Moreno’s history with the Plaza Theatre and the El Paso Community goes back 35 years, when she headlined a fundraising concert there in 1986. | Photos courtesy PCFF
Officials with the Plaza Classic Film Festival announced Thursday afternoon that Rita Moreno will not be able to appear at this year’s 14th annual festival.
“Ms. Moreno’s ability to participate in this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival was predicated on her availability, but a recent scheduling conflict will prevent her from attending,” officials shared.
She was going to appear with West Side Story at 7 p.m. Friday, August 6, and the new documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 7, both in the Plaza Theatre.
Both screenings will go on. Just a Girl director Mariem Perez Riera, who was going to join Ms. Moreno for the documentary screening, will attend.
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This would have been Rita Moreno’s second appearance at the Plaza Classic Film Festival. She headlined PCFF in 2013. Her history with the Plaza Theatre and the El Paso Community goes back 35 years, when she headlined a fundraising concert there in 1986. The concert enabled the Community Foundation to reach its fundraising goal of $1 million to purchase the theater and preserve it for generations to come.
Moreno also performed at the theater in 2007, less than a year after the newly restored atmospheric movie palace reopened as a performing arts center.
She is one of 12 performers to receive TV’s Emmy Award, music’s Grammy Award, cinema’s Oscar, and Broadway’s Tony Award. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the fiery Anita in Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story, released in 1961. She has a role in and is an executive producer of a new version of the musical, directed by Steven Spielberg, which will hit theaters in December. Her extensive movie credits include Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, Carnal Knowledge, and The Four Seasons.
She won two Emmy Awards for performances on The Muppet Show and The Rockford Files, a Grammy Award for her contributions to the soundtrack of the children’s show, The Electric Company, and a Tony for her performance in the Broadway production of The Ritz. She also earned raves for her work on HBO’s Oz and the recent Latinx reboot of Norman Lear’s One Day At a Time.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seating capacity will be limited at all Plaza Classic locations. Other safety protocols will be in place, including a 2-hour disinfection process after each film screening.
Mask-wearing and social distancing are strongly encouraged. Both theaters have new GPS Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air filtration systems.
Go to plazaclassic.com for more information about the festival, or to purchase Festival Passes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.