July 26, 2008

Film Festival Continues Today Downtown

By Kristin Edwards, The Huntsville Item, Texas

Jul. 26--Harold Hutcheson was all smiles Friday as he ushered guests into the Old Town Theatre for the first film of this year's Huntsville Main Street Program summer film festival, "Il Postino."

According to Hutcheson, Main Street program manager, the sales for the fourth annual festival went above and beyond his expectations -- not to mention, beyond the sales for the past two years.

"Pre-sales have been very, very good both for the movie and for the movie and a dinner at the Stardust Room," Hutcheson said. "We've definitely done better than the last two years. For example, a lot of people have come into our office to buy tickets for the show tonight and for 'Casablanca,' which we'll show tomorrow night.

"Then, at [Sam Houston State] University, the other two films for tomorrow -- 'Jaws' and 'Monsoon Wedding' -- have had equal sales, so there's really been a complete mix based on the different places tickets have been sold."

Hutcheson said the summer film festival's success this year most likely has to do with the community's chance to vote on the films featured.

"I think this has gone so well this year due to the fact that we let the public vote on what they would like to see," he said. "We've heard nothing but absolutely positive comments on every one of the movies, so I can only assume that it was a real plus to invite people to vote for their selections.

"We're most certainly going to continue letting the public vote in future festivals."

Following the showing of "Il Postino" on Friday night, Hutcheson said three films remained which will be shown today, including "Jaws" at 1 p.m., followed by "Monsoon Wedding" at 4 p.m. and concluding with "Casablanca" at 8 p.m.

"As far as we know -- and we asked a lot of people who have lived in Huntsville for many years -- this is the first time 'Casablanca' has been shown on the big screen in Huntsville since its release in the 1940s," Hutcheson said. "That makes this showing kind of a historical event in itself."

While ticket sales have surpassed the figures seen over the last two years, Hutcheson said tickets will still be available at the Old Town Theatre box office an hour prior to each showing.

Tickets will also be available at Cloud 9 Health and Energy, Mount Vernon Gift Shop, Fat Boys, the Stardust Room, Humphrey's, the Wynne Home and the Main Street Office.

"At this time, I don't think people will have any problems buying their tickets," he said. "Although we have had extremely good sales, the theater will hold up to 400 people, so we should have room for last minute ticket sales."

The sponsorship of the SHSU Department of Student Activities, the SHSU Multicultural International Student Services, First National Bank of Huntsville, Roche Dentistry and attorney J. Paxton Adams helped significantly with this year's film festival, Hutcheson said.

For more information, contact the Main Street Program at (936) 291-5920.


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