Lights! Camera! Montrose Movie Night!

Locals can get ready for two nights of outdoor movie fun.

File photo
At a previous Montrose Film Festival, movie-goers watch the screenings of the night under the watchful eye of the Kiwanis of Glendale duck, a reminder of the Kiwanis Incredible Duck Splash.


The average cost of a movie ticket in 2008 was $7.18 and in 2017 it was $8.97, according to NATO [National Association of Theatre Owners]. But in Montrose there is a place where people can watch a movie for free, and enjoy popcorn for the same price. The annual two-night event takes place this weekend where the family-friendly movies can be seen under the stars.

The Montrose Film Festival began nine years ago when Tony Smith and Steve Pierce began talking over a cup of coffee at Black Cow Café.

“It was actually Tony’s idea,” Pierce said in a previous interview with CVW.

The two began reminiscing about the Montrose Theatre that opened in 1924, when the town of Montrose was expanding rapidly, according to the Montrose Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce. The theatre, which once housed live acts and movies later on, was located in the 2200 block of Honolulu where the Andersen’s Pet Shop parking lot is now.

Montrose Theatre weathered the Depression, and the returning soldiers from World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Then a devastating fire in 1987 destroyed the theater. It was a loss for the entire community. The scars from the fire can still be seen on a utility pole just at the entrance of the parking lot.

Smith and Pierce wanted to bring movies back to Montrose and created the Montrose Film Festival. The films are family-friendly and there is a lot of outdoor seating. This year, “Ferdinand” will be shown Friday night. The film was directed by Carlos Saidanha and is based on the children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The writers of the screenplay are Robert L. Baird, Tim Federie, Brad Copeland, Ron Burch, David Kidd and Don Rhymer.

Ferdinand the bull is mistaken for a dangerous beast, is captured and taken from his home. To get back to his family he needs help from a team of unusual characters. The animated film is rated PG-13.

On Saturday it is a Marvel comic turned movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It was directed by James Gunn and is based on a Marvel comic book. It stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, with the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

The story is about intergalactic criminals who are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe, all to an ’80s soundtrack. The film is rated PG-13.

Tickets to attend the movies are free, popcorn is free and soda and water are for sale with proceeds benefiting the Crescenta Valley High School Falkons 589 robotics team.

But wait! There’s more! The Montrose Film Festival begins at 6:30 p.m. on both nights featuring live bands followed by cartoons at 8:10 p.m. and the feature films showing at 8:25 p.m.

The event is presented by the Montrose Shopping Park Association.