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Fly Fishing Film Tour coming Feb. 4 to the Bing

FISHING — Savvy anglers will get their tickets early for what's likely to be another sellout crowd for the annual Fly Fishing Film Tour set to screen at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb.4, at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane.

Save a couple bucks by buying your tickets for  $13 at these area fly shops:


Foley tribute planned for July 24 at Bing

Tom Foley, in 1989, just before being elected speaker of the House. File photo.


Spokane’s longest-serving congressman, Tom Foley, will be the subject of a “living tribute” organized by a pair of local businessmen later this month…



To read the rest of this post, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Fly Fishing films coming Feb. 5 to the Bing

Fall Run by Todd Moen from Todd Moen Creative on Vimeo.

FISHING — Thirteen action-packed fly fishing films are being packaged into a two-hour performance headed to Spokane in early February and to Sandpoint in April.

The 2013 Fly Fishing Film Tour is booked at the Bing Crosby Theater on Feb. 5. Doors open at 6 p.m.; films at 7.

Click here for a list and trailers of most films edited into this year's road show.

See the Sunday Outdoors story about the film festival.

See the Outdoors story about Fly Fishing Guide Hank Patterson, a spoof that's getting raves for fly fishing comedy videos

Tickets cost $15 on the tour's website, but are available in advance for $13 at:

The F3T also is coming to Sandpoint April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Panida Theater followed by a different show  — The International Fly Fishing Film Festival — on April 20.

All proceeds from both shows Sandpoint shows go to the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Pend Oreille Water Festival (classroom and field trip event for all 5thgraders in Bonner County where they are taught about fisheries and water quality!)

Spokane filmmakers have role in Banff Festival film

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE – The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will continue its three-day, sold-out run tonight at the Bing Crosby Theater, featuring a series of two dozen outdoor adventure films brilliantly displayed through the Bing’s new, just-installed, state-of-the art projector and $12,000 viewing screen.

(Coming this month: a new $50,000 surround-sound audio system).

The eclectic assortment of outdoor films has displayed some stellar adventures, including the chilling drama of a kayaker nearly drowning as a wild river pinned him and his boat to a boulder in Flow Hunters, and unbelievable skills, such as mountain biker Danny MacAskill riding obstacles through a steel plant in Industrial Revolutions.

The biggest loser film from the Friday night offerings might be 5 Races, 5 Continents featuring prolonged interviews (largely unintelligible) with ultra-runner Kilian Jornet through the 2011 running season to some of the world's most demanding races, none of which were explained.

If I had not hiked the 110-mile Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy and Switzerland this summer, I would not have had any idea what this film was about.

Best quote from Friday night's films came from disabled rock climber Pete Davis of The Gimp Monkeys:

“The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms any day.”

Top films to show tonight (Saturday) include:

Crossing the Ice (Winner of Grand Prize, People's Choice and Best film on Exploration and Adventure at the 2012 Banff Mountain Film Festival)

REEL ROCK: Honnold 3.0 (The festival's Best Film on Climbing)

On Sunday, viewers will see a documentary, Wild Bill’s Run, about an adventurous 1972 snowmobile expedition — and crime caper — that attempted to cover 5,000 miles of snow and polar ice between Minnesota and Moscow.

Director Mike Scholtz emailed me this information about a local connection:

“Four people from Spokane helped me shoot and edit the film. Chris White and Michael Pickering of Comrade Studios and Clint Janson and Matt Vielle of Hamilton Studio.

"Chris White, in particular, was invaluable. He composed the score on a Moog synthesizer (befitting the film's 70s setting) and did the sound design and final edit for the Banff World Tour."

See the lineup of World Tour Films in the Spokane event.

See the always exciting World Tour trailer here.

Film lineup announced for Banff Film Fest World Tour in Spokane

ADVENTURE — The lineup of films for the three-day run of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Spokane has been decided — just hours before the first films will be shown tonight starting at 7 p.m. at The Bing Crosby Theater.

Friday and Saturday night snows are sold out.  Only a few tickets remained for Sunday at last check.

See the always exciting World Tour trailer here.

Note: The new owners of The Bing have just installed a new state of the art projector and larger screen to debut with this weekend's film festival showing. Also, for the first time, alcoholic beverages will be sold during the festival event.

World Tour host — better known as the World Tour road warrior — Charla Tomlinson and her traveling partner Lorraine Fung from Canmore, Alberta, met with Phil Bridgers of Mountain Gear at Northern Lights Brewery this afternoon to work through the options.  Several films Bridgers wanted to show still were not licensed and a couple more were hung up in U.S. Mail. 

