El Paso, TX

Aug 7-17, 2014 • El Paso, TX Twitter iconFacebook icon

FAQs
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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 provide preferred access to all PCFF screenings, talks and events. 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 can’t make all the Plaza Classic’s events and screenings, share it with friends! See all the perks that come with your pass in the Tickets & Passes tab on 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 Accommodations page for more information.

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), a chance to reserve seats in advance for Philanthropy Theatre events, a jump-the-line perk and invitations to:

• A private reception for “No Subtitles Required: The Art of the International Film Poster,” culled from the collection of former Plaza Classic artistic director Charles Horak and his wife, Ann Horak, at 5:30 p.m. July 11 at the El Paso Museum of Art. The exhibit of 36 posters from 12 countries opens July 13 in the Gateway Gallery and will be up through Aug. 31.

• The Opening Night VIP screening of “The Seven Year Itch,” with Marilyn Monroe, at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Plaza Theatre’s Kendle Kidd Performance Hall.

• Your Festival Pass will also bring you discounts on food and drinks at local eateries, including a 15 percent discount at the Dome Bar, Dome Restaurant and La Huerta restaurant, all in the Camino Real Hotel across the street from the Plaza Theatre, and a 25 percent discount at Starbucks, next to the Plaza Theatre in the Mills Building.

You can order a Festival Pass (or Passes) by clicking on the link on the Tickets & Passes page.

Can I loan my Festival Pass?

Yes. Feel free to loan your pass to a friend, family member or anyone else who can use it. The Festival 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?

All of our events are conveniently located in El Paso’s Downtown Arts District, just a few blocks from the downtown exits from Interstate 10. The majority of movies are scheduled for the Plaza Theatre and the adjacent Philanthropy Theatre. We also will have events at the El Paso Museum of Art, on Mills Street (between Oregon and El Paso streets), on top of the Mills Plaza Parking Garage and inside the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, our banquet facility.

There are numerous parking garages within a few blocks of the theater, so can park your car inexpensively and hang out with us all day. The closest are: the Mills Plaza Parking Garage on Oregon Street; the Convention Center parking garage on Santa Fe Street; the Camino Real Hotel parking garage on El Paso Street; and the Union Plaza Transit Terminal on San Antonio Street. Parking prices vary. Most charge $7 to $10. The Camino Real charges $6, $3 with a Plaza Classic Film Festival ticket stub or Festival Pass.

Are there movies that I can bring my whole family to?

Many of the film selections are appropriate for the whole family. Most of the movies we’re showing in the Philanthropy Theatre during the day, in fact, were programmed especially for kids and families.

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 (many older films are 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 PCFF to be 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 full, so don’t be discouraged if you see a long line forming. The Plaza’s Kendle Kidd Performance Hall seats 2,050! Once we start letting ticket holders in, it doesnt take long to find a seat.

We do recommend you purchase tickets or Festival Passes as early as possible.

The Festival runs Aug. 7-17, and the El Paso Chihuahuas open a home stand at Southwest University Park during the second half of the festival (Aug. 12-17), so give yourself a little more time to park and walk over.

Several parking options are listed on this FAQ page.

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 there is no drinking or eating allowed inside the theater — please don’t test our ushers by sneaking food in. The Plaza Theatre, which opened in 1930 and was restored in 2006, is a regional treasure that has undergone a $38 million dollar restoration, expansion and certification as a Historic Landmark. Please respect the theater and all of 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, Anson 11, Starbucks, the Oasis Bistro, Cafe Central, the Camino Hotel’s Dome and La Huerta restaurants and Dome Bar and other nearby establishments should be open most evenings during the Festival.

See our Accommodations 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 growing list of eateries in the area.

Where do I eat?

Anywhere you like (except in the theaters). 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. Check out the Accommodations page for a few ideas.

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 on the restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ before each film screening in the Plaza Theatre and off and on during the free Plaza Days programs on August 7 and 14. 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.

And don’t miss master organist Walter Strony when he returns to the PCFF to accompany Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last!” at 4 p.m. Aug. 17 in the Plaza Theatre.

What and where is the Philanthropy Theatre?

Right next door to the Plaza Theatre. The Philanthropy Theatre is a new state-of-the-art digital cinema that is part of the 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.

We’ll show a mixture of children’s movies, foreign films, documentaries and movies with local connections there.

Are you showing actual films?

Yes and no. Since we are the world’s largest classic film festival, we try to show 35mm film prints of many of the titles scheduled for the Plaza Theatre’s Kendle Kidd Performance Hall. 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 when possible. But 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 and on the website.

In the Philanthropy Theatre, the El Paso Museum of Art’s Energy Auditorium and the Foundation Room, we will present digital screenings of all titles listed for these venues.

The outdoor films scheduled for Mills Street (Arts Festival Plaza won’t be available for this year’s Festival) and the Mills Plaza Parking Garage also will be digital screenings.

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. Most of the 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 Classic 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! Contact us at info@plazaclassic.com or 915-533-4020 if you’d like to make a contribution. Any time!

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, email us at info@plazaclassic.com or call the El Paso Community Foundation at 915-533-4020.

Will this be an annual event?

Absolutely! This is our seventh year! 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 are long lines at the box office. The best way to guarantee admission is to buy your tickets early! You can get them at the box office, Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster outlets.

Festival Passes are available by clicking the link on the Tickets & Passes tab or calling 915-533-4020.

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, follow media coverage 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 at 915-533-4020, go to the Contact page (preferably before the Festival begins) or inquire at the Plaza Theatre’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 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 11 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 Theatre originally?

Some did, some didn’t, some we’re not sure about. A complete list of all the films that played at the Plaza doesn’t exist. The Plaza opened as a first-run movie palace in 1930 and closed in the mid-’70s. “The Exorcist” was the last first-run commercial film to play there, so anything released after that couldn’t have been seen there — until now.

Can I bring my 5-year-old to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, The Matrix or Blue Velvet?

Nope, don’t even think about bringing your 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-year old etc. 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. We ask you use good judgment in what your child should see and how their attendance may impact the enjoyment of others in the theater.