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Good morning, Nurse Ratched


April 06

Two very different classics from 1975 — five-time Academy Award-winner “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Arthurian send-up “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” — are among the first titles announced for the El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival. The eighth annual edition will be Aug. 6-16, 2015 in and around the historic Plaza Theatre.

Director Milos Forman’s Cuckoo’s Nest, about a mental institution’s attempt to tame anti-authoritarian patient Randle McMurphy, was the first movie since 1934’s “It Happened One Night” to win Academy Awards in the five major categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), and Best Actress (Louise Fletcher).

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is the cult comedy that made the British troupe a global sensation. It spawned the Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot and introduced memorable characters such as the not-so-brave Sir Robin, the Black Knight, the Knights Who Say Ni and the French Taunter.

Also scheduled for PCFF 2015:

• “The King and I” (1956) — Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, and PCFF 2013 guest Rita Moreno star in the heartwarming Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about a stubborn king and the woman who tames his heart. It includes the standards Getting to Know You and I Whistle a Happy Tune.

• “Shall We Dance” (1937) — Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in this musical about a ballet star who falls for a tap dancer. It features the Gershwin brothers’ classic Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, which features an Astaire-Rogers routine on roller skates.

• “The Bicycle Thief” (1948) — Vittorio de Sica’s poignant post-WWII story about a destitute father’s frantic search for his stolen bicycle is one of the most famous examples of neorealism in Italian cinema and is considered one of the greatest movies of all time.

• “Ladies & Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones” (1974) — This no-frills concert documentary captures the legendary band, who just announced their “Zip Code” American tour, at their best during the Texas leg of their 1972 American tour supporting the classic Exile on Main St.

Tickets for the Plaza Classic Film Festival go on sale in early July. Festival passes are $200 and include admission to all ticketed events, an express lane and other perks. Plaza Classic Film Club passes, for teenagers 14 to 18, are $100. They are available at 915-533-4020 and plazaclassic.com.


Local Flavor returns


March 23

The Plaza Classic Film Festival is about more than classic movies. It’s also about showcasing future classics by area filmmakers in PCFF’s popular Local Flavor series.

Submissions for this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival Local Flavor series are now being accepted. Just go to the Submissions page for details.

There is no cost to enter a film. Shorts, features, documentaries, animated, videos and other types of films will be accepted.

Local Flavor, which is sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, is not a competition. It’s a showcase for area filmmakers seeking a wider audience for their work, and an opportunity to network.

Last year’s Local Flavor series, the first held in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, included “Los Chidos,” by writer, director and At the Drive-In/The Mars Volta/Antemasque guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Jellyfish Colectivo’s award-winning animation “9:30am,” and “El Fuego Detras,” short by El Paso’s Leo Aguirre that was accepted into the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and more.

The deadline for submissions is June 12. The list of movies chosen will be announced closer to this year’s film festival.

Email us at local@plazaclassic.com if you have questions.

The eighth annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be Aug. 6-16 at the Plaza Theatre and other venues in downtown El Paso.

PCFF tickets will go on sale in early July. Festival passes, which are transferable and include admission to all movies, are on sale now for $200. Teen Film Club passes are $100. They are available at 915-533-4020 and the Tickets & Passes page on this site.


Give the gift of movies


November 30

Don’t be left out in the cold. Get an early, and cheaper, jump on PCFF 2015 with a Festival Pass. They will be for sale for $175 from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. That’s $25 off the regular price. A Festival Pass is a great gift for the classic film fans in your circle. Perks include admission to all PCFF movies, an express lane, reservations for Philanthropy Theatre movies, special events and more. So what are you waiting for? Call 915-533-4020 or go to the Tickets & Passes page on this website and get a jump on next year’s festival. The eighth annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be Aug. 6-16, 2015.


Giving thanks


November 18

The El Paso Community Foundation would like to give thanks to the numerous sponsors who helped make the seventh annual Plaza Classic Film Festival such a big success. They help make PCFF such a magical experience each year. They help us bring in more than 80 movies, like “The Wizard of Oz” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” and stars such as Shirley Jones and Robert Wagner.

Many have been with us before. Some were new this year. They are all important to the world’s largest classic film festival.

In the spirit of the season, we’d like to say a big “Thanks!” to all of the local businesses that helped make PCFF 2014 such a box-office smash. Please support them. They are all local businesses.

