I arrived a couple of hours early and the line already for the free screening already stretched around the block at about five hundred people. The theater only holds six hundred. Even with that I got pretty good seats that were close to the stage and had an even greater perk that I'll mention later.
The Bagdad theater has been around Portland since the invention of film. It's an absolutely beautiful old school theater with carved ornate pillars and Egyptian designs throughout it's interior. I have happy memories of seeing the King Kong remake in 1976 at this theater (and even better memories of seeing the original Kong at the Backstage theater directly behind the Bagdad which is sadly now a bar.)
These showings have been hosted by local rock station personalities Cort and Fatboy. I listen to these guys on my commute home from work because, besides being super funny, they're both tremendous geeks who read comics, watch sci-fi, etc. With these guys you'll might hear references to Star Wars, Star Trek, Watchmen and Thundercats all within a five minute span of their show. You can see the appeal for me.
Before Battlestar began they started showing a live feed of the Sci-fi network as they were setting up. Next Generation popped on and the crowd cheered. That was when I felt like I was hanging out with the right people.
Just before Battlestar aired Cort and Fatboy took the stage. Of course they look nothing like I imagined from their radio voices. For one thing Fatboy isn't a fat boy. He's a short, skinny very buff guy.
They laid down the ground rules for when Katee arrived- telling us to keep it clean because her parents and boyfriend were going to be there. Then they got the crowd cheering in chants of "so say we all!" and doing the Battlestar clap. While they were talking Katee Sakhoff and her crew snuck in and sat just a couple of rows behind me. The crowd roared in approval when she arrived.
The episode was pretty good but to be honest I got a bigger kick out of watching Katee Sakhoff watch us react to the stuff that was happening. When Baltar would say something weasily and the crowd would laugh she seemed to get a tremendous kick out of that. Screen/ television actors probably don't get to enjoy this sort of direct feedback to their work very often.
After the episode had ended and we'd watched the previews they called Katee to the stage and she took questions from a line of mostly women. Judging by a big part of the questions Katee has a very big lesbian following.
She told some hysterical stories about Edward James Olmos (that model of the sailing ship he smashed up a couple of seasons ago was on loan from a museum and valued at 50k - "anybody else would've been fired") and a sad story about the actor that plays Sam who she's very close to in real life. He was apparently in an accident recently and may not walk again, which is why they had to put him in a tub in these final episodes.
Katee also talked about recently being diagnosed with Thyroid cancer and some of the other challenges she'd faced as an actress. She told about how she decided to get into acting after watching Jaws when she was six years old with her dad. This almost led to divorce among her parents. That story hit a little close to home as I did the same thing with our young daughter and Mrs. Wormer was none too happy.
All in all I found her very engaging and funny. She ended by apologizing that she couldn't be here for the finale next week.
- Dean Wormer