We’re still in denial that it’s been 19 years since Napoleon Dynamite debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Almost two decades later, Idaho still loves the coming-of-age indie flick! 

The movie is far from the highest-grossing movie set in Idaho. That title belongs to The River Wild, starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon and John C. Reily. That movie grossed $94.2 million during its original release. Napoleon Dynamite only grossed $46.1 million during its first release, but when someone asks you “What movie was set in Idaho?” it's the first one that comes to mind. And unlike The River Wild, it was actually shot in Idaho, too! 

Fox Searchlight Pictures & Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Celebrates "Napoleon Dynamite" 10th Anniversary With Statue Dedication
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In the grand scheme of things, $46.1 million is impressive when you consider the film had an estimated budget of $400,000 and was made with actors who were virtually nobodies back in 2004. Now Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries are pop culture icons and that’s exactly how Boise celebrated them when the trio hosted a SOLD OUT screening of the movie at The Egyptian Theater in September. People showed up in costumes. Lamb Weston, one of Idaho’s best-known frozen potato companies, handed out free tots because how could you not? They sold out a similar event at the same venue in November 2022. 

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If you couldn’t get a ticket to either of those events, you’re getting a do-over…sort of! One of the stars will be back in Boise on Saturday, October 28 to host a Halloween Party at Realms Arcade on 23rd Street. The new arcade opened in late June and has booked Efren Ramirez, who played Pedro Sanchez in the movie, for “Pedro’s Flippin’ Sweet Halloween DJ Party.”

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According to the flyer, Ramirez will be DJing the event and helping judge the best Napoleon Dynamite costumes. The venue can only hold 160 people, so tickets are extremely limited. 40 of those tickets are VIP tickets that include a meet and greet with Ramirez and special gifts.

What the Heck is Realms Arcade Anyway?

As self-proclaimed nerds, we’re stunned we didn’t hear about the new business when it opened this summer. The arcade charges a general admission price and allows you to play over 40 classic cabinet and pinball games for FREE. Some of the cabinets include Ms. Pacman, Asteroids, Space Invaders and Mortal Kombat 2. 

Photo by Pat Moin on Unsplash
Photo by Pat Moin on Unsplash

They also have several game consoles including PS2, Super Nintendo, Dreamcast and the G.O.A.T of consoles (we’re biased) the Nintendo 64! You can visit their website to preview the list of games available for those consoles, but what really matters is that they have Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros. for the 64. 

If you loved Grinkers before it closed and have a current love affair with Spacebar, chances are you’re going to enjoy Realms too. 

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