film fest celebrates 35th year by leasing all tower city theaters

This year, Cleveland film buffs will have an even better excuse to take the week off to watch movies at the 2011 Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF).

For the first time in its 35 year history, CIFF is leasing all 11 theaters at Tower City Cinemas in Tower City Center. The expansion will accommodate the growing number of ticket-holders during the 11-day event, which will be held this year from March 24th through April 3rd.

Have you been looking forward this winter to spending one of Cleveland’s bleakest months watching movies for 10 hours a day? This year, you’ll have even more chances to catch your favorite flicks, says Patrick Shepherd, Associate Director of the Cleveland Film Society (CFS), the nonprofit that organizes the festival.

CIFF attendance and film entries have more than doubled since 2003, Shepherd says, providing the requisite market demand to justify leasing all 11 theaters in Tower City Cinemas. Last year’s record turnout of 71,500 admissions made it possible to offer more showings of sell-out films.

“Last year, we sold a record number of stand-by tickets,” Shepherd explains. “We’re not increasing the number of films we’re showing — instead, we’re expanding our capacity by offering more screenings, and by showing sell-out films in two theatres at once.”

CIFF program guides will be available throughout Northeast Ohio during the week of February 28th. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF members on Friday, March 4th. Non-members can purchase tickets beginning on Friday, March 11th.

On top of offering patrons a chance to see films from around the world, the CIFF provides a boost to downtown Cleveland. “We are increasing our already significant economic impact on downtown,” Shepherd says.



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