With ticket sales now underway, the 9th Annual Traverse City Film Festival is officially in a go mode! I’ll be your host and humble blogger here for the duration, and I look forward to chatting with you here on the blog, as well as out and about in the fest. I’m excited!
So let’s start with Sunday, a.k.a. Day One of Ticket Sales. Listen, I’d stood in line for tickets in previous years, so figured I had plenty of time to take my mom to church in the morning, then buzz to town and chat up a few people standing in line.
But holy smokes, I got to the State Theatre around 1:30 p.m., and just barely caught the last few people before they boarded the shuttle to head down the street to the Main Box Office, which this year is located above 7 Monks Taproom at 128 S. Union Street.
Clearly, the new system is a smashing success. Instead of standing in the hot sun for hours as in previous years, ticket buyers sat in the cool comfort of the State Theatre and watched previews of the festival films. The festival keeps changing it up, and each year things get more and more streamlined.
“It was so much better than last year,” said film festival volunteer Nancy Briggs. “Once we got going, it was just like clockwork. People were able to watch previews, and some even changed their minds about films after watching the previews.”
Tom Sawyer (yes, his real name, he assured me!), didn’t have to wait long after arriving at the State Theatre. The film aficionado from Chapel Hill, North Carolina expressed excitement over many of the films, but is especially looking forward to the documentaries, including “The Human Scale,” which delves into the impending issue of overpopulation, and “Inequality For All,” an engrossing film about the widening income gap in America, featuring former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich as an affable tour guide through the current U.S. economy.
Kristin Smith, Linda Poindexter and Juli Ringwelski agreed they were looking forward to ALL the films, as were Muriel and Bob Peavler, whom I chatted with while they waited in comfort at the State Theatre before boarding the shuttle to the box office.
Then I scurried down the street to the box office and caught up with a few folks in line there. Terry Haslinger perhaps had one of the longest journeys to buy tickets on Sunday. The film fan left Stratford, Ontario at 6 a.m. that morning and drove six hours to Traverse City. That’s dedication!
Stephanie and Nathan Schultz were fresh off a game of tennis as they waited in line at the Main Box Office. The couple moved to Traverse City from Los Angeles three years ago, and have been attending the film festival each year. Yes, you read that right. They moved here from L.A. and now watch more movies than ever before. That’s how we do it in Traverse City.
While we’ve already set a new record for first-day TCFF ticket sales, there are still plenty of tickets available for great films.
Tickets for Friends of the Film Festival are now available at this site you’re reading, by phone at (231) 929-FILM(3456), and at the Main Box Office, located, as mentioned, at 128 S. Union Street, above 7 Monks Taproom.
Public ticket sales begin on July 20 at 11 a.m. for walk up and phone sales. Online sales begin at 6 p.m. that same day.
Box Office Hours:
Pre-Festival Hours (July 14-29):
Mon-Sat, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
*Special extended hours: Open until 9 p.m. July 28 & 29
Festival Hours (July 30-Aug 4):
Tue-Sat, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
*Special extended hours: Open until 9 p.m. July 30 & 31
Check back here daily for news, interviews, festival tips, tidbits and more!