Saturday, March 14, 2009

Battlestar At The Bagdad

There is no better experience for a fan than sharing something we've enjoyed in a communal setting with people who feel the same way. Last night's viewing of Battlestar Galactica at the Bagdad theater and pub was that sort of experience. The fact that actress Katee Sakhoff was there with us just added to the joy of the whole thing.

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.)

The gorgeous Bagdad theater.

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.

Hey, that's not Starbuck!

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.

That's Cort and Fatboy next to Katee.

The rest of us were told no photos with Katee but not KUFO employees.

- Dean Wormer


Dr. Zaius said...

The "Battlestar clap"? Do you have to take penicillin for that?

ladybug said...

Thanks for the reporting...sounds like loads of fun...we can live vicariously through you!

Don Snabulus said...

I'm glad you got a good spot to watch from. One more to go!

Overdroid said...

I frakin' envy you.

Dean Wormer said...




It was a blast. I don't remember much from the actual episode though...


It's going to be an even bigger madhouse this week. I think I'll torrent the finale on Saturday morning.


Did I mention some chick talked Katee into letting her use her iphone cylon detector ap on her? Best excuse to get a closeup picture ever.

(Katee came up human, btw.)

Arkonbey said...

why would they lend the show a $50K model, anyway? It's not like you can't buy not-$50K sailing ship models from any hobby store.

See! I replied to a BSG post without ranting.

I AM envious though. Not only do you guys have a great comic culture, but you've got a wicked old theater that will show a sci-fi TV show that one of the stars attends! Grrrr.

Dean Wormer said...


One of the things I meant to say about this is how much it proved to me that my dream of opening an Alamo Theater like that chain in Texas would work here.

The radio jocks I mention host a midnight movie there once a month and show flicks like "Aliens" or "Godfather 2" and the thing is regularly sold out.

Swinebread said...

Really sad about sam :<

Nick said...


Anybody ask the awkward Max Bickford or Bionic Woman questions?

Claire said...


Nope. All Battlestar questions.