Classic movies on the big screen during 3-day film festival

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Classic movies on the big screen during 3-day film festival

Posted on: March 28th, 2014 by tommyj

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The 3×5 Classic Film Festival March 28-30 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall will feature actors Orsen Welles, Judy Garland, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Lauren Bacall.

Coming on the heels of two years of films at the venue, WJCT will launch the 3×5 Classic Film Festival, with a goal to encourage appreciation and understanding of the art of cinema.

“WJCT is proud to partner with The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall for this special film series and to help bring great content to an event that reaches beyond the studio walls and into the community,” said Anthony Padgett, WJCT senior vice president of content and operations.

Five films on screen will include “Citizen Kane,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “The Big Sleep” and “Notorious.”

“For the last couple of years, we have partnered with WJCT for a film series,” said Ryan Murphy, general manager of the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, which oversees the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

“We have such a beautiful screen and projector system. It is a permanent installation with a built-in screen. There are quite a few people in the area who haven’t visited the Concert Hall, so this gives them to opportunity to see the venue.”

The event will feature jazz pianist John Thomas performing at 7 p.m. March 28 during the opening night reception. Thomas is leader of the John Thomas Group, which performs as a trio or full band around northeast Florida. Thomas has been performing for more than 50 years.

Thomas has shared the stage with such notables as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Russell George and Teddy Washington. He has performed at the Mayport/Jacksonville Jazz Festival and with national and international jazz artists at the North Carolina Jazz Festival. His proudest accolade came from “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” pianist Ross Tompkins who always requested to see Thomas play “… because he’s the best.”

The reception will be followed by Orson Welles’ most famous film, “Citizen Kane.”

“We went through some of the bigger old films,” Murphy said. “We wanted to do a small sample of some classic films.”

On March 29, a Tinseltown trifecta will begin with the musical fantasy adventure and family favorite, “The Wizard of Oz.” Fans of one of the best-known films in American popular culture are encouraged to come early and participate in a festive fan experience filled with food, entertainment and a costume contest for the best Wizard of Oz character. Local musicians The WillowWacks will perform songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and other well known tunes.

The fun goes into the evening with the showing of the classic comedy-drama “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” followed by legendary Hollywood couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in “The Big Sleep.”

The festival wraps up on March 30 with the afternoon feature, Hitchcock’s thriller, “Notorious.”

In addition to the Concert Hall’s concession area, several food trucks will be parked outside the venue, offering fare for moviegoers.

“We hope to build this into something more. That’s the dream,” Murphy said, explaining that speakers and more musicians may added at future events.

Tickets are $7.50 per film or five films for $25. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, 1050 A1A North, in Ponte Vedra Beach. For more information, go to or

n 7 p.m. Opening reception with piano jazz performed by John Thomas

Thomas has shared the stage with such notables as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Russell George and Teddy Washington. His talents have been shared with the Mayport/Jacksonville Jazz Festival and national and international jazz artists at the North Carolina Jazz Festival. Thomas appeared in broadcasting locally at WJXT TV-4 for 18 years and 14 years for Florida Public Broadcasting noted for “Florida Crossroads” and “Today In The Florida Legislature.”

n 8 p.m. “Citizen Kane”

“Citizen Kane” is a 1941 American drama film directed, co-written, produced by and starring Orson Welles. Often considered by critics, filmmakers and fans to be the greatest film ever made, “Citizen Kane” is particularly praised for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure.

n 1 p.m. The WillowWacks will perform; contest for those in Wizard of Oz costumes

n 2 p.m. “The Wizard Of Oz”

“The Wizard of Oz” is a 1939 American musical fantasy adventure film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercial adaptation based on the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, it has become one of the best known films and part of American popular culture.

n 5 p.m. “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was controversial when it was released, but successful at the box office and made Jimmy Stewart a major movie star. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Story. In 1989, the Library of Congress added the movie to the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

n 8 p.m. “The Big Sleep”

This film stars Humphrey Bogart as detective Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as the female lead in a story about the “process of a criminal investigation, not its results.” In 1997, the Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and added it to the National Film Registry.

n 2 p.m. “Notorious”

“Notorious” is a 1946 American thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation. “Notorious” marks a watershed for Hitchcock artistically and represents a heightened thematic maturity.

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