Another fragment of old Anchorage goes into the dust with the birth of a new monument. Fireweed theater will close its doors Sunday with the opening of the new Regal 16 and IMAX stadium theater at Tikahtnu Commons, 1299 Muldoon Road. Starting Friday, June 11, Totem theatre will take over as the budget movie house.
The new Tikahtnu Stadium 16 features plush upgrades to the current Anchorage movie experience. The stadium seating is arranged on a step incline with 16-inch risers ensuring an unobstructed view of the screen. Cushy chairs are arranged with enough leg room to stretch out and have no worries that the chair, or your head, will be kicked by the person behind. The row space even offers enough room to pass by fellow movie-goers without stepping on toes, bumping into knees or the need for the already seated person to stand to make room. The chairs also feature moveable armrests with cup holders, rocking capabilities and tall backrests.
All of the projectors are digital with five screens offering RealD 3D and one screen showing IMAX. The IMAX silver screen stretches 70 feet and is slightly curved and gently angled towards the audience.
Ticket sales have been upgraded with the option of using self-serve ticket kiosks. Twelve concession windows in the lobby offer the usual movie treats with the new addition of Skinny Cow ice cream.
Preview events at the new theater are scheduled to start Monday, June 7 and continue through the week prior to the grand opening on Friday, June 11. For the preview days tickets are $2 as well as $2 popcorn and $2 soft drinks. A total of 25 previously released movies will show; each day will have different sponsors who will donate proceeds to non-profit community organizations. Details are available at regmovies.com/grand-opening
The grand opening will feature first run films including "The A-Team" and "The Karate Kid." The RealD 3D screens and IMAX screen will show "Shrek Forever After." Regal will be offering free popcorn and soft drinks from the grand opening through Thursday, June 24. The first 100 tickets sold each day between the grand opening and Sunday, June 13, will receive a "Karate Kid" T-shirt.
— Gretchen Weiss
The Fireweed was the largest in Alaska when it opened in 1965, with seats for more than 1,500 viewers. It has since been upgraded, remodeled, stripped and largely rebuilt. The drive-in theater once next to it — which hosted national rock acts like Savoy Brown, Kiss and Rare Earth in the 1970s — is now the site for rental storage units.
Got special Fireweed memories? Tell us about it!
-- Mike Dunham