If you’d like to become a sponsor for the 2015 PCFF, which returns Aug. 6-16, please email us at “info@plazaclassic.com(info@plazaclassic.com)”: or call 915-533-4020.

This year’s sponsors are:

• Airport Printing

• Ardovino’s Desert Crossing

• Barragan’s Salon & Spa

• Camino Real Hotel

• Capital Bank

• Charlotte’s Furniture, Gifts & Flooring

• Clear Channel Radio

• The El Paso Bar Association

• The El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department

• The El Paso Times

• Fuzzy Red Panda

• The Garick Group, Inc.

• Perry and Debbi Hester/ERA Real Estate

• Holiday Inn Express El Paso Central

• Hunt Companies, Inc.

• KFOX14

• KTSM/NewsChannel 9

• KVIA/ABC7

• Mills Plaza Properties

• Modern Iron Works

• Mounce, Green, Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan

• OneSource Federal Credit Union

• Reyes and Reyes Law Firm

• Jonathan Rogers

• Rudolph Honda Chevy Mazda Volkswagen

• ScottHulse Law Firm

• The Texas Film Commission

• Townsquare Media

• UBS Financial Services/Brackett Group

• Viva + Impulse Creative Co.

• Wells Fargo

• Windle Hood Alley Norton Brittain and Jay


It's a wrap!


August 18

All good things must come to an end, right? Well, at least for this year.

The El Paso Community Foundation’s seventh annual Plaza Classic Film Festival has come to an end. And what a festival it was.

Some highlights:

• We started a day early, Aug. 6, with a little exhibition game, teaming up with the El Paso Chihuahuas to show “Field of Dreams” for an audience of about 1,000. It was a fun, feel-good way to start our “season” and celebrate the new jewel of downtown El Paso, Southwest University Park.

• We began in earnest Aug. 7 with “The Pride of the Yankees,” the first of five baseball movies on this year’s busy schedule, and celebrated our sponsors with one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic roles in “The Seven Year Itch.

• We closed out our first weekend Aug. 8-10 with appearances by Shirley Jones with “Oklahoma!” and “Elmer Gantry,” a big crowd for the DCP of “The Wizard of Oz,” intros and Film Talks by TCM’s Scott McGee, over 2,000 for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Mills Street (it took our fabulous volunteers two hours to clean up the mess), a three-film celebration of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp centennial, an emotional “The Long Ride Home,” a special appearance by El Paso-raised actress Yvette Yates, a sold-out Philanthropy Theatre for Cantinflas’ “El Bolero de Raquel,” overflow crowds for the 10th anniversary edition of “The Good, The Bad and Indie” and Local Flavor, and a Sunday night crowd that gasped when villain Raymond Burr spied Jimmy Stewart watching him in “Rear Window.”

• Our weekdays were full with guest appearances by screenwriters and playwrights Beth Henley on Aug. 12 (she appeared with her “Crimes of the Heart”) and NMSU’s Mark Medoff on Aug. 14 (with “Children of a Lesser God”), plus a huge house for the new 50th anniversary digital restoration of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” sold-out children’s movies in the Philanthropy Theatre, strangely coincidental back-to-back shows of “Jumanji,” starring the late Robin Williams, and “The Shootist,” with the legendary Lauren Bacall, in the Philanthropy, and the return of Indiana Jones, this time in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

• The final weekend was topped by the ever-suave and charming Robert Wagner with “The Towering Inferno” and “A Kiss Before Dying,” not to mention a book-signing that ran over by 30 minutes due to audience demand (and some fans who flew in from as far away as Germany), the return of hometown hero Ryan Piers Williams for the local debuts of his “X/Y” (which he wrote, directed and co-starred in) and “Kilimanjaro” (which he produced) and an informal brunch for fans and filmmakers, a crowd of 1,200 for an outdoor showing of “Grease” that was delayed by strong winds and splashed by the Chihuahuas’ post-game fireworks show, the local debut of Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s “Los Chidos,” intros and Film Talks by Roger Ebert’s former editor, Laura Emerick, and a Sunday finale that included Walt Strony’s imaginative organ accompaniment for Harold Lloyd’s elevated comedy “Safety Last!” and the Watergate-inspired “All the President’s Men.”

Work will begin very soon on next year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, which returns Aug. 6-16, 2015.

Thanks to all of the guests, fans, pass holders, volunteers, Plaza Theatre staff and the production crew for making this a special year.