With predictable, money-grubbing sequels such as "Terminator Salvation" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" hitting theaters, it's official: Summer movie season is here.
Stunning special effects and blasts of surround sound help make the experience enjoyable. Then there are the sticky seats and $50 concession-stand tabs.
Consider heading outdoors for a summer movie. You'll discover a totally different experience.
Following the lead of Meridian's Friday-night series at Settlers Park, free family flicks will be presented at the Julia Davis Park bandshell in Boise this summer. Movies will be projected onto a 25-foot-by-14-foot screen. All you need is a lawn chair and a grocery sack full of popcorn.
June 27: "Journey to the Center of the Earth"
July 18: "Kung Fu Panda"
Aug. 22: "The Wizard of Oz"
The series is being coordinated by the Boise Public Schools Education Foundation and Boise City Parks & Recreation.
This isn't some rinky-dink operation with a couple of Parks & Rec guys fumbling with an old movie projector. An outside company has been hired to handle the movie presentation.
Beginning at 7 p.m., the Parks and Rec Mobile Recreation Van staff will toss around kickballs and coordinate activities for kids. The outdoor movies will start at dusk - around 9:30 p.m.
Meridian's free open air movie nights will feature a whopping 13 flicks, beginning with "Nim's Island" on June 5. Check my blog at Voices.IdahoStatesman.com for the rest of the schedule.
Settlers Park is at Meridian and Ustick roads.
When Satchel's Grill in Downtown Boise closed, many patrons were bummed. They no longer had a patio spot to watch movies projected on a wall.
The Falcon Tavern will revive the tradition after moving into that space, 705 W. Bannock St., on June 2. The look will be cleaner - speakers have been wired into the walls - but the projection equipment is the same. Movies should begin in early to mid-June.
On a side note, the Falcon also plans to feature live music on the patio on certain nights.
Lastly, consider heading out to a drive-in theater. The Parma Motor-Vu, which first opened in 1953, is trapped in a simpler era compared with modern megaplexes. It's a refreshing thought. Adults pay $7, kids 11 and under are free.
Caldwell also has an outdoor theater: the Terrace Drive-In. Adults pay $6 or $7, depending on the night. Kids 11 and younger are free.
Does any concert not have a pre-sale? I keep waiting for pre-pre- and pre-pre-pre-pre-sales to become the rage. Anyway, there's a pre-sale for the July 14 Kenny Chesney concert at Taco Bell Arena. It's at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 26. Find details at my blog.
Last weekend's concert by Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland drew 274 fans to the Knitting Factory. On a Saturday night. After a last-minute 2-for-1 fire sale on tickets.
For a supposed rock star, that's officially a bust.
These shows, also at the Knit, should fare better. Lacuna Coil, July 17, $16 advance; Trapt, July 20, $18 (on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 22); Pete Yorn, Aug. 17, $20 (no on-sale date); Xavier Rudd, Aug. 25, $18.50 advance (on sale May 29); Bob Weir and Ratdog, Aug. 27, $30 advance (no on-sale date); Queensryche (performing three sets of music from three albums), Nov. 6, $25 advance (on sale June 5). And here's one for a romantic date: The Jim Rose Circus vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts, July 11, $15 (on sale now). It's billed as "pretty girls, wrestling, amazing circus stunts and Г‰ a fistfight!"
The Grizzly Rose has Railroad Earth on June 23 ($19 advance, $22 at show.)
"Outrage," the documentary including appearances by Larry Craig and Statesman reporter Dan Popkey, will be screened at the Flicks from July 24 to 30. Popkey will introduce the film and stay for a Q&A afterward on July 24.