Michael Deeds: Over-21-only movie seats, ‘Duck Dynasty’ live ... yeah

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comNovember 29, 2013 

If you wince at the thought of squirrely teenagers texting and snickering next to you at a movie, it’s time to escape to Village Cinema.

The upscale new 15-screen multiplex at Fairview and Eagle provides a safety zone for grown-ups. VIP areas in nine of the 15 auditoriums feature waitstaff serving food, beer, wine and liquor. And get this: You have to be 21 or older to sit in VIP. There’s even a separate entryway.

The age restriction wasn’t planned. The decision essentially was made for Village Cinema by our friendly Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau. Strangely, this ruling might wind up being one of those so-called happy accidents.

“Everybody is really excited about it being adults-only,” says James Howard, director of operations at Village Cinema.

Granted, it could feel a little odd doing shots of Patron tequila by yourself at those Disney Pixar movies. Hey, life could be worse.

Before you shrink away in horror and point out that Village Cinema is located at the busiest intersection in the entire state — stop.

Just because you ate a turkey this week doesn’t mean you should act like a chicken. If you haven’t checked out Village Cinema, it’s time. I drove there. It wasn’t so bad.

Technological bells and whistles such as D-Box motion seats and Dolby Atmos sound are worth a peek, for sure. But Village Cinema’s luxurious atmosphere is what makes your eyes pop. You have to see this place to believe it — and eat, drink and imbibe it.

Last Saturday — opening weekend for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — Village Cinema was flooded with 4,300 moviegoers. That doesn’t even include shoppers who wandered in and dined at the upscale Backstage Bistro. Or just lounged outside on the deck sipping cappuccinos or specialty cocktails.

Check out the Idaho Statesman on Sunday for a full report on how Village Cinema is changing the moviegoing landscape. I even shot video.

ENTERTAINMENT NOTES

• Nampa’s Idaho Center, a once-storied venue that hosted epic concerts by the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Eric Clapton, is now home to monster trucks, ventriloquists and ... “Duck Dynasty” live.

I kid you not.

There’s a political tie, naturally. “Happy, Happy, Happy: An Evening with A&E’s Duck Dynasty” is being “brought to you by (Lawerence) Denney for Idaho.” He’s running for secretary of state. Here’s the spiel from ICTickets about the March 29, 2014, appearance: “Come hear stars Phil, Miss Kay, Alan, and Lisa Robertson speak on their family values and America’s heritage.”

Speak? I dunno, man. How many beard jokes can we take? I’d rather hear the Robertson clan sing — or at least lip sync to their debut album, “Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas.” At press time, it was No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart for the third week in a row.

Like I said, I kid you not.

And just in case you were thinking about braving this event as a special birthday present for your Uncle Bubba, be warned: Alcohol will not be sold.

Gotta hand it to Denney, though: “Vote for me! I brought ‘Duck Dynasty’ to the Gem State!”

• If you couldn’t get tickets to the sold-out Sandpiper Reunion Circuit concerts, which packed the Sapphire Room for two nights last weekend, have no fear. More music is coming.

The inaugural event at Boise’s Riverside Hotel was so successful that another already is in the planning stages; tentative dates are Sept. 12 and 13, 2014. Between now and then, there might even be occasional Sandpiper “sampler” concerts, too.

The reunion featured musicians who performed at regional Sandpiper restaurants in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

“It was amazing,” says Melissa Brodt, who handles marketing for the Idaho Songwriters Association.

“What was most rewarding for us is the fact that we brought so many people together who haven’t seen each other for decades and who suddenly had the chance to play together again,” she says. “The music was good, but the joy of those reunions was really something to experience.”

Check out photos from the reunion at Facebook.com/idahosongwriters.

• Speaking of veteran musicians, pianist Kevin Kirk is performing regularly again at Chandlers Steakhouse, 981 W. Grove St., Boise.

Singer Sally Tibbs will join him there for the first time in two years from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec.14.

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