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FREE Holiday Movies return to the Plaza Theatre for WinterFest


November 07

One special way to keep warm at this year’s third annual WinterFest — enjoy the FREE Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre. Beloved classics It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street will be shown along with modern favorites such as Elf and Frozen, over five Sundays beginning November 18 and ending January 6.

Texas Gas Service is sponsoring the FREE Holiday Movies at the Plaza 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.

The series opens with Elf, starring Will Ferrell, at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 18, followed by a double bill of the 1966 TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Robert Zemeckis’ animated The Polar Express, starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 25.

The movies continue two weeks later with 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street, starring then child-actor Natalie Wood, at 3:30 pm Sunday, December 9, followed by a double bill of 1983’s A Christmas Story at 1 p.m. and Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, December 16.

The series concludes with two wintry titles, Disney’s Frozen at 1 p.m. and Ice Age at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, January 6, the last day of WinterFest.

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 ice skating in Arts Festival Plaza, runs November 17 through January 6. The 12th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be August 1-11, 2019.

Go to epwinterfest.com and plazaclassic.com for more information.

Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre
Free

Sunday, November 18
2:30 p.m. — Organist Laurie Koval
3 p.m. — Elf (2003)

Sunday, November 25
2:30 p.m. — Organist Richard Garven
3 p.m. — How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
3:30 p.m. — The Polar Express (2004)

Sunday, December 9
3 p.m. — Organist Ken Fedorick
3:30 p.m. — Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Sunday, December 16
12:30 p.m. — Organist Ken Fedorick
1 p.m. — A Christmas Story (1983)
3 p.m. — Organist Richard Garven
3:30 p.m. — It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Sunday, January 6
12:30 p.m. — Organist Laurie Koval
1 p.m. — Frozen (2013)
3 p.m. — Organist Richard Garven
3:30 p.m. — Ice Age (2002)


Sam Elliott to premiere new movie at PCFF 2018


July 27

Sam Elliott will appear at the El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival for the U.S. premiere of his much-buzzed about new movie The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot at 10:30 p.m. Friday, August 10 in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10, on sale at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.

Elliott, writer-director Robert Krzykowski, El Paso-based producer Lucky McKee, El Paso-based editor Zach Passero and El Paso-based sound designer Andrew Smetek will participate in a Q&A after the screening.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival runs August 2-12, 2018, features more than 90 movies and special guest appearances by Ali MacGraw and Bruce Dern. Go to plazaclassic.com for more information.

This will be the first U.S. premiere of a new feature film in the Plaza Classic’s 11-year history.

In Epic Pictures’ The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot, Elliott plays Calvin Barr, who has kept his role in the Nazi leader’s death a secret. The burden grows heavier with the years — and the loss of his true love. Barr must face his demons after U.S. and Canadian agents hire him to kill the elusive Bigfoot before it spreads an infectious disease.

The cast includes Aidan Turner (The Hobbit movies), Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex). It was coproduced by indie film icon John Sayles (Lone Star, Matewan) and visual effects wizard Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey). Richard Yurich (Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) supervised the visual effects, with creature work by Spectral Motion (Hellboy, Stranger Things).

Although he’s most often identified with westerns and cowboys, Elliott has amassed extensive TV and film credits over his 50-year career. They include the movies Tombstone, Mask, The Big Lebowski, Road House and Lifeguard, TV’s The Ranch, Justified and The Sacketts and voice-over work (he’s the voice of Coors and Dodge Ram Trucks commercials). He has family roots in El Paso dating back to 1883. His father was born in El Paso, his mother graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, and Elliott has several relatives in the area.

Scheduling note: Kill Bill: Volume 2 moves from 10:30 p.m. August 10 to 11 p.m. August 11 in the Plaza Theatre ($8). The Royal Tenenbaums has been canceled. Tickets for the original show of Kill Bill: Volume 2 will be honored on the new date. Tickets for The Royal Tenenbaums may be exchanged for a ticket voucher for another PCFF movie. Refunds also are available.

Call the Plaza Theatre Box Office at 915-231-1100, ext. 0 for ticket inquiries. Call 915-533-4020 or go to plazaclassic.com for questions about the Plaza Classic Film Festival.


Local Flavor selections announced


July 18

A documentary about a forgotten Chicano leader, short films about human trafficking and success at all costs, animation and music videos are among this year’s selections for the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival’s annual Local Flavor showcase.

Sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, Local Flavor was curated by El Paso-based filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee. They sifted through nearly 50 entries, which were made in or connected to the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez-Las Cruces, N.M. area. The selected entries will be shown during the 11th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival from August 2-12, 2018 (plazaclassic.com).

The first Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Association of the Southwest, will be announced in a special presentation at the end of the festival. The first place Local Flavor Award is worth $1,000. Audiences will vote for the Audience Flavorite Award, which is $500.

