The Pumpkin King, a couple of weary Thanksgiving travelers and one of the world’s most beloved groups of animated toys join the big-screen fun in this year’s Free Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, part of the City of El Paso’s fourth annual WinterFest.
This year’s series — the ninth overall presented by the Plaza Classic Film Festival — opens with Tim Burton’s animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, about the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town who gives Christmas a try, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, November 24 in the Plaza Theatre.
It will be followed at 7 p.m. that day by John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles, about two very different holiday travelers (John Candy and Steve Martin) who go to great lengths to get home for Thanksgiving. Parental note: It is rated R for language.
The series continues December 1 with Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 1 p.m., and Robert Zemeckis’ animated favorite The Polar Express at 3:30 p.m.
Will Farrell stars as the adorable, human Elf at 1 p.m. December 8, followed by that Red Ryder-loving Ralphie in A Christmas Story at 3:30 p.m. December 8.
There are no movies on December 15.
They return at 3:30 p.m. December 22 with James Stewart and Donna Reed in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.
The free movie series concludes with the Disney Pixar favorite Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, at 1 p.m. Sunday, December 29.
In true Plaza Classic style, organists Ken Fedorick, Richard Garven and Laurie Koval will perform on the Plaza Theatre’s original, restored Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ before each movie.
WinterFest, which includes ice skating in Arts Festival Plaza, runs November 23 through January 5.
Texas Gas Service is sponsoring the free movies in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation, the Plaza Classic Film Festival and El Paso Live.
WinterFest is presented by The Hospitals of Providence and Providence Children’s Hospitals.