But they came up with a good lineup of shows for each night.  This is the second week Tomlinson and Fung have been on the road.  They'll log 60 hours of driving and 4,000 kilometers of travel from Nov. 8-Dec. 10 to show the World tour around the region.

Read on for the lineup in Spokane, subject to minor modifications.

Banff Mountain Film Fest flicks coming to The Bing

ADVENTURE — When they talk about "action films," these are the real deal.  The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has hit the road and the next stop is the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. 

About two dozen films will be shown in Spokane over the three-night run at the Bing, including Crossing the Ice (above), which won the Grand Prize, Adventure category prize and the coveted People's Choice Award at the recent nine-day film festival in Banff, Alberta.

Here's the schedule for this year's tour in this region.

Spokane: Friday and Saturday (Nov. 16-17) starting 7 p.m., and Sunday, 6 p.m., at The Bing. Different films at each showing. Tickets $15 a show or $40 for all three sessions, from Mountain Gear, 325-9000 or mountaingear.com.

Sandpoint: Jan. 24-26 at Panida Theater. Info: Mountain Fever, (208) 661-3857.

Coeur d’Alene: Jan. 27-28 at Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Road. Info: Mountain Fever, (208) 661-3857.

Pullman: Jan. 29 at Washington State University. Info: Outdoor Recreation Center, (509) 335-1892.

Spokane film lineup to be announced

Since licensing is still underway for films pegged for the World Tour version of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the features to be shown this week in Spokane won’t be selected until Friday afternoon.

Outdoors editor Rich Landers will be at Friday afternoon’s the selection meeting to post the film lineup for the three-day event online at www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors

A bit of good news: The Bing Crosby Theater will endure, says new owner

We'd hear rumors for weeks that a number of area folks were considering buying the Bing Crosby Theater, a major part of entertainment history in downtown Spokane.

We got the word earlier on Thursday that the deal was done; local property developer Gerry Dicker put together a package and signed the deal recently. We reported that on Spokesman.com earlier.

Here's a 1951 photo that shows what the building, at the corner of Lincoln and Sprague, looked like. At the time, it was the State Theater, having gone through a few changes after starting life in 1915 as the Clemmer.

Dicker said he'll maintain the building as a theater and keep the Bing Crosby name.

Photo source: The Spokesman-Review

Street skiing video in Trail, B.C., is a classic

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

SKIING — This street-skiing video clip from the ski film All.I.Can. is one of my favorite moments from the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour that ran three nights at The Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane.

It required skill and a sense of humor. It makes fun of all the virgin powder films people die to make.

It features J.P. Auclair making a wild trip down through the dirty urban snow lining the steep streets in Trail, British Columbia.  It's way more imaginative than screaming off cliffs. Very cool.

Tonight: Banff Mountain Film Festival ending 3-day run at The Bing

ADVENTURE FILMS — Adventure lovers have been feasting at a very full plate of films in Spokane during the three-day run of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Bing Crosby Theater. The lineup of films was selected Friday morning by Mountain Gear staffers. A series of 21 films — seven a night — is being shown in a different lineup each day starting tonight.

Friday night was a real crowd pleaser with full range of emotion and stunning photography. Saturday featured something new for the World Tour:  A filmmaker introducing his film, and he was a local — Jordan Halland of Coeur d'Alene, who helped film the Ice Climbing crowd pleaser Blue Obsession.

The film fest is a virtual sellout, but a few tickets may still be available for tonight. Call Mountain Gear for possible leftovers, 325-9000.

Click on the popular intro footage (above) of short clips from all the festival films to get a taste for what's to come.

Mountain Gear staffers (left) met with World Tour hostess Michelle de Camp of the Banff Mountain Film Festival Friday afternoon to choose the lineup of films. Expect a heavy and sometimes powerful mix of drama, action and stunning photography this year. 

Their goal was to offer variety every night from the movies licensed for the show. Following is the lineup in order:


All.I.Can — A visually stunning film featuring time-lapse sequences, creative visuals, great skiers and deep powder and environmental messages. Voted Best Feature-length Mountain Film,

Treeverse — Five days will people who never set their feet on the ground.

Trail Collector — Vignettes of riding various mountain biking trails — the only fat-tire flick in the World Tour this year.

 Kadoma — A movie about kayaking in the Congo, with a dramatic ending that could not have been scripted. Voted Best Film on Expedition and Adventure.

Reel Rock: Ice Revolution — Takes ice climbing to a new level.

C.A.R.C.A. — One man's quest to revolutionize the world of animal avalanche rescue.

The Freedom Chair — A great competitive skier finds a new way to win out of necessity. Voted Best Film on Mountain Sports.