Here’s a rundown of the films and programs:

Local Flavor I (8 p.m. Saturday, August 4, Foundation Room) — Avalanche, Amalia Mondragon music video (Robert Holguin); Shotgun, comedy (Jenn Garcia/Colin A. Borden); Act of Contrition, drama (Jonathan Gonzales); Twilight Prophecy, animation (Enrique Ponce/Joseph Scheidemandel); Matter of Black, drama (Jenn Garcia, Robert Dugan); Mask World, sci-fi (Francisco Castaneda); and Bebe, drama (Ryan Zaragoza). Free admission.

The Wall VR (2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Foundation Room) — The 18-minute, border-themed virtual reality short will be screened on headsets continuously over a 90-minute period. Filmmaker Claudio Lai will be present to demonstrate and answer questions. Free.

They Called Me King Tiger (3:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Philanthropy Theatre) — Juarez filmmaker Angel Estrada Soto’s documentary about late Chicano leader Reies Lopez Tijerina; in Spanish with English subtitles. $4 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office.

Local Flavor II (8 p.m. Saturday, August 11, Foundation Room) — Real Eyes, Tawanda music video (Jenn Garcia/Robert Dugan); Parade of Dreams, documentary (Chris Hanna/Gabe Gillette); Lost Paradise, Fools Like Me music video (Eric Coughanor/Oliver G. Tavizon), Hall Monitors, animation (Victor Maestas); The Arrangements, drama (Kim McKean); and Blood Stains (pictured), drama (Blake Vaz). Free.

Local Flavor Awards (2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 12, Foundation Room) — We’ll announce and show the Local Flavor and Audience Flavorite winners, plus the winners from the El Paso Film Commission’s El Paso 2 Day Movie Challenge. Free.


'On Location: Making Movies in the Borderland' exhibition opens July 20


July 16

El Paso, Texas — With its mountain vistas and vast desert landscapes, the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez region has fascinated filmmakers ever since the silent movie era. On Location: Making Movies in the Borderland, a new exhibition opening Friday, July 20 at the El Paso Museum of History, puts that into focus.

On Location, which will be on display through October 28 at the El Paso Museum of History, 501 N. Santa Fe, marks the fourth annual collaboration between the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, the world’s largest classic film festival, and the El Paso Museum of History.

On Location spans 100 years of movie-making on the border and features shooting scripts, posters and lobby cards from Courage Under Fire, Glory Road, Aventurera, The Brave Bulls and other movies made in the El Paso-Juarez area. It also includes an Acme Film Projector (pictured) used by silent film exhibitors and filmmakers Felix Padilla and Edmundo Padilla, items from the Juarez/Mexico City-based Calderon family of filmmakers, a copy of a letter Steve McQueen sent to Texas Gov. Preston Smith at the conclusion of filming The Getaway in El Paso, and items from movies based on books by El Paso authors Tom Lea and Cormac McCarthy.

Additionally, University of Texas at El Paso English and theater professor Dr. Mimi Gladstein, a member of the El Paso Community Foundation board of directors, will present a free lecture, Adapting Tom Lea’s ‘The Brave Bulls’ to the Screen, at noon Sunday, August 5 at the museum.


Bruce Dern to appear at PCFF 2018


July 10

El Paso, Texas — Two-time Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern will appear at this August’s El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Dern will appear for on-stage interviews with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska at 7 p.m. Friday, August 10 and Hal Ashby’s Coming Home at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 11, both in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10 for each appearance.

He also will sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 11 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon Street. Admission is free, but there will be a charge for autographs.

Dern, 82, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2013 comedy/drama Nebraska, and Best Supporting Actor for 1978’s Vietnam War-era drama Coming Home. He has roles in three other movies showing at this year’s PCFF, but will not be appearing with them: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid; Hang ‘Em High; and All the Pretty Horses. See plazaclassic.com/schedule for details.

Dern has played a variety of heavies, odd balls, straight men and unusual characters in a career that spans six decades and more than 150 movies and TV shows. They include Black Sunday, The Cowboys, The Great Gatsby, Family Plot, The King of Marvin Gardens, The Hateful Eight and the upcoming Emperor and White Boy Rick.

Bruce Dern joins Ali MacGraw as this year’s PCFF special guests. MacGraw will appear with Love Story at 7 p.m. Friday, August 3 and the El Paso-filmed The Getaway at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4, both in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10 for each. She will sign autographs from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4 in the Foundation Room.

The 11th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be August 2-12 in and around the Plaza Theatre and will feature more than 90 movies, including The African Queen, Vertigo, Traffic, Fiddler on the Roof, Amadeus, No Country for Old Men, Tootsie, The Godfather and Glory Road.

Tickets are on sale now at the Plaza Theatre box office, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.

Festival passes are on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets and 915-533-4020.

Go to plazaclassic.com for details.