The first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival is taking place this Thursday through Sunday, April 22-25, right in the heart of old time Hollywood itself. The four-day festival will provide classic movie fans a rare opportunity to experience some of cinema’s greatest works at their very best – on the big screen!
I can’t tell you how excited I am about the first ever Classic Film Festival, especially since it’s being presented by Turner Classic Movies. As a huge fan of everything TCM, I couldn’t be more thrilled that the network has taken this enormous step to bring the magic of the movies to the fans who long to see classic films the way they were meant to be seen: in darkened theaters surrounded by other adoring fans. In an endeavor to make the most of its inaugural year, TCM has turned to the expertise of festival consultants Bill and Stella Pence, co-founders of the highly revered Telluride Film Festival. With the guidance of these two festival veterans the Classic Film Festival is anticipated to get the best start it possibly can with major events, celebrity appearances, panel discussions and more.
Taking place in the heart of old Hollywood, screenings are planned for The Egyptian (site of the first red carpet premier), Grauman’s Chinese Theatre of course, and even The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. In addition to hosting special events, the historic hotel will be home for Club TCM, the central meeting point for the Festival community exclusively accessible to pass holders only Headquartered in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (you can purchase individual tickets, you just won’t be able to access any of the really cool stuff!). As the site of the original Academy Awards banquet this lavish room simply hums with old time Hollywood atmosphere.
The Club will provide fans with exclusive events unique to the festival, such as once-in-a-lifetime experiences of interacting with their favorite stars. Scheduled events include book signings, art displays, and many organized conversations with honored festival guests including Mel Brooks, Tony Curtis, Jon Voight, Martin Landau, Buck Henry, Peter Bogdanovich, and Leonard Maltin. I’ve been to this hotel many times and I have to say that walking into the lobby is just like stepping back into another, more glamorous era. It’s an inspired location for just such a meeting point. And it’s just a few blocks from my home!
Of course the festival is about the movies themselves and TCM has worked with the world’s pre-eminent film archives to bring rare screenings and truly special presentations to the Classic Film Festival. Included in the line up are two restored films “Sunnyside Up”, and “The Big Trail”. The festival also includes an archival print of “Casablanca”, a presentation of “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (paired with the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Rabbit Hood”), a rare theatrical screening of the Joan Crawford drama “A Woman’s Face”, the classic Harold Lloyd comedy “Safety Last”, and screenings of such crowd pleasers as “Laura”, “Some Like It Hot”, “Pillow Talk” and even “Saturday Night Fever”, and much, much more. To see a complete schedule of screenings and events visit the festival’s official site at TCM.com/festival/. It’s a truly impressive site that’s packed full of all the information you could possibly need while attending the festival.
If you can’t make it to the festival itself TCM has got you covered with online coverage and a special on-air lineup designed to help you appreciate the experience from afar. But if you are in the area then you really ought to catch as much of the action in person as you possibly can. With so much to offer, you’ve just got to get over to the heart of Hollywood and check it out for yourself. I promise you, you’ll regret it if you don’t.