Films made in the Beaver State will get the red-carpet treatment in Lincoln City from Friday, Oct. 25, through Thursday, Oct. 31, as the Bijou Theatre presents its Oregon-Made Film Festival.
The festival is made possible through a grant from Explore Lincoln City, which aims to show that Lincoln City can be just as entertaining in the fall as in the summer.
In furtherance of that goal, Bijou owners Keith and Betsy Altomare have scheduled an impressive lineup.
“Three of the films are very local,” Betsy said, “like ‘Sometimes a Great Notion,’ filmed along the Siletz River; ‘Burning Plain,’ shot at Tidal Raves restaurant in Depoe Bay; and ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ filmed on location in Salem as well as Depoe Bay.”
Showings are also planned for “Goonies,” “Stand By Me, “The Ring,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “The General,” “Bend of the River” and “Phoenix, Oregon.”
The last of these, “Phoenix, Oregon,” is an independent film from a Pacific Northwest studio.
“It’s about a guy who reopens a run-down bowling alley, and ends up serving great pizza,” Keith, said, adding that the storyline runs somewhat parallel to that of the former DeLake bowling alley in Lincoln City. Built in the 1930s, it was recently renovated and now offers great pizza and more as Olde Line Lanes & Kitchen.
“So, the city wants to do a pizza week to celebrate pizza and the movie,” Keith said. Writer/director, Gary Lundgren and producer, Anne Lundgren will also be on hand to talk about the film, which was shot in Klamath Falls.
Documentaries are also scheduled, including some Oregon-specific shorts, presented by Taft High School alum, Michael Harrington, of the Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival. And Darrell Jabin, of Salem, will present his films about Oregon carousels and theaters.
Requiem for a town
One intriguing documentary, by Aurora-based filmmaker Ronan Feely, zeroes in on the story of Valsetz, a community established in 1920 in the Coast Range, near Falls City. It had been a Boise-Cascade-owned sawmill and logging town, and when the decision was made to close down operations in 1984, the entire town was destroyed. Ever since, the former residents have held reunions every few years, to mark the passing of a home town to which they can never return.
“I saw a DVD of it, and was struck by the loyalty the people have for Valsetz,” Keith said. “I couldn’t imagine not being able to take my daughter to where I grew up. I just wanted to do something.”
The Bijou is inviting the town’s former residents to share their stories during the film festival.
“Besides the fact that people would enjoy a weekend here, I thought it would be great if the city could open its arms to them” Keith said. “And the director, Feely, is willing to come out and talk.”
People visit Lincoln City for its beaches in good weather and storm watching in bad weather — oh, and the outlet mall year-round. The town is, after all, nestled on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Yet, Lincoln City has also steadily gained traction as a festival magnet that draws visitors from across the country — and even across the globe — to attend everything from kite festivals to music festivals. But if Betsy and Keith Altomare have their way, the area will also become known for the Bijou Theatre and its Oregon-Made Film Festival.
Watch out Sundance.
The Bijou Theatre is located at 1624 NE Hwy. 101, Lincoln City. For more information, go to cinemalovers.com.