Free ‘E.T.’ to open Port Townsend film festival Friday

PORT TOWNSEND — Those who attend the 13th annual Port Townsend Film Festival, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, will be made to feel as if they are part of a film family, the festival’s executive director said.

“This is a wonderful event,” Janette Force said.

“On Friday, all of the attendees will have a salmon dinner and a glass of wine and get acquainted with the people they are going to spend the rest of the weekend with.”

Dinner on Taylor Street is a film festival tradition open to all pass-holders.

The outdoor dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday after opening ceremonies at 4 p.m.

The festival features 76 movies, including three free movies that will be shown on Taylor Street projected onto an inflatable screen at 7:30 p.m.

“ET” will be shown Friday, followed by “The Empire Strikes Back” on Saturday and “Tootsie” on Sunday.

To commemorate “ET,” the Silverwater Cafe, which has prepared the Friday meal for the entire life of the festival, has developed a brownie recipe that contains Reese’s Pieces, the candy featured in the film.

Force said that Lucasfilm is allowing the festival to show “The Empire Strikes Back” for free, so a special “thank you” picture will be taken of the crowd prior to the screening.

Special guest Bruce Dern — a veteran “bad guy” actor whose body of work includes more than 140 filmed performances since 1960 — will make his first public appearance at the festival at opening ceremonies Friday when he pulls up in a motorcade in front of the Haller Fountain at Taylor Street and Washington Street.

Films will be shown at five venues throughout the weekend.

Free films are offered both outdoors — on Taylor Street — and indoors — at the 100-seat Peter Simpson Free Cinema at the American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St.

The rest are ticketed venues.

They are the 340-seat Uptown Theatre, 1120 Lawrence St.; the 140-seat Northwest Maritime Center theatre, 431 Water St.; and the Rose Theatre (157 seats) and Rosebud Cinema (87 seats), 235 Taylor St.

Information will be available Thursday through Sunday at the hospitality center in the Cotton Building at 607 Water St.

Hospitality center hours will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Several types of passes are available, ranging from $35 to $1,250.

Rush tickets also will be offered for $10 when a venue doesn’t fill up with pass holders.

Passes can purchased online at; by phoning 360-379-1333; by mail at P.O. Box 594, Port Townsend, WA 98368; or by stopping in at the festival office at 211 Taylor St., Suite 32A (third floor of the Mount Baker Block).

For more information, check or phone or visit the office.

Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

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