EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – The Plaza Classic Film Festival began Thursday, which was scaled back the past few years during the pandemic to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions.

Even though the movies were being played, the El Paso Community Foundation felt like they were missing the connections the festival has with the people in the community.

That is why they are happy to be back at their full capacity with all the theatres open and more venues to play more films which the program director from the El Paso Community Foundation says that it is all about bringing people together.

RELATED STORY: Click here to see the full schedule of films

It’s this communal feeling that you get and when you sit in the audience with a huge screen like that its immersive and it’s you and the screen basically, but you also have collective responses like people screaming jaws or shouting tequila when the organist is playing it.

Doug Pullen, Program Director, El Paso Community Foundation

During Moreno’s talk she spoke fondly of her time here in the borderland and of her fond memories of seeing the original plaza theatre.

You know what, it lives in my heart. I love this theatre I was here that very, very first time when the seats were dilapidated and I remember, and I just mentioned this before, you know its just such a great memory.

Rita Moreno

The festival will be hosting a talk with Moreno on Friday showing the 2021 version of West Side Story and her role in that as well. The person that will be hosting the talk tomorrow is excited to experience the new west side story with fellow movie lovers.

The 2021 West Side Story and talk about it and not necessarily the connections to the original but how this new version affects a whole new universe and a whole new generation of filmgoers who really embrace this film.

Felipa Solis, Critics Choice Association Member

Solis also says it’s important for new movie lovers to watch classic films so that they can value the films even more.

“It’s so important to recognize and appreciate the classic film. There’s so many bells and whistles that you see in today’s film from CGI on down and this is a way that classic film is a supposed to be seen on the big screen and for younger generations to see what the movie makers of the past were trying to achieve.”

Tickets for all Plaza Classic Film Festival screenings are available at the Plaza Theatre Box Office (no service charges) and Ticketmaster.com.

Festival passes are available at plazaclassic.com/tickets or by calling 915-533- 4020.

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