On Assignment Jimmy Chin — A look behind the scenes of a passionate Yosemite climber.

Solitaire — A different kind of ski movie rising from the desert of South Africa.

Seasons: Fall — A 4-minute moody kayaking flick made on Washington's White Salmon River, part of a four-season series.

Spoil — An environmental film that avoids preachiness and relies on visuals to make its point about development and its potential impact on a special line of bears. Voted Best Film on Mountain Environment and Ranked #2 in People’s Choice voting at the Festival in Banff.

23 Feet — Three young women head out on a prolonged road trip to find the meaning of a simple life.

Blue Obsession — Jordan Halland — a heart throb in crampons — sets out on an unusual and artistic ice climbing adventure in Alaska glaciers near Juneau.

Cold — Follows mountaineers as they learn why 16 other expeditions had failed to climb an 8,000 meter Pakistan peak during winter. Grand Prize Winner at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, and likely to make you hesitate to ever complain about the cold.


Ski Bums Never Die— A light, inspiring short movie about characters you might see this year when you travel north to hit the slopes at Whitewater Ski Area near Nelson, B.C.

Chasing Water — An honest look at the length of the Colorado River. Voted Best Short Mountain Film.

Seasons: Winter — Perhaps the best of the  four seasons series, a 4-minute flick of winter kayaking with some nifty toboggan entries and a cheerful cameo appearance by river otters.

On the Trail of Genghis Khan: The Last Frontier — Australian Tim Cope get's more than he expected as he follows the conqueror's epic 10,000-kilometer route. The 1 1/2-year expedition took 3 1/2 years.  Banff film viewers reportedly fall in love with the main character. Winner of the People's Choice Award at Banff.

Sketchy Andy — Hang on to your seats as a dirtbag climber takes the discipline of slacklining into the future.

Towers of Ennedi — Veteran climber Mark Synnott – known more for his far-flung adventures than his technical accomplishments – brings young climbing stars Alex Honnold and James Pearson to the Ennedi and its unclimbed rock towers in Chad, Africa.

Reel Rock: Origins - Obe and Ashima — A climbing gym innovator works with a 9-year-old child climbing prodigy.

Read more about the Banff Mountani Film Festival World tour.

Banff Mountain Film Festvial starts three-day run at the Bing

ADVENTURE FILMS — Adventure, humor, awareness and awe, plus a   good dose of pucker factor, are coming to   Spokane this weekend in a road show of top outdoor adventure films.

And if you don't already have tickets, you may be out of luck.

The cream of the crop from the 31st annual Banff Mountain Film Festival will be traveling from Alberta to The Bing Crosby Theater tonight through Sunday.

But tickets are sold out through TicketsWest.  Call the Mountain Gear Retail Store, 325-9000, to see if any tickets are left for this popular annual event.

The World Tour shows will take the audience to extremes, from ascending to one of the coldest places on earth to rappelling into the hottest place – to take a sample of molten lava from the bowels of a volcano.

The films feature all sorts of outdoor pursuits, including climbing, wildlife, pedaling and paddling.

See above for the always popular festival film clips compiled into the exciting World Tour into segment.

Then click here for details about this year's festival as well as links for clips on many of the top films.

A feathered escape artist flees the Comedy Pet Theater

High drama, involving green feathers, took place at intermission on the street outside of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater performance last week at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Michael Smith, who manages the Bing, said his first inkling came when he looked out the window of the lobby and saw an alarming sight.

"I saw the people from the show running down the street with a ladder," said Smith.

Turns out, the show's big green parrot had flown the coop during intermission, swooped through the stage door, and winged its way across Lincoln Street. It was perched on the ledge of a fourth floor window at the Davenport Hotel.

The show's parrot wranglers set the ladder up on the sidewalk and tried to lure the parrot down. The parrot was stubborn and refused to budge.

The ladder and general hubbub attracted the attention of the Davenport's security people. They brought the frantic Popovich people into the hotel and took them up to the fourth floor room. They opened the window and talked the parrot off the ledge and into the room.

Those of us in the audience had no idea what was going on — although I wondered why intermission went on so long.

The show resumed, with the usual retinue of 12 cats, 10 dogs, three geese — and one adventuresome parrot.

Bing Film Series begins with ‘Some Like It Hot’

The fall film series at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague, has been set:

  • Sept. 27, "Some Like It Hot," the great 1959 Billy Wilder classic with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
  • Oct. 11, "Giant," the 1956 James Dean-Elizabeth Taylor epic.
  • Oct. 25, "Charade," the ultimate '60s caper thriller, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
  • Oct. 29, the Halloween Show featuring "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (the 1949 version narrated by Bing Crosby), "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy" and the 1978 Jamie Lee Curtis screamfest, "Halloween."

