The Plaza Classic Film Festival’s opening night drive-in movie showing of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing is SOLD OUT!
It’s the musical opening of an 11-night magical mystery tour of local parking lots, featuring some of the biggest summer blockbusters and greatest classic movies.
After the Ardovino’s DC stop, the tour heads to the El Paso Community College Valle Verde campus, where we’ll show Jaws and Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 silent The Kid at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 31, sponsored by GECU, and Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit on a double bill with the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup at 8:30 p.m. August 1, sponsored by Tammy Vasilatos CPA.
Admission is $25 per vehicle. Click here for the rest of the schedule and ticket links.
We hope you have a lot of fun watching the outdoor movies at this year’s 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, produced by the El Paso Community Foundation. Due to the pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to make sure everyone has a safe experience. The emphasis will be on staying in your vehicles, wearing a mask if you have to leave your vehicle, washing your hands and observing social distancing.
Remember, the movies start July 30 with the sing-along version of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing and end August 9 with Casablanca at the El Paso International Airport’s newly dubbed Hangar 7 Studios. Tickets are $25 per vehicle, on sale at plazaclassic.com/schedule.
We’ll announce our digitally streamed movies soon. They’ll run from August 5-9 on plazaclassic.com.
Where are these places?
Let’s go in the chronological order of when we’ll be showing the movies:
We’ll be using the large, unpaved lot just below (east) of Ardovino’s Desert Crossing restaurant in Sunland Park, NM. We’re showing the sing-along version of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine there.
July 31-August 1
The El Paso Community College Valle Verde Campus lot is just off I-10. Take the Hunter exit, go south on Hunter and turn at the light where the large Taco street sign is. If you’re coming from the other direction, it’s a left turn into the lot. We’re showing Jaws and Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid on July 31, and Smokey and the Bandit with the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup on August 1.
The Camp Cohen Water Park lot is just off Gateway North, between the northbound TransMountain exit and Transmountain, on what used to be the first base side of Cohen Stadium. We’re showing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds on August 2, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on August 3.
We’ll be using the lot on the northeast side of the El Paso County Coliseum grounds. Entrance will be from Boone Street. The screen will be on the north (Paisano) side of the lot, facing south. We’re showing Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park on August 4 and Selena on August 5.
We’ll be at the gravel lot on the southwest corner of The Hospitals of Providence East Campus, near Loop 375 and Edgemere. Entry will be from Tierra Cortez Avenue, just south of the HOP campus (the main entrance must be left open for emergency vehicles). Turn east on Tierra Cortez, then north (left) into the paved lot in front of Medical Plaza A. Staff will direct you to the entrance nearby. We’re showing 1956’ Godzilla, King of the Monsters! on August 6, and a double bill of Young Frankenstein (“That’s Fronk-un-steen!”) and the original Frankenstein on August 7.
The newly dubbed Hangar 7 Studios is a hangar on the northwest corner of El Paso International Airport property. The street address is 6600 Airport Road, but it’s easier to remember that it’s on the east side of the Airport Road/Leigh Fischer Boulevard intersection. Some may remember it as the El Paso Natural Gas Co. or Continental Airlines hangar. Entrance will be through the second set of gates. We’ll be set up outside of (not inside) the hangar. We’ll have a double bill of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (a PCFF staple) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch on August 8 and Casablanca (which ends at an airport) on August 9.
What time do we show up? When do the movies start?
Admission starts at 7:30 pm. It’s best to buy your tickets in advance (we’re using touchless ticketing) and get there early enough to get a good parking spot. There’s some pre-show programming at 8:30 pm, followed by the first movie, classic comedy short or cartoons at 8:40 pm. Most nights, we’ll be done between 11 pm and midnight. The screen is 32-feet by 18-feet, rigged to a portable stage, except at the airport, where we’ll be showing movies on a 50x30-foot “screen,” in other words, hangar doors painted white.
How does parking work?
Staff in masks and yellow reflective vests will direct you. Parking is first-come, first-served. VEHICLES WILL BE PARKED IN A CHECKERBOARD PATTERN WITH SPACES BETWEEN THEM. Turn off your headlights when parked. Don’t tap your brakes during the movies. RVs and limousines not permitted. We reserve the right to relocate your vehicle if needed.
How will I hear the movies?
Via FM radio. The frequency will be posted on the screen before the program begins.
What about social distancing?
Please STAY INSIDE your vehicle, unless you need to use the restroom. WEAR A MASK if you have to step outside of your vehicle. Sitting outside is prohibited (patrons may watch from the bed of a truck, but MASKS ARE REQUIRED). Law enforcement officers will patrol the premises.
What if I have to use the restroom?
Male, female and disabled portable restrooms, with hand washing stations, will be available at each location (additional indoor restrooms will be available at the El Paso County Coliseum). Observe SOCIAL DISTANCING (6 FEET APART) if you have to wait in line.
What about safety and security?
Law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians will staff all events. Parking attendants and law enforcement officers will direct traffic in and out of each venue.
Can we bring our own food and beverages?
