Sundancing Like a Local

Posted by Linda on January 18, 2010

Main Street (main_street)The 2010 Sundance Film Festival descends upon Park City this Thursday through Jan. 31st. Utah’s Greatest Snow on Earth will co-star with some of the biggest and brightest talent from the film industry. Main Street transforms into a see-and-been-seen boulevard lined with gifting suites, sponsor lounges, and music venues mixed with Park City’s infamous shops and dining spots. Yes, traffic will be unbearable, restaurants crowded, Starbucks lines lengthy, but the lift lines will be surprisingly short. Any local will tell you, this is one of the best times to ski Park City! 


Now if you are like me, you’ll enjoy mixing skiing with catching a few screenings. The Festival is definitely something you’ll want to experience during your Park City visit. Screenings are scheduled from 8:30 am - Midnight at eight convenient venues throughout Park City - all accessible by Park City’s free transit system. Here are a few hints to help you soak up Sundance and enjoy your time on the mountain.


Screening Tickets

Unless you planned way ahead, don’t be disappointed to find that tickets for that buzzed-about screening you wanted are sold-out. Most films, especially premieres, are sold-out weeks in advance, but don’t let that stop you, there are still a couple of options.


Wake up early and head over to the Festival’s box office located in the Gateway Center (138 Heber Ave) in Old Town. The box office opens at 8am and sells tickets for same day screenings, and early morning screenings for the following day, that have been turned back by filmmakers and industry professionals. Arrive early as these tickets go fast. 


Jump in the wait list line. Each screening holds a block of tickets for pass-holders and when they don’t show up, those seats are released for sale at the venue to the patient and friendly film-lovers on the wait list line.This option involves a bit more time, but I’ve lucked out often and gotten tickets and met some fun festival-goers while waiting in line. Show up at your film’s venue two hours before showtime to get a number for your place in line. Come back 30 minutes before showtime, cash in hand, and take your place in line. Tickets are sold on a space available basis.


For a complete selection of films visit While most films are more appropriate for adults, a few are kid-friendly. Screening in 3-D, Cane Toads: The Conquest is getting pre-festival buzz as a must-see for young filmgoers


Seeing Stars

Orlando Bloom, Katie Holmes, Bill Murray and Twilight’s Kristen Stewart are just a few of the celebrities expected to accompany their films this year at Sundance. Your best bet to catch your favorite star is at the Q&A following their film, but if you don’t have a ticket, line up with the paparazzi outside the theater before showtime and you just might catch a glimpse or snap a photo for your Facebook page.


Main Street is also a great place to stargaze, and people-watch during Sundance. Celebrities are often making the media rounds at press lounges on Main Street, or heading in and out of a club at night. Just look for the crowds gathered around a car or club entrance and a celebrity is likely to be the center of attention. The Town Lift Plaza, conveniently located at the bottom of PCMR’s Town Run, is a great ski-in & ski-out stargazing spot as it is home to many celebrity gifting suites. 


While you are at the Town Lift, check out the Sundance House next door at the Kimball Art Center.   No credentials are needed this year to get into Sundance House - a great spot for giveaways from festival sponsors.


Don’t be surprised if the skiers next to you on the chairlift look familiar. Like us locals, many celebrities also like to take advantage of the short lift lines and great skiing at Park City Mountain Resort. 


I’ll see you on the hill and in the theater. Enjoy!


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