The Flicks: Best little art house cinema in the west!

By Richard White, January 8, 2014

We stumbled upon The Flicks while flaneuring the Julia Davis Park Cultural District after checking out BAM (Boise Art Museum) – can’t believe we didn’t know about this place given all of our research.  It is tucked away off the beaten path in a bit of a park-like setting at 646 Fulton Street.

Next to the Main Auction (every Saturday), The Flicks has to be the biggest surprise of our Boise adventure.  It has an inviting canopy entrance with a small ticket wicket at the end.  We were immediately welcomed and asked, “How can I help you?” As it wasn’t yet show time, we were welcomed to go inside and explore. 

The Flicks is located off the beaten path with the entrance even more hidden from the average downtown pedestrian. 

The lobby is awash in the red glow of the huge Rick's Cafe American sign, creating a sense of nostalgia. 

Electric & Eclectic

The immediate response was “electric and eclectic” as we were washed in the neon glow of the “Rick’s Café American’ sign.  Still a bit in shock from the glow and the fact the lobby is a coffeehouse meets bistro meets lounge.  The baked goods looked yummy and the selection of beer and wine was very civilized.

We were also taken aback by the dabbling sun on the interior courtyard patio that would be a great place for lunch, meet-up for a coffee anytime of the day, perhaps a happy hour drink or two. And yes, it is a great spot for dinner before or after the movie.  It is a place that invites you to linger and ponder on life’s little details.   

It’s all about the art!

The Flicks established in 1984 was once a single cinema, but over time it has evolved into four cinemas – 192, 96, 55 and 45 seats respectively.  While The Flicks doesn’t have stadium seating, who cares every seat is a good seat.

The audience is knowledgeable and respectful - no chatter, no phones, no texting and no annoying ads. Just a few movie trailers and then get on with the show. 

Wine by the glass, bottles of beer and note there is also draft beer. 

Fireside chats are common place.

Fireside chats are common place.

The Food

When was the last time you were in a cinema complex that offered crème brulee, or the best burgers in town (some consider The Flick’s burgers the best in Boise).  Of course, the best benchmark for a movie house is the popcorn – The Flicks offers three toppings, real butter or tamari or brewers’ yeast.

But there’s more

The Flicks is not just a fun place to watch foreign, independent and art films, nor is it just a coffeehouse, bistro and lounge.  It is also a movie rental store.  Tucked away along the walls as you go to one of the small theatres is one of the best selections of foreign language movies I’ve ever seen. You could spend hours hunting through the titles – it would be like taking a trip around the world without leaving Boise.   

When was the last time you were in a movie rental store that had a good selection of foreign language films.

The interior patio enhances the sense of place. It is like walking into a work of art.

Last Word

We liked it so much that we went back that night to see a movie and liked it so much we went back the next night too!  While many cities have art house cinemas, few are as fun, funky and quirky as The Flicks.

If you are in Boise, it is a must see, must do place.

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