The Starlight Room in Port Townsend quickly became a popular spot for moviegoers thanks to its unique theater experience and full service bar and kitchen. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

The Starlight Room in Port Townsend quickly became a popular spot for moviegoers thanks to its unique theater experience and full service bar and kitchen. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Popular film festival venue gears up for big weekend in Port Townsend

“We have a few venues, but the Starlight is everyone’s favorite,” said the Port Townsend Film Festival executive director.

PORT TOWNSEND — One of the most popular venues for the Port Townsend Film Festival is gearing up for the upcoming 17th annual weekend of celebrating films.

The Starlight Room at 235 Taylor St. has a full-service kitchen and bar and can hold just over 40 people.

“We have a few venues, but the Starlight is everyone’s favorite,” said Janette Force, executive director of the Port Townsend Film Festival.

“It’s always the first one to sell out.”

The film festival will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, with the first screenings at the Starlight Room and Cotton Building, and end after 9:30 p.m. Sunday with screenings of the jury prize-winning films.

Dozens of films

During the festival, each of the theaters in downtown Port Townsend will screen more than 42 feature films each day. Movies will range from outdoor films to documentaries, narratives and shorts.

Pass prices range from $15 rush tickets, which are cash only and can be purchased 10 minutes before any film screening that still has seats available, to the $1,500 pass, which comes with guaranteed seating to unlimited films as well as entrance to invitation-only events.

Passes can be purchased at www.ptfilmfest.com.

The Starlight Room debuted during the 2013 Film Festival as the Silverwater theater. It reopened as the Starlight just a week later.

The unique theater is a partnership between Rose Theatre manager Rocky Friedman and Silverwater Cafe owners David and Alison Hero.

“I proposed a partnership and basically said, ‘You do what you do best, the food, and I’ll do what I do best, which is movies and popcorn,’” Friedman said.

“It’s turned out to be far more popular than I imagined. People really like the atmosphere and they like getting a glass of wine with their popcorn.”

The space originally housed a photography studio, but Friedman said he always saw its potential as a theater.

“I coveted that space for nearly 10 years,” Friedman said.

It wasn’t until the Heros bought the second and third floors of the building and agreed to Friedman’s proposed partnership that he was able to make his vision a reality.

“There were blackout curtains on tracks already there,” Friedman said. “It’s unlike any other theater because when you go in, you have this beautiful view of Whidbey Island and when the show starts, we just close the curtains.”

The space was designed with the help of Seattle designer Michelle Bayle.

“She told me, ‘You’re going vintage with the furniture and you’re going to have chandeliers,’” Friedman said. “I just said ‘OK.’”

The chandeliers served to lower the ceiling, creating a more cozy environment, and the addition of velvet curtains helped to both deaden the sound in the room and add wall decoration.

“That combination just makes it the most elegant theater you’d ever want to be in,” Force said.

The space that once served as a darkroom was transformed into a kitchen, so all orders for the Starlight are cooked upstairs in the theater, rather than being brought up from the Silverwater Cafe kitchen downstairs.

Force said the Starlight provides a unique and intimate film experience and will be hosting some highly anticipated films during this year’s festival.

Among them will be “‘Seed: The Untold Story,” an award-winning documentary on the battle between seed keepers and seed companies, which will be screened at 9 p.m. Friday.

Force also recommended the Starlight as a great place to watch Charlie Soap’s “The Cherokee Word for Water” because the small theater will provide a more personal interaction with Soap, the film’s director, as well as one of the film’s stars. That showing will be at 9 a.m. Sunday.

“Made in France,” a documentary on the radicalization of young Muslims in France, will be shown at the Starlight at noon Saturday.

The film’s release was delayed multiple times due to the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015 and attacks in Paris earlier this year.

All these showings are for those 21 and older due to the theater’s full-service bar.

Other venues for the film festival are the Rose Theatre, the Northwest Maritime Center, the Rosebud Cinema, the American Legion Hall, Key City Playhouse and Taylor Street Outdoor Theatre — the latter two free venues.

A full list and schedule of film festival films is available online at www.ptfilmfest.com.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

The Starlight Room will be one of several local theaters screening films during this weekend’s Port Townsend Film Festival. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

The Starlight Room will be one of several local theaters screening films during this weekend’s Port Townsend Film Festival. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

More in Entertainment

Jayme Stone brings his "Folklife" concert to Field Arts & Events Hall this Friday. photo courtesy of Jayme Stone
‘Folklife’ to unfold at Field Hall on Friday

There’s so much good music out there — songs… Continue reading

Art Social set Friday at Studio Bob

The Every Friday Art Social kicks off at 4:30… Continue reading

Mother and daughter Shelly Tweter and Peach Thompson look over silent auction items at the Red, Set, Go! event Friday at Field Arts & Events Hall in Port Angeles. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Luncheon raises funds for Olympic Medical Center Heart Center

The Olympic Medical Center Foundation’s 16th Red, Set, Go!… Continue reading

Irish fiddle master Gerry O’Connor will return to Port Townsend with Don Penzien on guitar at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Palindrome at Eaglemount Cidery, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road.
Irish Fiddle player featured at The Palindrome

Irish fiddle player Gerry O’Connor will perform with guitarist… Continue reading

Jefferson County Home Builders Association to host Home Show

The Jefferson County Home Builders Association will host its… Continue reading

Stuart Elway
What do polls really tell us?

Veteran pollster to offer guidance

Sponsors step up for 2024 Sequim Sunshine Festival

SEQUIM —Three local organizations have once again agreed to be title sponsors… Continue reading

Dramas, comedy on tap this weekend

Plays, comedy and music are highlighted this weekend on the North Olympic… Continue reading

Family concert to be presented Saturday

The Sequim Community Orchestra and the Sequim Community Youth Orchestra… Continue reading

Comedy night offered in Port Angeles

Cougar Wolf Comedy will present Comedy Night at Bourbon… Continue reading

(Northwind Art Richard Coletta) 
Richard Coletta of Port Townsend admires Caryl Fallert-Gentry's quilt titled "Electric Snails," part of the "Burst of Color" exhibit at Jeanette Best Gallery.
Final ‘Burst’ in Port Townsend

This is the final weekend for “Burst of Color,”… Continue reading

Jenner Fox of Bainbridge Island and singer-songwriter Jermey Elliott are set to debut their one-day-old CD, “The Moon That Moves the Sea,” at Concerts in the Woods in Coyle for a matinee show on Saturday.
Fox, Elliott to play at Concert in the Woods on Saturday

Jenner Fox of Bainbridge Island and singer-songwriter Jermey Elliott will… Continue reading