Utah movie lovers can see free movies, get ticket discounts for 2022 Sundance Film Festival

The festival is returning to an in-person format, with fewer venues in Park City and Salt Lake City planned.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Egyptian Theatre in Park City, seen here in 2019, will once again be a venue for the Sundance Film Festival, as it returns to in-person screenings, Jan. 20-30, 2022.

Utah residents can attend free screenings during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, both in person and online, as part of a new program called “Local Lens.”

Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, the nonprofit arts group that operates the festival, announced the locals-only program Thursday. The program also includes free screenings for students and discounted ticket packages.

The Institute also announced on Thursday which Park City and Salt Lake City venues will be screening movies during the festival as it returns to an in-person format after going virtual in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers said they are aiming for a tighter venue plan, with four theaters usually open for the festival not planned for use in 2022. The institute previously announced that the festival would be debuting around 80 feature films, more than the 73 that screened during the online-only 2021 program but fewer than the 120 or so titles that played at the festival each year prior to the pandemic.

“Our filmmakers value and enjoy the chance to get to know our local festival community up close and personal,” festival director Tabitha Jackson said in a statement. “We are delighted that this year it will be possible both in person and online, giving Utahns a fantastic range of options in how they choose to participate.”

Jackson announced earlier this year that all in-person attendees at venues in Park City, Salt Lake City and the Sundance Mountain Resort must show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 — and must wear masks in all indoor venues.

Utahns wanting to attend Sundance are advised to register online, at festival.sundance.org, to get regular updates when titles and full schedules are announced.

Planned free screenings:

Residents of Summit and Salt Lake counties will be able to attend free screenings during the festival. There will be one free screening each at the Park City Library and Redstone Cinemas on Thursday, Jan. 27, and one each on Jan. 27 and Friday, Jan. 28, at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City. Showtimes and film titles will be announced in late December, after the festival program is made public.

The “Best of Fest” screenings, set for Sunday, Jan. 30, also will be free to Utah residents — two at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, and two at the Grand. The films presented at those screenings will be chosen from the festival’s award winners, which will be announced on Jan. 28.

And Utah residents can catch films for free from home on Sundance’s online portal — one on Saturday, Jan. 22 (the festival’s opening weekend), and one on Saturday, Jan. 29, among the award winners.

Sundance also is offering Utah high school students a chance to see three free screenings of feature-length films or shorts programs, with conversations to follow with the artists who made them. The student screenings will be conducted online. Teachers of students in grades 9-12 can get more information by email, studentprograms@sundance.org.

How to get tickets:

Utah residents will have a brief window, from Dec. 17 to Jan. 3, to buy the Salt Lake City ticket package — good for 10 in-person tickets for screenings at all Salt Lake City venues — for a 20% discount, or $400 per package.

After Jan. 3, the price goes to $500. The package also includes the Explorer Pass, which allows online access to the New Frontier, Indie Episodic and short film programs.

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 26, Utahns also will get a 25% discount — $15 instead of $20 — for single tickets for all in-person screenings during the festival’s second half, Jan. 26-30. The discount is good for four tickets per person, based on availability.

The institute announced seven theaters and two non-theater venues will be in operation in Park City for the festival, plus four theaters and two non-theater venues in Salt Lake City, along with the one theater at the Sundance resort.

The following theaters will be in use:

Broadway Centre Cinemas (two screens), 111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City.

Eccles Theatre, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City.

Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City.

The Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St., Salt Lake City.

Holiday Village Cinemas, 1776 Park Ave., Park City.

Library Center Theatre, 1225 Park Ave., Park City.

Prospector Square Theatre, 2175 Sidewinder Drive, Park City.

The Ray Theatre, 1768 Park Ave., Park City.

Redstone Cinemas, 6030 Market St., Park City.

Rose Wagner Center for the Performing Arts, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City.

SLC Library Theatre, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City.

Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance.

Absent from the list are four traditional Sundance screening locations: The Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, which is undergoing renovations, and three pop-up locations in Park City: The MARC (formerly the Racquet Club), the Park Avenue Theatre (formerly the Yarrow) and the Temple Theatre (in the Temple Har Shalom synagogue).

The four non-theater venues:

The Craft, 950 Iron Horse Drive, Park City (next to the Walgreen’s on Park Avenue) — open Jan. 21-25.

Festival Lounge at Copper Common, 111 E. 300 South (near the Broadway Centre Cinemas entrance), Salt lake City — open Jan. 21-29.

The Filmmaker Lodge, Elks Building, 550 Main St. (second floor), Park City — open Jan. 21-25.

The Queer Lounge at Twist, 32 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City — open Jan. 21-29.