Vintage Movie Night at The Sapphire Room: Where Elegance and Kitsch Meet 

click to enlarge For Vintage Movie Night, every table at the Sapphire Room was decorated with popcorn and candy.  - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • For Vintage Movie Night, every table at the Sapphire Room was decorated with popcorn and candy.
The 7:30 p.m. screening of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest at the Riverside Hotel Sapphire Room featured a rare sight: goody bags of cheap candy and bright yellow tubs of popcorn sitting on black linen table clothes, alongside sparkling glasses and a carafe of ice water.

The film, starring 50s heartthrob Cary Grant and starlet Eva Marie Saint, was the main attraction of Vintage Movie Night Nov. 7, a popular event at the Sapphire Room. When the lights dimmed without fanfare on the packed house, a crystal bar lamp and a popcorn maker crackling away to the right of the screen provided a golden glow: the perfect marriage of elegance and kitsch.

As Grant cracked his one-liners, black-clad servers moved through the room, taking orders for wine, crab cakes, flat iron steak and smoked pork, pouring water and refilling the guests' bottomless candy and popcorn—both of which were included in the $20 ticket price.  Judging by the number of couples in the room, Vintage Movie Night is a date night destination for middle-aged and older couples, though there were some younger faces, too.

"It's usually the same crowd," said lead host of the event Courtney Laughlin, although she noted that there are some exceptions to the rule, as some movies are catered to families. "For Ghostbusters, there were more kids at that one. A lot of people assume [the Sapphire Room] isn't kid-friendly, but we're all ages, all the time."

Apart from some sound bleed from the lobby, the occasional crash of dishes from the kitchen and the somewhat distracting dinner aromas, the night went off smoothly.

Ryan Donalson, a Hitchcock buff there with his wife, was pleasantly surprised by how the intimate event compared with his many experiences at Boise Classic Movies, where patrons are packed into The Egyptian Theatre downtown.

"We'll come back even if it's not Hitchcock," he said.

A full schedule of upcoming movies—which pop up seemingly at random and seem to sell out fast, occasionally prompting encores—can be found on the Riverside Hotel website.
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