Thursday, August 25, 2016

TCM Announces 2017 Festival Dates and Theme

This afternoon Turner Classic Movies announced the first details regarding the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news that the 2017 festival will be held in Hollywood from April 6th through 9th.

The theme will be "Make 'Em Laugh: Comedy in the Movies." That presents a nice counterpoint to this year's "Moving Pictures" theme, which included a number of tearjerkers in the lineup.

The festival website says "From lowbrow to high, slapstick to sophisticated comedies of manners -- we will showcase the greatest cinematic achievements of lone clowns, comedic duos and madcap ensembles."

For my part, I'm particularly hoping to see some classic screwball comedies, as well as the chance to see more of Harold Lloyd on the big screen. Lloyd's WHY WORRY? (1923) with a live orchestra was an especially memorable experience in 2014.

TCM usually manages to find some interesting rareties to screen at each festival, and I'm curious what will turn up at next year's festival!

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will again serve as festival headquarters and the location of Club TCM's panel discussions and other gatherings.

While there were no price increases for this past year's festival, most of the 2017 prices will be increased. The Classic pass, which many festival-goers consider the best deal, will be $649, up from $599 the last couple of years.

The Essential pass goes from $749 to $799, while the priciest Spotlight pass surges from $1649 to $2149.

There is no increase for the $299 Palace pass, good only on screenings in the big Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian, and poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt. Details on each pass are on the website.

I wonder if the significant $500 increase for the Spotlight pass, which guarantees entry to all screenings, is in part to help address the issue which cropped up this year, where so many Spotlight holders took up seats for the more "rare" films in the 177-seat Theater 4 that at times it was a challenge for other passholders to get in.

There's a short promo video on the TCM Facebook page. Passes go on sale in November! (Update: It was just pointed out to me that I'm actually in the video for a second, in the bleachers along with my friend KC.)

I booked my hotel room shortly after the news broke, and it's safe to say that I'm already looking forward to next April. Every year TCM outdoes itself providing classic film fans with an unforgettable time. For many of us, the chance to experience films with friends in historic venues provides some of the happiest days of the year. Anyone who's been on the fence about attending is highly encouraged to come!

Please visit my overview of the 2016 Festival for a look at the TCM Classic Film Festival experience. Links to my coverage of past festivals may be found at the bottom of that post.

Those interested in the festival will want to monitor the Festival website and the TCM Twitter account for updates.

Incidentally, last week TCM announced that the sixth annual TCM Classic Cruise, which takes place this November, will be the last TCM Cruise. It was sad news for those who have enjoyed it and those who hoped to attend one day. I have not yet heard the reasons behind the decision; it seemed particularly curious as this year's cruise will be a couple days longer than previous TCM cruises.

Hopefully the TCM Classic Film Festival will be continuing long into the future!

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