Finally! Tickets for the 2016 edition of the El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
The ninth annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will run from August 4-14 and will feature more than 90 movies, including the special editions of the original Star Wars trilogy, Rocky, Young Frankenstein, The Music Man, Giant, Apocalypse Now, Rosemary’s Baby, Gigi, and Annie Hall.
You can find a downloadable and printable version of the schedule at plazaclassic.com/schedule.
Special guests include Mexican actress Elsa Cardenas, who will appear with Giant (shot near Marfa) at 6 p.m. Saturday, August 6 in the Plaza Theatre; and Oscar-nominated Candy Clark, who will appear with The Man Who Fell to Earth (shot in New Mexico) at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 in the Plaza. Austin filmmaker Kevin Ford will be here to show his new, experimental documentary By the River, which features Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane and footage shot in El Paso, at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 6 in the Philanthropy Theatre.
Our exhibit, A ‘Giant’ Story: When Hollywood Came to West Texas, opens July 28 at the El Paso Museum of History. It will feature costumes worn by James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, from the Warner Bros. Corporate Archive; production art, documents and photographs from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and more. It’s free and will be up through September 18.
This year’s themes include an expansive survey of monster and horror archetypes called Monster Mash, which includes the silent films The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, accompanied by electric cellist Gideon Freudmann, at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 13, and the 1929 version of the 1925 classic The Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by PCFF veteran Walter Strony, at 4 p.m. Sunday, August 7. Other titles in the series include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Uninvited, the 1958 version of The Fly, Tom Savini’s 1990 version of Night of the Living Dead, and John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London.
It’s a political year, so we’ve programmed some movies about elections, including the original The Manchurian Candidate, Robert Redford in The Candidate, and Tim Robbins’ mockumentary Bob Roberts. We’re also highlighting various members of the prolific Coppola family in a series called Coppola Family Tree, including Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, and spotlighting Hollywood icons Elizabeth Taylor (Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and Gregory Peck, who would have turned 100 this year (Twelve O’Clock High, Gentlemen’s Agreement).
There will be plenty of musicals, including Funny Girl and the return of Musical Monday on August 8, which will include screenings of High Society, the 1936 version of Show Boat, John Waters’ Hairspray, and, for the kids, Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and James and the Giant Peach. And the Philanthropy Theatre will be filled with kids movies on weekday afternoons, including The Goonies, The Geisha Boy and Beethoven. We’ve also increased the number of foreign classics in our Plaza Art House series, including Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali and Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour.
This year’s outdoor movies will return to Oregon Street. We’ll show Pink Floyd: The Wall on Friday, August 5 (Alabama Deathwalk will open), our not-to-be-missed annual showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, August 6 (Hope Riot opens), Car Wash on Friday, August 12 (Kikimora), and Mamma Mia! on Saturday, August 13 (The Other Half). They’re free. Bands start at 7:30 p.m., movies at 9 p.m. We’ll have food trucks and a bar.
This year’s Mills Drive-in/Walk-up movies are Fast Times at Ridgemont High at 9 p.m. Thursday, August 4 and Raising Arizona at 9 p.m. Thursday, August 11. Admission is $5 at the door, plus parking.
Our annual collaboration with the El Paso Museum of Art is inspired by the two Picasso exhibits currently on exhibit there through September 4. Our Picasso and Surrealism six-film series includes the documentary The Mystery of Picasso, Surviving Picasso, Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus and David Lynch’s Eraserhead. They are free and will be shown in the museum auditorium.
We’ve also expanded our footprint this year to the El Paso Public Library, which will host our second annual Plaza Classic Film Camp and a series of free movies in the auditorium that tie back to camp curriculum or other movies in the festival. That series includes the 1956 sci-fi flick Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, with special effects by legendary Ray Harryhausen, and Hector Galan’s 2015 documentary Children of Giant, introduced by executive producer Carolyn Pfeiffer.
Local Flavor, our Texas Film Commission-sponsored showcase, returns with new, free programs on the weekends.
The best way to see as many of these movies as possible is with a Festival Pass, which includes admission to all ticketed movies, an express line, private receptions and more for $200. A limited number of Film Club Passes, for high school students with an interest in film, are available for $100. Go to plazaclassic.com/tickets.