Coleman Theatre in Miami hosting a film festival this weekend

The historic Coleman Theatre in downtown Miami, Oklahoma, is playing host to Sunny Side Up Film Festival on Friday through Sunday after it was delayed for two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizer Rock Whitehead talked to the Joplin Globe about the event:

The festival is bringing to Northeast Oklahoma a diverse cast of filmmakers to show off their work, Whitehead said. Overall, “we pride ourselves by shining a light on exciting, artistic and new filmmakers, screenwriters, photographers, writers and musicians of all genres,” he said.

Showcased during the three-day event will be 59 feature films, short films, documentaries and music videos. “The roster has a little bit for everyone,” Whitehead said. […]

“The Coleman Theatre is a great setting for our film festival,” Rock Whitehead said. “The theater is iconic. With beautiful bamboo floors, lavish decor, an exquisite lobby entrance and grand staircase, it makes for a memorable event. Everyone that visits it is amazed at what they see.”

Jesse Mapes, singer and cast member of the movie “Urban Cowboy,” will be in Miami on Saturday and Sunday, signing autographs and co-hosting events with Brenda Whitehead. There will also be a number of Q&A sessions with actors, directors and screenwriters.

The festival will conclude Sunday night with a stand-up comedy show by Dave Dugan and the awards.

One-day passes and VIP tickets are available here.

If you can’t make it to the festival, go to the theater’s website to see whether other events match up with your schedule. The theatre regularly books concerts and silent-firm performances with its Mighty Wurlitzer organ. The Coleman Theatre also hosts tours six days a week; go here to make arrangements.

The Coleman Theatre opened in 1929 as a vaudeville venue, then transitioned into a movie house. Those who have performed there over the years include Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Sally Rand, Bing Crosby, Jim Thorpe and magician Harry Blackstone.

The Coleman family donated the theater to the city in 1989, and volunteers spent years restoring it. The theater was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

(Image of the Coleman Theatre in Miami, Oklahoma, in 1929 by CharmaineZoe’s Marvelous Melange via Flickr)

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