Park City Film returns to the Santy Auditorium for its upcoming season |

Park City Film returns to the Santy Auditorium for its upcoming season

Drive-in and virtual screenings will continue

Park City Film Executive Director Katharine Wang is ready to return to the Jim Santy Auditorium on Sept. 10 to start the new season of weekend screenings.
Park Record file photo

Park City Film is preparing for its return to the Jim Santy Auditorium for its autumn, winter and spring weekend-screening programming, starting Sept. 10.

While crew and volunteers are excited to be going back to an indoor venue, Executive Director Katharine Wang said the art-house nonprofit will continue to follow the same COVID-19 protocols it instigated last spring due to concern over the delta variant.

“Masks will be required for all patrons, unless they are sitting in their seats eating or drinking, and we will be doing enhanced cleaning and enhanced ventilation,” Wang said. “We will, however, have full-service concessions, and patrons will be able to bring their own bowls for popcorn.”

In addition, Park City Film decided to change the seating protocols for the fall after talking with other art-house organizations around the country, Wang said.

“We decided to increase capacity to 50%, so 150 seats will be sold for each screening,” she said. “In doing so, we’ll ask patrons to maintain a three-seat distance between themselves and the next unrelated group.”

This is a 36% increase from the spring, Wang said.

“In the spring we operated at 14% capacity, and had blocked off seats, and the process was quite restrictive, because patrons had to select specific seats when they bought tickets in advance,” she said. “That wasn’t very optimal for a movie theater, because people have certain places they like to watch movies from, whether it’s in the back, the middle or the side.”

The process also orphaned many open seats, Wang said.

“That would happen when one person who wanted to attend alone would sometimes find that they could only buy a seat in a three-seat cluster, which would then make the other two seats unavailable,” she said. “So sometimes we ended up really running at a capacity lower than 14% because of that. So, with the high level of compliance we had in the spring, we hope people will self-regulate the seating pattern, which will hopefully give more flexibility in terms of where people can sit, and the size of groups we will be able to accommodate.”

Wang said other art-house film nonprofits have had success with similar models.

“Nine Days,” by Edson Oda, won the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and was filmed in Utah. The film, which features Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz, is part of Park City Film’s weekend screenings that will start Sept. 10 at the Jim Santy Auditorium.
Photo by Michael Coles/Mandalay Pictures.

“We expect to do the same, but if not, we will make adjustments,” she said. “We want people to continue to feel safe and comfortable coming back to the Jim Santy Auditorium, because we are thrilled to be back. And of course our staff and volunteers will be onsite to help manage that process.”

While Park City Film celebrates its return to in-person autumn screenings at the Santy Auditorium, it will continue the Twilight Drive-in at the Olympic Park, and its Virtual Cinema Series this month. (See accompanying boxes for Park City Film’s September schedules.)

Park City Film will screen Jon M. Chus “In the Heights,” based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award winning Broadway musical, on Sept. 24, as part of the Twilight Drive-in at the UOP screenings that will continue through the month.
Courtesy of Park City Film

“We had a couple of Twilight Drive-in films that we had to postpone due to the Parleys Canyon Fire and other extreme weather events,” Wang said. “So we are bringing them back.”

Drive-in tickets are priced per car per film, and cars will be assigned specific spots based on height at the entrance gate, with larger/taller cars in the back, she said.

“Everyone who comes to the drive-in must arrive in a vehicle, because scooters and walk-ups will not be allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Wang said.

To adhere to the guidelines, vehicle spots have been spaced to allow for social distancing between cars and groups, and attendees are requested to stay within their designated space, according to the Park City Film website. In addition, all movie-goers will be required to wear face masks if they choose to be out of their vehicles to visit the restroom or concessions. And dogs are not allowed at this event.

Those who enjoy the Virtual Cinema option will have 48 hours to watch the films once they buy their tickets, Wang said.

“We want to give people as many options as possible to engage in the art of film,” she said.

Park City Film weekend screenings at the Jim Santy Auditorium

Friday and Saturday screenings begin at 7 p.m. Sunday screenings start at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 for the general public, $7 for students and senior citizens and $6 for Park City Film members. Assisted listening devices will be available.

