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Hidden in plain sight: The Flicks’ sign has an artful secret

Tamarack Resort

Boise independent movie theater The Flicks opened in 1984 – and for most of its life had good visibility on Myrtle St. in Downtown Boise.  

But when the Inn at 500 Capitol built around the theater on two sides, it blocked the long-running Boise institution from traffic and passersby.

Hawkins Co., which owns the hotel property, asked the City of Boise and Idaho Transportation Department for a waiver to add a sign outside the hotel along Myrtle St. Boise’s guidelines generally don’t allow “off-premise” signs, but planning & zoning commissioners agreed to allow this one through.  

Classic Design made the sign – and fabricated it just across the street. Noel Weber, who owns Classic, said once they got it all done, they wheeled it across the street and put it in place.

“It’s all steel construction,” he told BoiseDev. “We found the lens in Israel and machined all the aluminum details right here at our shop.”

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The sign has unique details that help it double as an art piece. It is styled like an old-school movie projector with film strip featuring frames of Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire from their movie Swing Time. 

As I was taking pictures for the original version story, a nice woman walking by said “look in the lens!”

I hadn’t considered that the lens of the projector would show anything – but there’s a hidden surprise of sorts:

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#hydrolicpress #fabrication

A post shared by Noel Weber (@nbweber) on

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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