By Dylan SYLVESTER
he summer may be coming to an end, but not before the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. hosts its annual film festival.
This weekend the association will be offering free movies and popcorn under the stars at its 7th annual Montrose Film Festival. Classic favorites have been shown in the past and this weekend’s lineup is bound to be a crowd pleaser. This year also offers a twist with the event being expanded to a second location.
There will be movies playing at the original location at the Andersen’s Pets parking lot, located at 2224 Honolulu Ave., and simultaneously at the Montrose Travel parking lot, located down the street at 2353 Honolulu Ave. Both locations will be showing movies each night, offering more choices for this weekend’s viewing.
On Friday night, the Andersen’s Pets location will be showing “Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb” starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stevens and Ben Kingsley. The Montrose Travel location will be playing the 2007 animated film “Ratatouille.” On Saturday night, Andersen’s Pets will be screening “Mrs. Doubtfire” starring Sally Field and Robin Williams and Montrose Travel will be showing the fantasy feature “Galaxy Quest,” starring Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver.
Community leaders Steve Pierce and Tony Smith created the film festival almost a decade ago while reminiscing about the Montrose Theater, which was located where Andersen’s Pets parking lot is now. The theater had been there since 1927 and was “the place” to go for movies. But in 1987 a fire blazed through the building, destroying it. The only reminder of the past is a singed utility pole at the edge of the shop’s parking lot.
“My wife remembers the movie theater,” Pierce said in an earlier interview. “It was like the kind of [movie theater] we all grew up with.”
To bring back that old time feeling of going to the movies on a family night out, Pierce and Smith created the Montrose Film Festival that now will feature four movies at two sites over two nights.
“A film festival needs more than two movies,” said Dale Dawson, executive director of the Montrose Shopping Park Association. He added that the shopping park association hopes that the festivities will bring out more of the community for this end-of-summer, family-friendly event.
The fun will be starting at 6 p.m. each evening at both areas, where there will be live music, candy and a race for the best seats. Then at 8 p.m. some classic cartoons will be shown, followed by that night’s blockbuster that will be finishing up between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
As in years past, much of the help to set up and take down the film festival will be provided by teens of Crescenta Valley High School’s Prom Plus Club. Club members can often be found helping at community events such as the Taste of Montrose and the Montrose Christmas Parade. The volunteers will be helping set up each venue, selling drinks and movie theater candy, and then helping clean up.
There is no cost to attend the movies and all are invited.