Tickets for the fifth annual Plaza Classic Film Festival events, including an appearance by Al Pacino, will go on sale at 10 a.m. July 13.
Pacino, as you may have heard, will give his one-man show, "Al Pacino: One Night Only," at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Plaza Theatre.
He'll talk about his career in film and theater, show clips from many of his films (which include "Scarface" and the "Godfather" trilogy) and a few unreleased rarities.
His appearance is also the kickoff of an effort to retire the $13 million the festival's producer, the El Paso Community Foundation, owes on the $24 million it borrowed to help restore the 1930 movie palace in 2006.
It's also the start of an effort to raise an addtional $10 million to start an endowment fund to help pay for repairs and improvements at the historic Downtown theater.
Tickets for Pacino's appearance are $65 and $125, on sale at 10 a.m. July 13 at the box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800.745.3000.
A limited number of $1,000 "golden tickets," which include admission to a reception for Pacino after his performance, will be available only from the El Paso Community Foundation by calling 533.4020.
Two of his films will be shown during the 11-day festival, which kicks off Aug. 2. "Dog Day Afternoon" will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3, and "Looking for Richard," the "Richard III" documentary he directed, at 1 p.m. Aug. 4.
Both will be in the Philanthropy Theatre. Tickets are $4 for each.
Meanwhile, the festival is expected to screen about 80 films, four of which will feature appearances by actresses who starred in them. Tippi Hedren will speak before screenings of her two films with Alfred Hitchcock, "The Birds" (7 p.m. Aug. 10, $8) and "Marnie" (3 p.m. Aug. 11, $6), both in the Plaza.
Eva Marie Saint will be on hand to talk about her work on Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Plaza, the festival's unofficial kickoff and sponsor appreciation, with a limited number of public tickets at $20.
Saint also will talk about her work with Marlon Brando and others on "On the Waterfront," showing at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 ($8) in the big house.
About 80 films in all will be shown, which will mark the centennials of Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios while celebrating foreign, art, cult, crime, horror, war, documentaries, locally made and music movies.
That includes the premiere of Ben Solovey's digitally restored print of the El Paso-made 1966 horror film "Manos: The Hands of Fate," considered one of the worst movies ever made.
It will be shown at 10 p.m. Aug. 4, after Pacino's appearance, and will include a conversation with cast member Jackey Neyman-Jones, who's flying in from Portland, Ore. Tickets are $6.
Among the major titles booked for the popularly 7 p.m. time slot is the recently announced 30th anniversary edition of "E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial," which will be shown with film pioneer George Melies' "A Trip to the Moon," at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 in the Plaza ($8).
Other confirmed "tentpole" titles are the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's restored Biblical epic "Samson and Delilah" (3 p.m. Aug. 12, $6), Gene Kelly in "An American in Paris" (7 p.m. Aug. 11, $8), Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (7 p.m. Aug. 6, $8), Steve McQueen in the WWII actioner "The Great Escape" (7 p.m. Aug. 7, $8), Gregory Peck's sterling turn in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (7 p.m. Aug. 9, $8) and festival closer "The Sting," with Paul Newman and Robert Redford as con men (7 p.m. Aug. 12, $8).
The festival, which drew 37,000 people last year, will offer a variety of other films, including the 1954 Japanese film "Godzilla," Jean-Luc Godard's "Belle Du Jour," the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup," the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski," "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and several Carole Lombard films, including "My Man Godfrey" and "Love Before Breakfast."
Local films will be shown at the Philanthropy and El Paso Museum of Art auditorium, though titles haven't been announced yet. Jeff Berg of the Mesilla Valley Film Society will introduce two programs of local interest, one culled from local contributions to the annual Texas Film Round-Up, the other highlighting films shot in West Texas.
Local film historian and collector Jay Duncan will introduce seven short films by pioneer filmmaker George Melies, the subject of Martin Scorsese's recent "Hugo," including "A Trip to the Moon."
Music movies and comedies return Friday and Saturday nights to the Arts Festival Plaza and Thursdays to the top floor of the Mills Plaza Parking ramp.
Scorsese's 2006 Rolling Stones concert film "Shine a Light" (Aug. 3), the fourth annual showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (Aug. 4), "Elvis on Tour" (Aug. 10) and the 1966 surf classic "The Endless Summer" (Aug. 11) will be shown at 9 p.m. on the inflatable screen in the AFP. They're free.
I was asked to book local bands to play in front of those movies, so this year's first El Paso Times Presents series will feature ska punks Fixed Idea, celebrating their 20th anniversary, on Aug. 3, sibling trio the Iveys on Aug. 4, rock collective Cigarettes After Sex on Aug. 10 and Johnny Costello's new duo, Glass Tables, on Aug. 11. They'll go on at 7 p.m.
"Tommy" (Aug. 2) and "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life" (Aug. 9) will show at 9 p.m. atop the Mills Plaza. I booked the Late Nite Social Club DJ collective to provide the musical backdrop before and after the movies. Admission is $5 and beer and alcohol will be served up there this year.
There's a lot more, of course. Go to plazaclassic.com for a schedule and rundown of the films.
Tickets for all but the free movies will be for sale at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800.745.3000.
Remember, service charges apply.