Sundance strikes deal with Redstone 8
Sundance Film Festival organizers for the first time plan to have public screenings at Redstone 8 Cinemas during the 2007 festival, pumping more of the prized festival tickets into circulation.
Jill Miller, the managing director of the Sundance Institute, says the organizers plan to occupy one theater for one or two evening screenings each night, starting on the first Friday of the festival and ending the last Saturday.
She says, however, that the plans remain preliminary. Previously, the Sundance organizers showed movies in one Redstone theater and those screenings were reserved for Sundance sponsors.
She says the Redstone deal will add close to 200 seats per screening.
"The demand is there. This is something we can do without a significant impact in terms of logistics," Miller says.
She says that organizers do not plan to increase the number of films, meaning that there will be more tickets available to those films that are shown during the festival. She says that the festival’s schedulers plan to show a diverse group of films at Redstone.
Miller touts the amount of parking at Redstone and says that lots of festival-goers who live in the Snyderville Basin are interested in a venue closer to their homes.
Another theater at Redstone will remain reserved for private Sundance screenings, says James Pope, the director of operations for Redstone’s parent, Rocky Mountain Resort Cinemas.
He says that the remaining six theaters at Redstone will show regular films and remain open to the public during Sundance.
"It’s a community event and we like to participate in the community," he says, adding, "It’s a top, A-grade film festival. They’re not skirting around the sides."
The 2007 festival is scheduled Jan. 18-28. The festival is one of the busiest times of Park City’s calendar. Roads are typically snarled, restaurants are frequently tough to get into and Main Street is especially happening, with celebrities, photographers and regular people lingering until late at night.
Sundance is seen as the top marketplace for independent films in the U.S. and one of the most renown in the world. Movies like "sex, lies, and videotape," "The Blair Witch Project" and "Napoleon Dynamite" are among the hits shown at Sundance.
Tickets for people not connected to the film industry, though, are notoriously scarce. The Redstone deal is the largest addition of seats since City Hall allowed the Sundance organizers to convert the Racquet Club gymnasium into a theater in 2005. The gym added 602 seats per screening.
Redstone will be the second Park City area Sundance location that is built as a movie theater. The organizers have been showing films at Holiday Village Cinemas for years. There, Sundance occupies each of the theaters throughout the festival, three for public screenings and one for the press and people in the film industry.
Other spots Sundance occupies are built for other purposes and temporarily made into screening rooms. They include the Eccles Center, the Santy Auditorium in the Park City Library and Education Center and the Egyptian Theatre.
Miller says that the festival’s organizers do not plan to extend the Sundance shuttle-bus system to Redstone but the area’s regular bus system travels between Park City and Redstone.
The Redstone shopping center, since its debut, has become a popular spot for Parkites and people from the Salt Lake Valley, offering a Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, a book store, restaurants and boutiques.
It is seen as one of Main Street’s prime competitors and it is upscale compared to some of the other shopping centers at Kimball Junction.
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