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BOISE -- To generate electricity to run their movie theatre and ultimately save some money too, owners of The Flicks are looking to the sun, installing dozens of solar panels on their roof.

We're open every day. So we have the espresso machine running, the projectors running, the heating and the lights, so it just adds up, said Carole Skinner, The Flicks owner.

Skinner says she and her husband were inspired to try solar power when they traveled overseas.

When we were in Europe last year, we saw solar panels everywhere. They are so far ahead of us over there. We were very impressed by that and thought we should jump on the bandwagon, Skinner said.

Initially, the Skinners wanted solar panels at their home, they had too many trees. So, the solar energy company checked out the theatre and found solar could work well for them.

They came down and said this is great. The roof is flat. There's no big trees. You have lots of sunshine. You could really cut your energy bill, and it's a cool thing, Skinner said.

Like all theatres, The Flicks recently had to upgrade to digital projectors, in The Flicks' case, at a quarter million dollar cost. So any project to save money is welcomed, and Skinner says the solar panels will eventually be not only environmentally beneficial, but financially. She hopes other businesses will see the benefit and more panels will go in downtown Boise.

There are a couple of things. One is you do get a tax credit, both a federal and a state tax credit. Then you save money on your power bill. Obviously, it doesn't pay for itself in the first year. The numbers we saw is it would pay for itself in six years, Skinner said.

On Monday, a crane will lift the actual panels onto the roof. The entire project is expected to be complete in mid-March.

The Flicks Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary this September.

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