The Plaza Classic Film Festival this year took movie fans back to a time when you packed your car with family, friends, blankets and treats to enjoy a show on the big screen.

Dubbed “Plaza Classic On Tour” thsis year, the festival had 11 programs over 11 nights at six locations July 30-Aug. 9.

About 1,500 cars parked at the showings at sites from Ardovino’s Desert Crossing to Camp Cohen Water Park to the El Paso Community College Valle Verde Campus and others in between.

“It went above our expectations. People obviously wanted to get out, but they really embraced the social distancing measures we emphasized and enforced from the start,” El Paso Community Foundation program director Doug Pullen said.

The festival, which typically hosts the majority of films and special events at the historic Plaza Theatre Downtown, was forced to change course after the coronavirus pandemic shut down traditional venues and events.

“I was worried about how it would go with ‘The Rocky Horror Show,’ but people were really good about it,” Pullen said about the screening that attracted about 280 cars to the El Paso International Airport Hangar 7 Studios.

“I joked in the intro that they were free to toss rice, toast and everything else in the comfort of their vehicles, but they’d have to clean it up!”

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