By Julianne Homokay
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” “Do ya feel lucky, punk?” And, of course, “Go ahead. Make
These movie quotes are as iconic as the man who uttered them, and that man will be honored here in the mountain communities at “Clint Eastw50d: Celebrating 50 Years of Filmmaking,” the film festival that will run for three weeks at Blue Jay Cinema from Oct. 29 through Nov. 18.
His most recent venture, Cry Macho, marks Eastwood’s 50th year directing, and is the 25th movie he has both directed and starred in. Eastwood has maintained a relationship with Warner Bros. throughout. To celebrate his 50-year partnership with the studio, WarnerMedia has created a “series of initiatives covering the entire breadth of Eastwood’s remarkable career,” including a nine-episode docuseries, a curated exhibit, programming on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and, perhaps the most exciting component for fans, the chance to see select Eastwood films on the big screen.
The films include American Sniper, Gran Torino, Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales and The Bridges of Madison County (www.warnerbros.com).
When Lisa Polydoros, the owner of Blue Jay Cinema, actively took over managing the theater, it became apparent to her that mountain moviegoers have a special relationship with the filmmaker. “Clint Eastwood does better up here than at other high-grossing theatres” down the hill. “He really knows how to make a movie,” she says, and she has noticed that her patrons turn out the most for quality films. (For example, Meryl Streep movies also do really well at Blue Jay Cinema’s box office.)
The first hard evidence of Eastwood’s popularity in the area came up during Christmas of 2018. There is a general rule in the movie theatre business that exhibitors dedicate each one of their screens to a different studio. But that December, Polydoros said, “we ran two Warner [Bros.] screens just so we could play The Mule.” The film turned out to be the ninth most popular film of that year for the cinema.
Polydoros has had a personal encounter with Eastwood as well. When she was 12, she was at the premiere of Eastwood’s 1980 film Bronco Billy, as her parents worked in the film industry. “I left my parents’ side,” she recalls, “and I crawled around a bunch of people and under the red ropes, popped up in front of him and asked, ‘Can I shake your hand?’ He looked down at me with his big smile and gladly put his hand out to shake mine.” She was on Cloud Nine the rest of the night.
So, Polydoros seems overjoyed that Blue Jay Cinema is one of the select theaters to present the theatrical re-releases. She is showing each film three times spread out over the three-week period, and has varied the showtimes to give Eastwood fans a chance to see each film. On top of that, she is offering ticket prices that moviegoers haven’t seen since 1999. Individual tickets are priced at $6, or moviegoers can purchase an all-festival six-pack for $30, bringing the ticket price down to $5 a piece. “I’m just so pleased,” she says. “We’re a Clint Eastwood theater.”
Individual tickets are now on sale at https://bluejaycinema.com/ or via the Blue Jay Cinema app. All-festival passes may be purchased at the theatre. Seehttps://bluejaycinema.com/ for dates and showtimes.