The Pumpkin King, a couple of weary Thanksgiving travelers and one of the world’s most beloved groups of animated toys join the big-screen fun in this year’s Texas Gas Service FREE Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, part of the City of El Paso’s fourth annual WinterFest.
Texas Gas Service is sponsoring the free movies (no tickets required) in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation, the Plaza Classic Film Festival and El Paso Live. WinterFest is presented by The Hospitals of Providence and Providence Children’s Hospitals. This year’s series — the ninth overall presented by the Plaza Classic Film Festival — features eight movies, which will be shown over five Sundays from November 24 to Dec. 29.
Remember, they’re FREE. No tickets required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
It opens with Tim Burton’s animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, about the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town gives Christmas a try. It will show at 3:30 p.m. November 24, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, in the Plaza Theatre.
It will be followed at 7 p.m. that day by John Hughes’ comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles, about two very different holiday travelers (John Candy and Steve Martin) who go to great lengths to get home for Thanksgiving. Parental note: It is rated R for profane language, most of which is in one scene.
The series continues at 1 p.m. with Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Robert Zemeckis’ computer-animated favorite The Polar Express at 3:30 p.m.
Will Farrell stars as the adorable, human Elf at 1 p.m., followed by that Red Ryder-loving Ralphie in A Christmas Story at 3:30 p.m.
The movies continue at 3:30 p.m. with the most beloved Christmas movie of all time, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.
The free movie series concludes at 1 p.m. with the Disney Pixar favorite Toy Story, about the lovable toys that come to life when their owner is away.
In true Plaza Classic style, organists Ken Fedorick, Richard Garven and Laurie Koval will perform on the Plaza Theatre’s original, restored Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ before each movie.
WinterFest, which includes El Paso Live’s WinterFest Ice Skating Rink in Arts Festival Plaza, runs November 23 through January 5. The rink opens for skating at noon November 23 and will remain open daily through January 5. Go to epwinterfest.com for details.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival returns July 30-August 9. Discounted Festival Passes will be on sale November 29-December 31 at plazaclassic.com/tickets.