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Cheap Thrills 

4TH SATURDAYS UPTOWN Billed as "A Cultural Exchange & Global Marketplace," this free event boasts something for everyone. Shopping for the shopaholics, entertainment for the perpetually bored, food for erebody and peace for the single moms in the form of a children's village (hallelujah!). It's ongoing on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10am-5pm at Actor's Theatre, 650 E. Stonewall St. Call 704-342-2251 for details.

SUMMER RETRO FILM SERIES Check out film classics all summer long at the Ballantyne Village Theatre, 14815 John J Delaney Dr. Get complete schedule at and order tickets online or by calling 704-369-5101. June 9-11: The Breakfast Club; June 16-18: Napoleon Dynamite; June 23-25: The Goonies; June 30-July 2: True Romance. June 9-August 6, Friday-Saturday, 10pm and midnight; Sunday, 1pm. $5.

BOBCATS DANCE TEAM AUDITIONS It may not be as romantic as being swept away to Rome by a prince, but how about settling for local hero worship? As a member of the Charlotte Bobcats Dance Team, you command the attention of thousands at each home game and the adoration of little girls who hope to be in your place one day (not cutthroat like Showgirls, but tenderly like a mentor -- wait a minute). Preliminary rounds start this Sunday, June 11, 10am at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. MUST: Wear midriff top, dance shorts and flesh tone stockings; be at least 18 years of age; have high school diploma or GED; have a full-time job or attend college full-time; be able to stay until 6pm. Bring: current photo, resume (if applicable) and a valid ID. Preregister at Questions, call 704-688-8893. Priceless.

MOVIES IN THE PARK Not quite Breakfast at Tiffany's in Central Park, but still a great local substitution. This free event for the whole family is sponsored by Watershed in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department. Movies begin at dusk at the Amphitheatre in Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd., with free popcorn and drawings. Bring your own blanket or chairs the second Friday of each month: July 14 and August 11. Info at

LEARN TO MEDITATE Take it from loyal practitioners of meditation: There's nothing like it to take the stress of your workday off your shoulders. That's why the Pain & Rehab Institute is offering a free class in the breathing techniques and imagery used in ancient qi gong meditation (betcha didn't know there was more than one kind). The office is located at 128 E. Plaza Drive in Mooresville. Classes are Thursdays at 7:30pm. Call 704-649-1629 to get started on the path to serenity.

CHARLOTTE COMEDY THEATRE Have ya been moping around, feeling a little blue? Then here's the thing for you! Check out New Stuff Thursdays, an improv, student-based show offering just the right dose of side-splitting humor to jolt you out of the doldrums. Too cheesy, then try on Sunday's Open Mic Jam, a combo of comedy, spoken word, music, you name it. Times/Prices: Thursday, 8pm/$5; Sunday, 7pm/$3. The location is 1308 D The Plaza. Call for reservations 1-866-467-7681. Comedy Rated R.

THE BOMBASTIC BEER AND BANDS BLOCKPARTY Benefit concert for [project incite], the new Charlotte arts collective. Sunday, June 11, MoRisen bands the Sammies, Elevator Action, and the Talk w/ Secondhand Stories and others will lend their talents to this worthy cause. The party takes place in the parking lot of Brodt Music, 1906 Commonwealth Ave. $5.

SALSA NIGHTS Be Shakira for a night and prove that your "Hips Don't Lie" at the free Latin-style dance lessons offered at the Loft, 1526 Elizabeth Ave. Learn salsa, merengue, bachata and more. Touting "celebrity instructors," this joint gets hips swiveling every Wednesday night at 8pm. Hit or call 704-333-5898.

SPORTS CONNECTION The ultimate cheap thrill is, of course, sports! Among the conventional sports offered at this complex are unconventional (and cheap) games like laser tag and skating. For $5, future Tony Hawks can skate all day -- and Star Wars fans can play laser tag. Go online or call 704-583-1444.

THE DA VINCI CODE EXAMINED I know. You're tired of hearing about this infernal book! But, how about putting those doubts that this beyond controversial tome raised, which were only compounded by the additional frustration left by that poorly done movie, to rest? Greg Snyder, a Davidson College Religion Professor (and the closest thing they could get to an expert), discusses the provocative questions raised by Dan Brown's novel. Register in person or by phone at 704-895-0318. This free event is Wednesday, June 7, 7pm at North County Regional Library, 16500 Holly Crest Lane, Huntersville.

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