• Sept. 10-12 — “Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, rated PG-13.

In 1969, during the same summer as Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival took place 100 miles away and featured Sly and the Family Stone, the Fifth Dimension, Stevie Wonder and others. More than 300,000 people attended the summer concert series, but the footage sat in a basement for more than 50 years. The documentary, which marked Thompson’s directorial debut, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and won the Audience Award, Directors Award and a Grand Jury Prize.

• Sept. 17-19 — “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” directed by Morgan Neville, rated R.

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, known for “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” gives audiences a look at Bourdain and how he impacted the world around him.

• Sept. 24-26 — “Nine Days,” directed by Edson Oda, rated R.

“Nine Days,” which won the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, was filmed in Utah, and follows Will (Winston Duke), who spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives. Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. The film is also part of Park City Film’s Made in Utah series, which showcases films that were shot in the Beehive State.

Submitted by Park City Film

Twilight Drive-in at The Utah Olympic Park screenings

Park City Film is partnering with Utah Olympic Park and Dragonfli Media to present the Twilight Drive-In at the Utah Olympic Park, a drive-in movie series to bring the community together for fun, socially-distant evenings celebrating film.

• Sept. 10 — “Point Break,” directed by Katrhyn Bigelow, rated R, 8 p.m.

After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a federal agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), infiltrates the suspected gang. But this is no ordinary group of robbers. They’re surfers — led by the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) — who are addicted to the rush of thievery. But when Utah falls in love with a female surfer, Tyler (Lori Petty), who is close to the gang, it complicates his sense of duty.

• Sept. 16 — “The Princess Bride,” directed by Rob Reiner, rated PG, 7 p.m.

A kid, home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather to read him a dusty storybook — which is how audiences meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright), who is about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted by a mysterious pirate (Wallace Shawn), a vengeful Spaniard (Mandy Patinkin), and a good-natured giant (Andre the Giant), in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance and outrageously hilarious spoofery.

• Sept. 24 — “in the Heights,” directed by Jon M. Chu, rated PG-13, 8 p.m.

Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award winning Broadway musical. “In the Heights” takes place in Washington Heights, New York, where the scent of warm coffee hangs in the air just outside of the 181st St. subway stop, and where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies a vibrant and tight-knit community.

• Sept. 25 — “Buried,” directed by Jared Drake and Steven Siig, not rated, 7:30 p.m.

“Buried,” a documentary feature, is about the Alpine Meadows Ski Patrol, who, in the early 1980’s, were the undisputed gods of winter in the mountain hamlet of Lake Tahoe, California, a sun-drenched wonderland of endless powder and parties. This crew of youthful hubris and a zest for explosives were guided by a newly minted avalanche forecaster named Jim Plehn, who was more thoughtful and strategic than the others. The responsibility to keep the skiing public safe was an all-consuming obsession of the patrol crew, which made the day of March 31, 1982 all the more devastating.

Submitted by Park City Film

Park City Film’s Virtual Cinema Series

During the COVID-19 closure, Park City Film created a Virtual Cinema series so the community could continue to watch a curated selection of independent films from the safety of their homes. The series will continue in the fall, and Virtual Cinema ticket sales help generate revenue that was lost through the COVID-19 closure in 2020.

For information and tickets, visit

• Available through Sept. 13 — “All the Streets are Silent,” directed by Jeremy Elkin, not rated.

In the late 80s and early 90s, the streets of downtown Manhattan were the site of a collision between two subcultures: skateboarding and hip hop. Narrated by Zoo York co-founder Eli Gesner with an original score by legendary hip-hop producer Large Professor (Nas, A Tribe Called Quest), “All the Streets Are Silent” brings to life the magic of the time period and the convergence that created a style and visual language that would have an outsized and enduring cultural effect.

• Available through Sept. 27 — “Summertime,” directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, rated R.

“Summertime,” which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, was shot over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, and spotlights the lives of 25 young Angelenos — a skating guitarist, a tagger, two wannabe rappers, an exasperated fast-food worker and a limo driver — as they all weave in and out of each other’s stories. Through poetry they express life, love, heartache, family, home and fear. One of them just wants to find someplace that still serves good cheeseburgers.

Submitted by Park City Film

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