormtroopers? Well, hold on to your lightsabers because the new IMAX VR Center, a.k.a the video arcade of your escapist dreams, has answered your prayers and opened its doors across from the Grove. Titled “Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine,” the experience will have you jumping in the middle of an intense battle against incoming Stormtroopers, all the the while worrying about little R2-D2 and a damaged Millennium Falcon.

 

VR Pods at the IMAX VR CenterPhotograph: Courtesy IMAX VR

If you’re not a big Star Wars fan, there are plenty of other adventures for you to try. The second most popular experience in the lineup is “John Wick Chronicles,” coinciding with the upcoming Keanu Reeves sequel. You get to play as the invincible Wick using a multitude of cool weapons as you fight fellow deadly assassins. Not all experiences involve blasters and guns though; in “Eagle Flight” you can literally be a bird and fly around Paris. Fans of escape rooms can try “The Basement,” where you’ll get fifteen minutes to solve puzzles and investigate how you can get out of there. There’s also a half hour sampler for the casual observer who just wants a small taste of virtual reality.

Some of these experiences can be downloaded and enjoyed at home for those lucky enough to be equipped with hi-tech VR gear. But for the rest of us, it’s just a short trek to Fairfax boulevard. Timed tickets are available now on the IMAX website. Check out the trailer for “Trials on Tatooine” below.

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Cure what ails you this flu season with these five immunity drinks at some of L.A.’s best juice shops

Cure what ails you this flu season with these five immunity drinks at some of L.A.’s best juice shops

It seems like everyone in L.A. is currently a walking, talking, sneezing germ ball right now. We’re in peak flu season, and combined with a new batch of rain, it feels like the best thing to do right now is to hole up underneath your covers. Before you hide, though, may we suggest a shot? Don’t worry, not the needle kind. We’re talking about juice shots packed with superfoods, healthy oils and plenty of cayenne. Yes, it’s #soLA, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Here are our five favorites to shoot back in hopes of warding off a cold—or worse.

Face Melter Shot at Naturewell: This cure in a cup includes lemon, ginger, cayenne and oil of oregano. And with a name like “Face Melter,” it can’t hurt to see what it’s all about. $2.50

Elderberry Immunity Cup at Moon Juice: It has “immunity” in the name, so it has to be effective—right? Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon’s miracle concoction features all-organic ingredients, like apple cider vinegar, elderberry, camu camu and cayenne. Drink up! $5

Apple/Lemon/Double Ginger at Beverly Hills Juice: BH Juice is a no-frills, cash-only shop that utilizes fresh ingredients for their shakes, shots and juices. As one of Time Out L.A.’s editors puts it, “the apple/lemon/double ginger with a bit of hot water fucking burns, but it’ll clear you right up.” We’ll take it. $6.50

Berry Citrus Immune at Drink Houz: This brand new wellness café in Westlake offers juices, smoothies, coffees and teas, but we’re particularly interested in the Berry Citrus Immune drink, a smoothie that promises to act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and energy elevator. It’s made with a slew of berries, plus strawberry, orange, avocado and honey. $11.95

Immunity shot at Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs: This Instagram darling isn’t just a pretty store—it offers some fantastic (and healthy!) drink options as well, including an immunity shot chock full of good-for-you ingredients. Think: coconut water, lemon, turmeric, ginger, apple cider, vinegar, oregano oil, grapefruit seed oil, maple syrup and cayenne. Whew! $4

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Grammys leaving LA for New York in 2018

Grammys leaving LA for New York in 2018

After a long run of consecutive shows held in Downtown LA, it looks like the Grammy Awards are heading back to New York City in 2018. Billboard reports that the long-rumored return of the music industry’s biggest awards show to Madison Square Garden is now all but a done deal.

The Grammys won’t be gone for long though; in 2019, the show will reportedly return to the Staples Center as part of a multi-year agreement with venue owners AEG.

In decades past, New York and Los Angeles typically alternated as host cities, but after a feud between former Recording Academy president Michael Greene and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Los Angeles became something of a permanent home for the show. The last time the show was held in New York (or anywhere other than Staples Center) was in 2003, when the nominees for Best New Artist included Norah Jones, John Mayer, and Ashanti.

The show’s location isn’t merely a point of cultural pride for the host city—it can also make a significant impact on the local economy. A 2015 report estimated the total economic benefit of the show to LA County to be as much as $200 million.

Of course, the ceremony’s complicated setup can create problems for host venues. Madison Square Garden’s busy schedule of events will have to come to a halt for almost two weeks as workers hurry to build and test the elaborate set pieces typical of the show. That may result in financial losses for the Garden’s ownership group, but as Billboard notes, the company may be eager to take business and prestige away from Staples Center—chief competitor to the reopened Forum, which the Madison Square Garden Company also owns.

It’s not clear whether the Grammys might return to New York on a semi-regular basis following the 2018 event, but for now it looks as though the show’s departure from Los Angeles will continue to be a rare occurrence.

Alias Books in West L.A. is shutting down after 58 years

Alias Books in West L.A. is shutting down after 58 years

It looks like the story is ending for one of L.A.’s oldest book shops. Alias Books, a fixture along Sawtelle Boulevard in West L.A. since 1959, is closing. The building where the store is located was sold two years ago and plans are in the works to turn the plot into a condo development.

Alias Books specialized in used and collectable books and was known for stocking its charmingly-ramshackle shelves with rare finds as well as the usual bargain classics. Once, the L.A. Times writes, the shop acquired the entire personal library of the L.A. City College’s long-serving librarian, some 150,000 volumes, including signed, original works by the likes of Pablo Neruda and Ted Hughes.

If you want to get your bookstore fix, you can still swing by until March 14. A clearance sale is already on, with inventory discounted by 40 percent. Anything left over when the doors shut will be donated to a local library.

This isn’t the last you hear from Alias, though. In 2009, the owner, Brian Paeper, opened a second location, Alias Books East, in Atwater Village. That store is doing well and will stay open after the Sawtelle shop shutters. Paeper is also already looking for the perfect place to open a new Alias shop, which is most likely to be in the West Adams neighborhood

“I do think that there’s room for bookstores,” Paeper told the Times. “I believe in these places.”

Alias Books is located at 1650 S. Sawtelle Blvd. Shop hours are 11am to 10pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 8pm Sunday, through March 14. 

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