The El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival marks the return of the Civil War-era epic “Gone With the Wind” with an encore screening at the Plaza Theatre and a related exhibit at the El Paso Museum of History.
The world’s largest classic film festival, which returns to downtown El Paso for its eighth year August 5-16, 2015, will show the sweeping romantic drama starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh at 6 p.m. Saturday, August 8 in the Plaza Theatre, where it first opened locally on February 9, 1940. It last played PCFF in 2009.
The exhibit, “Frankly My Dear: The Art and Impact of Gone With the Wind,” offers a behind-the- scenes look at the creation of one of Hollywood’s most beloved movies. It runs July 24 through September 6 at the Museum of History, 510 N. Santa Fe, the festival’s first collaboration with the institution, which is part of the City of El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department. Admission is free.
The exhibit, generously supported by Wells Fargo, features correspondence, concept art, storyboards, costume sketches, photographs and more from the David O. Selznick Collection, on loan from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which houses the collection. The items were part of the Ransom Center’s 2014 exhibit, “The Making of Gone With the Wind.”
Additionally, “Frankly My Dear” will include an authorized reproduction of Scarlett O’Hara’s wedding dress, Civil War-era clothing and weapons from the history museum’s permanent collection, and insights into what El Paso was like during the Civil War and in 1940, when the movie opened here.
“This exhibition allows the El Paso Community Foundation to shed some light on the making of one of the most successful — and popular — movies of all time while bringing the El Paso Museum of History into the Plaza Classic Film Festival fold for the first time. Frankly, I hope people really enjoy it,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation.
“The El Paso Museum of History is thrilled to partner with the El Paso Community Foundation and the Plaza Classic Film Festival on an exhibition that will allow festival visitors the opportunity to go deeper into the making of an iconic American film that changed the history of filmmaking,” said Julia Bussinger, Director of the El Paso Museum of History.
Free Tours, lectures and related programming will be offered during the run of “Frankly My Dear” at the El Paso Museum of History. Steve Wilson, film curator at the Ransom Center, and Ann DuPont, the wedding dress’ owner and fashion merchandising program coordinator at Texas State University- San Marcos, will give talks on August 8.
Several movies with connections to “Gone With the Wind” will be shown at this year’s festival. They include “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for which Leigh won the Academy Award, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, August 6; “The Misfits,” Clark Gable’s last movie, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, August 7; and “Combat America,” a World War II documentary directed and narrated by Gable, at noon Sunday, August 9.
Tickets for “Gone With the Wind,” which will include an intermission, are $8. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, July 10, along with the 80 other movies planned for this year’s festival. Tickets will be available at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, http://plazaclassic.com, http://ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
Festival passes are $200 and include admission to all ticketed events, an express lane, early reservations for Philanthropy Theatre shows, a special passholders reception and more. They are available at http://plazaclassic.com or by calling 915-533-4020.
For information about “Frankly My Dear” and other Museum of History activities, call 915-351-3588 or go to http://history.elpasotexas.gov.