Before you send us an email, call or text us, check out the following FAQs for more information on enjoying the Plaza Classic Film Festival…
What’s the easiest way to enjoy the Festival?
Come early, stay late, repeat.
We’ve created a number of ticketing options so you can enjoy a little or a lot (we recommend the latter). You can buy individual tickets, a Festival Pass, or if you’re a high school student with a love for movies…you can join our Plaza Classic Film Club.
The Festival Pass and Film Club provides you preferred access to all Festival screenings, talks, events, etc. Just show up, flash your pass and you’re in. Just remember you need to reserve your seats in advance for our screenings in the Philanthropy Theatre. The Festival Pass is transferable, so if you don’t think you can make all the Plaza Classic’s events and screenings, share it with friends! See all the perks that come with your pass in the Pass/Tickets Tab of this site.
For those joining us from out of town (or locals that want to totally immerse themselves) - stay at the Camino Real Hotel (just across the street from the festival site). See our Getting Here page for more information on the Camino Real’s room rates and discounts for festival attendees.
What do I get with a Festival Pass?
Everything. Each Pass-holder will receive a copy of a commemorative program on The Plaza Theatre, preferred access to all screenings (so you can pick your favorite seat) as well as invitations to:
Moving Pictures: Production Art From The Academy Library
Preview and Reception at the El Paso Museum of Art on Friday, June 26th at 5:30pm.
Opening Night VIP Screening,August 1st at 7pm. Film to be announced.
Your Festival Pass will also bring you discounts on food and drinks at local eateries, check the Getting Here Tab of this site for updates on discounts and more information on Festival Pass perks.
You can order a Festival Pass (or Passes) by clicking on the link on the “Tickets and Passes” page of this website.
If I have a Festival Pass and can’t attend all the films, can I loan it to a friend to use?
Feel free to loan your pass to a friend, or anyone else that can use it. The Pass is fully transferable and is your ticket for admission (no matter whose neck it’s hanging around).
How do I get there? Where do I park?
See our Getting Here page for local directions as well as guidance if you are coming from outside the area. There are numerous parking garages within one bock of the theatre, so drop your car and hang out with us all day..
Are there movies that I can bring my whole family to?
Many of the film selections are appropriate for the whole family. In most cases we have scheduled films that may not be appropriate for children in later time slots and/or at times when there are other options provided.
All films have an MPAA rating (or for older films a “not-rated”) listed on the schedule (so if you’re not sure, check). We don’t want to impose our own criteria on what you take your family to, but we will be enforcing the rating system and have noted specifically where age restrictions will be applied (mainly to R-rated movies). We want to make the Festival as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for all our attendees and that may mean, in some cases, minors won’t be able to attend certain films that contain adult material.
Can my kids enjoy the matinees during the week without me being there?
Yes – but we’re not baby-sitters. Feel free to bring your appropriately-aged kids down and drop them off. But we do mean “appropriately-aged”! (You’re the best judge of the maturity of your children, so we’ll leave that decision up to you). Better still, consider the Festival as a great opportunity to take a day off from work and enjoy the last days of summer along with your kids. The air-conditioning is free.
Please note: The Plaza Theatre is a historical landmark and our staff will make sure all attendees respect this remarkable venue.
How early should I arrive?
If you haven’t been to the Plaza Theatre before (or at least not in a while), we’d recommend you leave ample time to park your car and enjoy a leisurely stroll to the Plaza. We typically begin seating guests 20 to 30 minutes before show time. Some of our popular evening and weekend shows will be quite full, so don’t be discouraged if you see a long line forming. The Plaza’s Kendle Kidd Auditorium seats 2,050! We do recommend you purchase tickets or passes as early as possible however.
See the Getting Here page for a list of parking options.
Festival Pass holders will have an “express” line , but we still recommend getting here a little early to insure your favorite seat is available.
Will there be popcorn? Sodas? Candy?
Yes and No. Feel free to eat and drink all you want outside the Plaza Theatre and in the entrance hall, but once inside the theatre, there is no drinking or eating allowed (so please don’t test our ushers by sneaking food in). The Plaza Theatre is a regional treasure that has undergone a $38 million dollar restoration, expansion and certification as a Historic Landmark. Please respect the theatre and all its spaces so that we can all enjoy The Plaza for many years to come.
If you’d like to enjoy a libation prior to a screening or unwind with friends after, the Oasis Lounge will be open most evenings during the Festival.
See our Getting Here page for locations of restaurants and bars in the immediate vicinity. We encourage Festival attendees to enjoy a meal between films at one of the many eateries in the area.
Where do I eat?
Anywhere you like (except in the Theatres). We encourage all Festival attendees to watch multiple movies and enjoy a snack, lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants and bars in the area.
