- Alex Harrison
- They just don't make 'em like this anymore. Downtown's Orpheum is an opulent extravaganza of crystal chandeliers, lush carpet, heavy brocade, and gilded moldings. Add to that the theater's touring Broadway shows — which this year included Wicked and Jersey Boys — and you have a lock on this category. It also doesn't hurt that the Orpheum rounds out its schedule with intimate shows by musical artists and showings of classic movies. Plus, it's supposedly haunted.
Fun is fun, and there's plenty of that to be found in Memphis. But when it comes to voting, fun is serious business. The Memphis Tigers men's basketball team outplayed everyone in this section of the ballot and were one of the top vote-getters of Best Of. Meanwhile, Power House, the exciting downtown contemporary-art gallery and second-place winner in "Best Art Gallery," was shuttered shortly after voting ended, and that's seriously sad.
- Justin Fox Burks
- Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 1st place: "Best Museum"
1. Memphis Pink Palace Museum
2. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
3. Children's Museum of Memphis
The Pink Palace has a little something for everybody: dinosaurs and sea monsters for the kiddies, the four-story IMAX theater for moviegoers, and a planetarium for the starstruck. The museum is also very affordable. A family membership to the IMAX club, for example, is $100 and gets you free admission to the museum and the Lichterman Nature Center, six IMAX vouchers, unlimited planetarium passes, free showings of new IMAX movies, and six guest passes. Or you can go on Tuesdays after 1 p.m. when admission to the museum — but just the museum — is free.
Best Art Gallery
1. David Lusk Gallery
2. Power House (now closed)
3. D'Edge Art and Unique Treatures — tie —
For most of the year, David Lusk Gallery holds monthly shows of work by regional artists. For younger and perhaps less affluent collectors, the gallery's annual August "Price Is Right" show is a masterpiece. Fans of local artists eagerly await the show in which all the works are priced less than $1,000.
Best Movie Theater
1. Malco Paradiso
2. Malco Studio on the Square
3. Malco Cordova
The Paradiso is Malco's signature showplace. With 17 screens, multiple concession stands, and an Italian-inspired lobby — the name comes from a 1988 film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore — the Paradiso is escapism screened large.
Best Golf Course
2. The Links at Galloway
3. TPC at Southwind
When superstar Justin Timberlake bought the old Big Creek Country Club near Millington and announced he was transforming it into an upscale golf course, most people probably thought, What does he know about golf? Turns out the former Millington native knows more than we thought, and Mirimichi (the course's new name) quickly gained favor with our readers, offering challenging fairways, a beautiful setting, fine dining in the club's restaurant, "green" technology, and maybe — just maybe — the chance to see Justin himself play a few rounds with his pals.
1. Horseshoe Casino
2. Harrah's Tunica
3. Gold Strike Casino Resort
We miss the folksy Jack Binion TV ads, but Horseshoe clearly "knows what gamblers want," as their slogan says. With some 70 gaming tables and a whopping 1,700 slot machines, the place offers plenty of chances to win big. Add the popular stage shows inside Bluesville and fine dining at Magnolia Delta Grille, and everybody comes out a winner.
- Justin Fox Burks
- Memphis Zoo, 1st place: "Best Family Entertainment"
Best Family Entertainment
1. Memphis Zoo
2. Memphis Redbirds Game
3. Children's Museum of Memphis
Whether you like your creatures with scales, skin, feathers, or fur, there's plenty to see and do here. Our personal favorite: the "Creatures of the Night" exhibit.
Best Sports Team
BOM 1. Memphis Tigers Men's Basketball
2. Memphis Redbirds
3. Memphis Grizzlies
What a soap opera of a year this has been for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team (Days of Our Lives). Last season's team made it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament, and the fan base was pumped (Passions). But Coach John Calipari decided to leave and take his dream job at Kentucky (One Life To Live). Then the news broke about former Tiger Derrick Rose cheating on the SAT (The Young and the Restless). So rookie coach Josh Pastner and his skeleton crew of ballers have a lot riding on them this coming season (The Bold and the Beautiful). They've already lost Angel Garcia, but if everyone else can stay healthy (General Hospital), the team might be decent. We'll just have to wait and see (As the World Turns).
Best Grizzlies Player
1. O.J. Mayo
2. Rudy Gay
3. Marc Gasol
Dynamic Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo led NBA rookies in scoring last season and led your vote as the team's best player. He was second in the rookie of the year race (to former Tiger Derrick Rose) but first in Griz fans' hearts, at least until Allen Iverson showed up.
Best Local Athlete
1. O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies
2. Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
3. Shaun Micheel, PGA golfer
The Griz finish first and second here with Mayo and small forward Rudy Gay, who both spent the summer in camp with the U.S. National Team and could spend many years together bouncing around the top of this category.