Yes! Concessions will not be available at most locations (Ardovino’s DC and the Coliseum will have concessions). No alcohol allowed.
What about pets?
Nope, pets are not allowed.
What if I want to leave before the movie is over?
We hope you don’t. But, if you must exit early, use your parking lights until you are off the premises. Re-entry is NOT permitted.
How do I get tickets for your other movies?
Tickets are $25 per vehicle, including double features, on sale at plazaclassic.com/schedule. Click on the name of the movie you want to see. A brief description and on-sale button will appear. Ticket sales at each location, if available, will be via plazaclassic.com/schedule. No cash sales.
What if I have a question?
Put on your mask and ask someone wearing a yellow reflective vest or a law enforcement officer.
Stay safe. Stay in your vehicle. Wear a mask if you have to leave the vehicle. Be considerate of others.
And enjoy the movies!
The El Paso Community Foundation’s 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival is going on tour and online. Due the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Plaza Classic will be a hybrid festival, with 11 consecutive nights of pop-up drive-in movies at various locations around metro El Paso, and 5 days of digitally streamed films on plazaclassic.com.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour goes to six locations from July 30 through August 9. It opens July 30 with the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine (the sing-along version) at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, followed by two nights at the El Paso Community College’s Valle Verde campus, with Jaws and Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid **on July 31, and Smokey and the Bandit and the Marx Brothers’ **Duck Soup on August 1. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds shows August 2, followed by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial August 3, both at Camp Cohen Water Park (formerly Cohen Stadium).
The tour continues with Jurassic Park August 4 and Selena August 5 at the El Paso County Coliseum; and two nights at The Hospitals of Providence East Campus, where 1956’ Godzilla, King of the Monsters! screens on August 6, and Young Frankenstein shares a bill with Frankenstein on August. The tour closes with PCFF’s 12th annual showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, on a double bill with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, on August 8, and Casablanca on August 9 at the El Paso International Airport’s newly christened Hangar 7 Studios (at the intersection of Airport Road and Leigh Fischer Boulevard). Features on Sundays through Thursdays will be preceded by Laurel and Hardy shorts, Three Stooges shorts, or Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons.
Admission begins at 7:30 p.m. Programs start at 8:30 p.m. Parking will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Mask-wearing attendants will park vehicles (cars, pickup trucks, vans and SUVs only). Sound will be broadcast via low-power FM radio. The frequency will be announced on the screen at each show.
Admission is $25 per vehicle for all shows, including double features. Advance tickets go on sale Friday, July 17 at plazaclassic.com/schedule. Contactless ticketing will be available at each site if the show is not sold out.
The Community Foundation wants to do something positive for the community, but in a safe way. Social distancing measures will be enforced. Vehicles will be spaced apart in a checkerboard pattern. Patrons are strongly encouraged to stay in their vehicles. They’re welcome to bring their own food and beverages; concessions will not be available at most locations. Portable restrooms will be available at each location.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival Online runs August 5-9 on plazaclassic.com. It will feature digitally streamed programs, including the Local Flavor filmmaker showcase, documentaries, indie features, and an exclusive screening of Amadeus, with a special guest appearance by Academy Award-winning El Paso High alum F. Murray Abraham. The schedule will be posted soon on plazaclassic.com.
The festival is made possible by the generous support and cooperation of Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, the El Paso Community College, the El Paso International Airport, El Paso Live, the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department, the El Paso Sports Commission, Paul L. Foster Family Foundation, GECU, Debbi Hester/Realtor and Perry Hester/Realtor, the Hospitals of Providence, In*Situ Architecture, Mills Plaza Properties, the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the Texas Film Commission, TFCU, and Tammy Vasilatos CPA.
The deadline to submit your film for this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival Local Flavor showcase is fast approaching.
Filmmakers, you’ve got until 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 29, 2020 to enter.
We’ve been mightily impressed with the quality of this year’s submissions. It’s going to be a tough one to curate.
Don’t forget, we’ll be handing out more than $1,500 in cash prizes, including a $1,000 first prize and $500 second prize to local and locally connected projects.
New this year — We’ll be showing the selected entries via digital streaming at plazaclassic.com.
To enter, click here.
The show will go on for the El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, which returns July 30 – August 9, 2020.
The World’s Largest Classic Film Festival will present “pop-up” drive-in movies at several locations in the El Paso area, and will stream other movies in a managed digital environment. Social distancing measures and other precautions will be used during the drive-in movies.
“This is a time of uncertainty, but it is an opportunity to strengthen the bonds in our community in a safe way,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “I know it’s not ideal, but it will definitely be a fun way to allow people a real outlet, digitally and in person.”
Plaza Classic staples, such as the popular Local Flavor local film showcase, documentaries and newer movies, will be screened digitally on the film festival’s website, plazaclassic.com.
More details will be in the coming weeks. Updates will be posted on the festival’s website, plazaclassic.com, and its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival was created by the El Paso Community Foundation in 2008, and has screened more than 1,000 movies for more than 500,000 attendees from all over the world. It has an estimated positive annual economic impact of $1.5 million on the local economy.