Jess and I caught the latest Bourne flick (Ultimatum) on Monday for my single day off between jobs. I met her downtown and we caught the flick then got a little dinner after.
The movie was pretty good, but that is not what I want to talk about.
Instead, I want to talk about the theater itself. See, we went to catch the matinée at Boise’s legendary Egyptian Theatre. It has been in business since 1927 here, and despite some lean years in the 80′s, it is back and is the destination for premiers and events. Right downtown with plenty of parking nearby and lots of post event entertainment (restaurants and bars).
This is the type of place that is just so refreshing I had to write about it.
Once you buy your ticket and head in the door, you realize you are in a different environment from the massive megaplexes. First off, the lobby has a nice, old school feel to it. It is decorated beyond having posters hanging on the wall. Of course, it is all in an Egyptian theme (which was HUGE when the theater was built due to the popularity of the King Tut discovery).
The old school feel continues to the concession stand. It is hard to believe, but they are not outrageously overpriced. Both popcorn and drinks come in manageable portions, not gigantic buckets that could feed a small family for a week. I got a medium popcorn (a lunch bag sized bag) and a medium drink (probably 24 oz.). Total cost, 7 bucks. They also sell gelato on the weekends, so I didn’t get to try that. Plus, I didn’t need a forklift to carry my snacks to my seat.
Once you get into the auditorium, you are aware you aren’t in your typical theater. Elaborately decorated, with big comfortable seats with lots of legroom. The screen is not so huge that you have to crane your neck to see it all, yet big enough to get the theater experience.
But what I really want to talk about is the presentation. It was exactly how I remember going to movies as a kid. When you sit there before the movie starts, you look at the curtains over the screen and listen to muzak versions of movie theme songs. You aren’t bombarded by advertisements or stupid trivia repeated every 4 minutes. Its relaxing. You get that chance to get your head ready to really watch a movie. It should be different than watching it at home.
The curtain opens, and BAM… straight into the first preview. Again, no commercials. No pleas for people to shut off their cell phones. No pimping of coke or popcorn. No public service announcements. Nothing. Just the first preview.
Once the 4 or 5 previews were over, they go straight into the movie. It was so amazing to me, it was jarring. I can tell you this, from here on out, if a movie I want to see is showing at The Egyptian, I will absolutely pick that place first.
The only small beef I had was that the sound where we sat was a bit echo-ey. Made some of the dialog a bit tough to hear. I think if we sat in the balcony, that wouldn’t be a problem. Definitely not enough to keep me away.
According to their website they are putting in a digital projector, which will make that the PERFECT movie experience. As it stands, it is as good as you can get in town for a standard definition screen.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.