TCM is excited to announce that passes for the ninth annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood will go on sale to the general public at 12pm/noon (ET) on November 9, 2017. And, for the sixth consecutive year, Turner Classic Movies and Citi®, Official Card of the TCM Classic Film Festival, are pleased to announce a limited quantity of 2018 Festival passes will be available for advance purchase by Citi® cardmembers. For a classic film fan, this is truly an awesome perk of being a Citi Cardmember.
This is an online pre-sale only, available exclusively through citiprivatepass.com from 10am (ET) Tuesday, November 7 until 10am (ET) Thursday, November 9, 2017. To take advantage of this offer you do have to have a Citi card (the official credit card of the TCMFF). As pass quantities for this exclusive pre-sale are limited, Citi® cardmembers need to act quickly when purchasing their passes. Which never really seems to be a problem. I know my family watches their email inboxes for the notification and sets their alarms in order to be one of the first to purchase the moment the pre-sale begins. If you've ever purchased passes for the TCMFF, you know why this is so important. If you haven't, then you've got a few things to learn.
First, there are four levels of Festival Passes: The Palace, The Classic, The Essential and The Spotlight. Each has different benefits and degrees of access to the festival itself ranging in price from $299 for a limited access pass all the way up to $2,149 for an all access pass. You might think that the less expensive pass sells out first, but you would be wrong. In fact, it is the most expensive pass at over two grand that sells the fastest, often selling out mid-day the first day they become available to the public. This is why early access to purchasing is so important! There are a lot of people out there who make the TCMFF their big splurge of the year. If they're gonna buy plane tickets and spend who knows how much on a hotel for at least four nights, then they're gonna make sure they get as much fun out of the experience as the can, and that's gonna be with the pricey Spotlight Pass.
The breakdown of the passes is as follows: Your least expensive Palace Pass goes for $299. It includes three-day access to screenings at three historic venues from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29 (you miss out on all opening night screenings). The choice of theaters is limited as well. Like the name of the pass indicates, you can only access the so-called palaces: the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the Egyptian Theatre and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Another limitation is the fact that this pass does not grant entry to the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters multiplex, Club TCM events at the Roosevelt, or official parties and receptions. So, if your film choices are playing only at these three locations this is a good deal. The problem is, you don't know what's playing where until long after the passes go on sale.
The Classic Pass at $649 includes four-day access to film programs at all festival venues from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29 with the exception of admittance to the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX or the opening night party. You do have access to all Club TCM events, panels and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and an opening night welcome reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, as well as the closing night event. If you don't mind missing the big opening night film and party, then this is a really good deal. This is the one I always get.
Then there's the Essential Pass at $799. For an extra $150 you get everything the Classic Pass has to offer plus the bonus of seeing the opening night film, which usually is a terrific classic that has been restored and is celebrating a significant anniversary, so big star guest are likely to appear in the audience. And you get a terrific swag bag full of official TCM Classic Film Festival collectibles. But the Spotlight Pass is the grandaddy of them all. This pass includes all privileges available to Classic and Essential pass holders, plus you get to enjoy priority entry to all screening events (meaning you get to get in first even if you show up at the last second). In addition, not only do you get entry to the Opening Night Gala, but you also get to attend the after Party, plus there are meet-and-greet events with TCM hosts and special guests that only these pass holders can go to, and you receive a limited edition TCM Classic Film Festival poster.
Personally, I don't know if the great expenses is really worth it, but it obviously is to many, so plan accordingly and get all the advantage you can to insure you get the pass you want. Remember, this year the central theme of the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival is Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen. From original screenplays to unique adaptations to portrayals of writers real and imagined, the festival will celebrate the foundation of great film: the written word. Newly announced films, among others, include a 50th anniversary presentation of Bullitt (1968), His Girl Friday (1940), Woman of the Year (1942) and a restoration of the original theatrical version of The Sea Wolf (1941) with 14 minutes of footage returned to the screen. Use any image on this page as a link to the official TCMFF website.
Passes go on sale to the public at 12pm noon (ET) Thursday, November 9, 2017 at tcm.com/festival. Hope to see you in Hollywood April 26-29, 2018!