You know that feeling you get when you go to a new movie in the theater that everyone has been dying to see—that combined sense of anticipation and camaraderie among strangers, particularly when the film turns out to be a great one? It's that very experience that has turned Pride Movie Night at The Flicks, co-hosted by Your Family Friends and Neighbors, into a highly anticipated fixture during Gay Pride Week in Boise. The only difference may be that in this case, the camaraderie is largely a happy reunion among friends who may not otherwise get to see each other during the year. That sense of gathering warms the heart of The Flicks proprietor and founder Carole Skinner, who opened the theater in September 1984.
"It was always our vision to have The Flicks be a part of the whole Boise community," Skinner said. "I know it sounds simple, but we do it because we can. We are lucky to have a place where people can gather and have fun."
Christmas dinners for seniors and fundraisers for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Women's Network and the Idaho Film Foundation are just a handful of the events Skinner's assisted with over the years. Pride Movie Night, though, holds a special place for her. "My sister is a lesbian," Skinner said. "She is so proud of me that I host Gay Pride Movie Night, and I think our close relationship makes me feel comfortable with the gay and lesbian community in general. But even if that weren't the case, I know that we have been supported from the beginning by the gay and lesbian people here in Boise." Choosing the films for movie night has grown simultaneously easier and more difficult over the years—easier because there are more good gay-themed movies to choose from and more difficult because those films are harder to obtain due to the growing number of smaller distributors.
One of this year's Pride movies, the comedy/drama East Side Story, was locked in to the lineup only after Skinner tracked down the director's phone number and called to ask if The Flicks could show the film during Gay Pride Week. East Side Story takes place in East Los Angeles, where a young man named Diego works at his family's restaurant while secretly having an affair with closeted real estate agent Pedro. Diego becomes frustrated with his hush-hush affair and starts falling in love with another man who is already in a committed relationship. Racist and homophobic friends and relatives along the way plague Diego's quest for happiness.
The second film, the comedy Gray Matters, stars Heather Graham and Tom Cavanaugh as 30-something siblings in New York who are so compatible that they share a downtown loft, love to watch the same classic movies, work together and—much to their surprise—fall in love with the same woman. Sissy Spacek co-stars as a therapist who, among other things, tries to convince Gray (Graham) that she might simply be suffering from a case of sibling rivalry gone awry. See you at the movies!
Gay Pride Movie Night, Hosted by YFFN and The Flicks, Wednesday, June 6, East Side Story, 7 p.m., Gray Matters, 9 p.m., Tickets: $8 for single movies, $12 in advance for double feature, $15 for both movies at the door. More info about Pride events: www.yffn.org.