Will you be playing the historic Plaza Organ before screenings?
Absolutely. During the course of the Festival, our wonderful team of volunteer organists will be performing before each film screenings and off and on during the free Plaza Days programs on August 1, 2, 6 and 8. We are fortunate to have the Plaza’s original, rare and fully restored theatrical organ so come early and enjoy some great music on the Plaza’s Mighty Wurlitzer.
What and where is the Philanthropy Theatre?
Right next door. The Philanthropy Theatre is a new state-of-the-art digital cinema that is part of the new Plaza Theatre Annex. The Philanthropy Theatre’s entrance is located between the Plaza Box Office and The Plaza Theatre’s main entrance (just under the marquee). The Philanthropy Theatre seats 191 people and has the latest in high-definition projection.
Are you showing actual films?
Yes (and no). We are very pleased to be showing 35mm film prints of many of the titles listed in the Plaza Theatre’s Kindle Kidd Auditorium. We’ve worked hard to procure the best available film prints of each title and we’re pleased that the major Hollywood Studios have provided us with mostly archival film prints. A number of the screenings will take advantage of newly produced, digitally restored versions of our favorite classics – these will be noted in the program.
In the Philanthropy Theatre and the El Paso Museum of Art programs, we will be presenting digital screenings of all titles listed for these venues.
The outdoor films to be presented in Arts Festival Plaza and as part of our new Drive-In/Walk-Up program will also be projected from digital sources.
Does the Plaza Classic make lots of money? If so, where does it go?
We hope to have some surpluses from the Festival, but this is a non-profit event and a special project of the El Paso Community Foundation. All festival staff are volunteers and the El Paso Community Foundation devotes enormous resources and expertise to making the Plaza Classic a success. Any surpluses the Festival may generate go directly to the Plaza Film Fund which is managed by the El Paso Community Foundation. Our goal is to build this fund in the coming years and use it as a funding source for local film-makers, alternative festivals and other film initiatives. So your support of the festival (through sponsorships, donations, and ticket purchases) will help insure there are more film projects and festival opportunities in the future.
Remember, all donations, underwriting and sponsorships are tax-deductible!
How do I become a sponsor?
We are still accepting contributions and underwriting support for the Festival. If you’d like to help sponsor a film or event, please contact us through the Contact page, call the El Paso Community Foundation at (915)533-4020.
Will this be an annual event?
Absolutely! The Plaza Classic Film Festival is the world’s largest festival devoted to classic cinema. With your help, we hope to keep the Festival growing for years to come. So invite your out-of-town friends as well.
Can I buy tickets at the last minute?
Sure. But be forewarned: we’re showing some of the greatest films ever made, in the region’s finest cinema venue. Don’t be surprised if some features are sold out prior to show time or if there’s long lines at the box-office. The best way to insure a seat – buy your tickets early!
How do I stay up to date on Festival News?
Sign-up for our newsletter, “like” us on Facebook, join us on Google + and Twitter, and keep watching this site. From time to time we’ll send out reminders and e-announcements to our mailing list to keep you informed of the latest news about the Plaza Classic.
I want to bring a large group to the Festival - can I buy a block of tickets?
Absolutely, and we can help coordinate group ticket sales. Just call The El Paso Community Foundation for assistance (see the Contact page) or you can buy tickets at the Plaza’s Box Office.
Will the balcony be open?
Oh yeah. Feel free to explore the entire range of seating options in the Plaza Theatre, including the balcony. We’d suggest you sit in different seats for each feature presentation so you can check out the wide range of “perspectives” the Plaza offers. The Screen is huge so you’ll get quite a view wherever you sit. Experiment.
How big is the screen?
It’s 44 feet wide! It’s also mounted on an armature so we can store it, intact, in the Plaza’s huge fly loft.
How come you're not showing ******* ?
Because…while eleven days and 80 titles seems like a lot of time and space to play all our favorite films – it’s not. We think we’ve done a pretty good job of programming a diverse list of important and classic films, but there’s still plenty of great titles for next year (and the year after, and the year after…)
Did all the films listed play at The Plaza originally?
Some did, some didn’t, and some we just don’t know. A complete list of all the films that played at The Plaza doesn’t exist, but we’re working on it. The Plaza closed in the mid-seventies (The Exorcist was the last first-run commercial film to play there) so anything after that couldn’t have been seen there, until now.
Can I bring my five year old to Dirty Harry, Possession or Goodfellas?
Nope, don’t even think about bringing your five year old (… or your six, seven, eight…). As you’ll see in the Schedule, we may have a few adult-oriented features for which minors are specifically excluded from attending. Also, Late Show R-rated films will be monitored for compliance with standard MPAA rating guidelines and we would ask you to use good judgment is what your child should see and how their attendance may impact the enjoyment of others in the theatre.