All shows are at 7 p.m. except the Halloween Show, which starts at 6 p.m.

This beautifully restored 1915 movie house is a great place to see these classic films. The series is also a great bargain. It's free.

However, a $5 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater, which has been instrumental in supporting this great old theater.

Meryl Streep’s son to open at Bing, Panida

Henry Wolfe, an LA singer-songwriter, has been added as the opening act for April Smith & The Great Picture Show at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint on Oct. 6 and at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane on Oct. 7.

Wolfe has a well-received album of originals, "Linda Vista," out right now and he has been making a splash in LA.

He also happens to be the son of Meryl Streep, which he ruefully admits can be a little "overshadowing."

Tickets for both shows are on sale through TicketsWest.

Cokie’s coming to the Bing

Cokie Roberts, the great political reporter for NPR, has just been booked in to the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague, for a talk on Oct. 1, 8 p.m.

Spokane Public Radio is sponsoring her appearance. Roberts will talk about the issues roiling the other Washington, including healthcare, the debt, the economy and whatever new national crisis has reared its head by Oct. 1.

Roberts comes by her political acumen honestly. She's the daughter of two famous Congress members, her father Hale Boggs and her mother Lindy Boggs.

A lot of people, and I am one, rely on her for a level-headed view of what's happening in politics.

Tickets will be $40 (it's a Spokane Public Radio fundraiser), on sale Aug. 19 through Ticketswest.

Bing books a funky Duke — George, that is

George Duke, the funky keyboard master associated with Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson and Miles Davis, has been booked into the Bing Crosby Theater for a show on Aug. 11.

Duke toured with the Mothers of Invention in the 1960s, played on Jackson's "Off the Wall" album, and produced Miles Davis' "Tutu" album.

Duke will be accompanied by a couple of other big names: David Sanborn and Marcus Miller.

Tickets are $41.50, on sale Thursday here.

Fly Fishing Film Tour coming Thursday to The Bing

FLY FISHING — Here's another good reason to visit one of three area fly shops this weekend:

They have discounted tickets to The Fly Fishing Film Tour, which will make its fourth annual winter run through Spokane on Thursday, bringing the pulse of rivers, saltwater flats and heart-thumping music to the Bing Crosby Theater.

Ten new films have been compiled into two hours of drama, savage strikes and humor set to start at 7 p.m.

I'll have a story detailing the event an all the stories in Sunday's Outdoors section.

But you might want to buy tickets sooner.

Tickets cost $12 in advance at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley, Westslope Fly Shop next to
Northern Lights Brewery and Castaway Fly Shop in Coeur d’Alene, $14 online at flyfishingfilmtour.com and $15 at the door.

Banff Films leave us in the dust

ADVENTURE —Spokane movie buffs lived on the edge for the past three days.  The World Tour from the Banff Mountain Film Festival featuring sometimes death-defying feats from underground to the highest mountains ended its three-day run at The Bing Crosby Theater Sunday night.

The Spokane audience is no stranger to adventure. Locals Chris Kopcynski and Jane Shelly, for example, had some insights into what was on the screen.

Banff Film fest at hit at The Bing

ADVENTURE — The Banff Mountain Film Festival is delivering great adventure to sold-out audiences at The Bing during its three-day run that ends Sunday evening.

Tops on the list Saturday night were:

  •  The Asgard Project, which reminds us all that hand-cams are great for lightweight ready-any-time fllming, but nothing beats cameras and tripods for delivering footage that takes your breath away.  The northern lights photos behind Mount Asgard in Baffin Island was stunning.
  • Dream Result, featuring Tyler Bradt, who made a splash in this region last year with a spring kayak descent of Palouse Falls to set a world record. Local kayakers commented after the show that they were glad the film showed a lot of the accidents and injuries involved in waterfall jumping, including the scene of a paddler who brock his back in a plunge.  The risks are huge, and people should know it.


Banff films lineup for Spokane revealed

ADVENTURE — For the first time, I’m able to reveal the lineup of films for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which starts its three-day run tonight, 7 p.m., at The Bing.

I just returned from the meeting as Mountain Gear staff made the difficult selections to present a balanced lineup of the best films without overdoing any night with too much whitewater or culture or too many long films while provide everything from thrills to laughs.

From what I could see, they succeeded.  Read on for the list of films, but if you don’t have tickets, you’re out of luck until Sunday.  The shows tonight and Saturday are sold out and Sunday tickets were going fast when I stopped by Mountain Gear minutes ago.