El Paso TX Film Festival AUG 5-15

N E W S    R E L E A S E



Movies, celebrity appearances, outdoor concerts featured at 10-day festival


Eric Pearson


EL PASO, TX (April 12, 2010) – The world’s largest film festival dedicated to classic cinema has announced its 3rd annual, 10-day festival in El Paso, Texas. The Plaza Classic Film Festival runs August 5-15, 2010, and will feature rare screenings of classic films, film talks with celebrities and film scholars, concerts and special presentations.  Screenings will be held in and around the historic Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre, a 1930 atmospheric movie palace restored in 2006.

El Paso is quickly becoming a destination for movie palace aficionados and movie enthusiasts, alike.  “We have developed a program of the highest quality, perfectly matched with one of the finest restored movie palaces in the country, the Plaza Theatre,” said Charles Horak, who volunteers as the Plaza Classic Film Festival’s artistic director.  “We are very proud that the Plaza Classic is also one of the most affordable festival options in the United States. There’s no better, or less expensive, way to experience these films, period.”

This year’s festival program represents a broad swath of cinema greats – from a brand-new print of The African Queen to Francis Ford Coppola’s recent restoration of The Godfather; from the Technicolor brilliance of Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes to the gritty black and white of the Mexican Golden Age classic, Vámanos Con Pancho Villa;  From Steven Spielberg’s breakout film and the epitome of a “blockbuster”, Jaws, to the intense and  claustrophobic Hitchcock masterpiece Psycho – the Plaza Classic Film Festival continues to gather a stellar roster of features.  Gloria Swanson lamented in Sunset Boulevard, “…it’s the Pictures that got small,” but this year’s festival will restore audiences’ enchantment with great movies on a great big screen.

The 2010 Plaza Classic will feature a special screening of Buster Keaton’s iconic civil war comedy, The General, accompanied by the Plaza Theatre’s Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ.  “We’re very fortunate to have Walt Strony, one of the world’s premiere theatre organists, to provide live musical accompaniment for The General.  Mr. Strony’s knowledge of silent films and wonderful abilities will make this a signature event at this year’s Plaza Classic,” said Eric Pearson, Executive Vice President for the El Paso Community Foundation, which produces the Plaza Classic Film Festival. 

 The Plaza Classic Film Festival’s program diversity has grown in its initial years to include more than classic American films. “We’ve added outdoor screenings and concerts, included foreign art house classics, family-friendly outreach and educational programs, intimate conversations with filmmakers and scholars, and created several short film showcases. All were well received last year,” said Mr. Horak, who noted the festival will continue to balance acknowledged classic and popular films with titles that deserve re-discovery.

As in years past, ticket prices will remain $2.00 to $8.00, with several screenings free of charge.  The Plaza Classic Film Festival is a special project of the El Paso Community Foundation, which provides a wide range of charitable and philanthropic services in the region. Learn more at www.plazaclassic.com


  About the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre

            Known as “The Showplace of the Southwest”, the Plaza Theatre (www.theplazatheatre.org) opened in 1930 to a sellout crowd.  It was a first-run commercial movie palace until it closed in the 1970s.  Its restoration, which won the National Preservation Award in 2009, was a joint project of the El Paso Community Foundation and the City of El Paso, and resulted in one of the best performing arts facilities in the country. The Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre hosts a broad range of arts entertainment, from movies to symphony, Broadway to opera and rock & roll.  The Plaza Theatre is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a “Place of National Significance,” a moniker reserved for only about 5 percent of the historic structures in the United States.  It is a unique example of a historic atmospheric theatre with the most modern working parts behind the antique beauty.

The Plaza Theatre has been home to the Plaza Classic Film Festival since 2008.

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