Calgary’s Plaza Theatre celebrates 75 years
by Sheena Manabat
In a relatively young city such as Calgary, The Plaza stands out as the city’s longest-running theatre. The cozy and charming Plaza was once a stable before becoming the one screen independent theatre it is today. This year, the Plaza celebrates its 75th anniversary, complete with free screenings, film festivals and live music.
Pete Harris, the current programming manager, owes the theatre’s success to the work of past programmers and managers. Since the mid- seventies, The Plaza has always been dedicated to being involved with film festivals and screening non-mainstream films.
“I think that in a city of a million, or 30 years ago, a city of three-qurters of a million, (The Plaza) always had its place,” Harris says. To celebrate The Plaza’s milestone anniversary, the theatre will be screening many classic and cult films from the past between Oct. 4 and Nov. 11. On Oct. 8 and 9, The Plaza will team up with the Japan Foundation, and the Consulate General of Japan in Calgary for the 2010 Japan Film Festival. Films that have shown on screens across Canada will make their way to Calgary for two nights of contemporary Japanese cinema.
Jeremy Davies, of the Consulate General of Japan in Calgary was able to view all of the films before they screen at The Plaza. “I’ve seen them all and they are all excellent. My personal favorite is I Just Didn’t Do It. It’s quite an eye-opening film,” Davies said.
I Just Didn’t Do It follows a young man’s false accusation and trial for molesting a high school girl on a train. Screenings on the first day, which include I Just Didn’t Do It, will be quite edgy while the second day of the festival offers more family-oriented films. And of course, no anniversary is complete without a party. The official Plaza 75th Anniversary Party will take place on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. and will be free for alumni of the theatre. The festivities will include live music, beer and special screenings. For more info or for a full schedule of films visit www.theplaza.ca.
Plaza Theatre Milestone Events:
Oct. 7: Fragments – a multi-arts gala 7 p.m.
Oct. 8: Memories of Matsuko 6:40 p.m. (Japan Film Fest)
FREE Fight Club midnight
FREE I Just Didn’t Do It 9:15 p.m. (Japan Film Fest) FREE
Oct. 9: Rashomon (Japan Film Fest) Noon Always- Sunset on Third Street 3:30 p.m. (Japan Film Fest) FREE The Battery -Future in our Hands 7 p.m. (Japan Film Fest) FREE Slime City Massacre 9:30 p.m. (Splatterfest!)
Oct. 10: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 11:30 a.m. FREE Maniac 7 p.m. (Splatterfest!)
Oct. 11: Grease SING-A-LONG 1:30 p.m. Up North 4:30 p.m. Life Cycle – Mountain Bike Film 7 p.m.
Oct 12: Memento 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 13: The Storming – Snowboard Film 7 p.m. Brazil – 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: Harishchandrachi Factory 6:30 (Hidden Gems Film Fest) Being John Malkovich 9:20 p.m.
Oct. 16: Brokeback Mountain 7 p.m.