Sundance Cancels In-Person Screening At The Ray Theater

Dec 31, 2020

Credit KPCW-Sundance Film Festival

Sundance is canceling the only live screening venue in Park City for the 2021 film festival.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will run from January 28 to February 3. Virtual, online film screenings will be held throughout the 7-day period. However, there will be no live screening events in Park City. Sundance organizers announced the cancellation for health and safety reasons when COVID-19 is spiking with case counts reaching dangerous levels.

The 10-day Sundance Film Festival typically brings in thousands of people from the film industry along with fans and volunteers. Since the 1980’s Park City has hosted the event, bustling with traffic, throngs of visitors, and industry deal-making. The economic impact on Utah is estimated at $200 million.

Early in December, Sundance Managing Director Betsy Wallace told KPCW they planned to have one Park City live venue at The Ray. The plan was to limit seating and disinfect the theater between each film. The Ray can hold more than 500 people, but the plan would have limited seating to no more than 50.

The Sundance announcement said they’ve made case-by-case health and safety evaluations in all of the Satellite Screen locations, and they’ve pivoted to on-line shows where public health dictates that in-person gathering is inadvisable. Festivalgoers can participate on-line with all films including premiere screenings, which includes live Q&A with the artists and filmmakers. January 7, Sundance launches ticket sales for films and activities.