TRAVERSE CITY — Ten days to go and counting. You can almost smell the popcorn.
Ticket sales for the 9th Annual Traverse City Film Festival start Saturday morning for the general public.
As of Wednesday, 52 movies — a third of the 150 films and documentaries offered — had sold out due to early sales last week to Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival. But “thousands of tickets remain,” said Linda Koebert, now in her third year as festival volunteer box office manager.
“No one should ever think they could come to the festival and not get in,” she said. “We have sold 40,000 tickets and we have over 125,000 tickets left to sell.”
Koebert said tickets will be released Saturday for 12 new free movies, plus the 12 TBA (to-be-announced) slots in the movie guide will be filled with added screenings of early sellouts. The added screenings will be announced in the next week to 10 days.
Among the sellouts were the opening, centerpiece and closing night films — “Blue Jasmine,” “Shoot Me” and “Austenland.”
Other films sold out by Wednesday included “Before Snowfall” and “The English Teacher” and several screenings at the Bijou, the newest venue in the former Con Foster Museum, which is being renovated into a movie theater.
“The Bijou has been enormously popular and the film festival will be the first time anyone gets to see it inside,” said Katy Gwizdala, festival communications director.
Hedges Macdonald, an avid Traverse City film and theater fan, decided to wait until Tuesday to buy his tickets rather than wait in long lines after sales to Friends began Sunday morning. He wasn’t disappointed that the more expensive opening, closing and centerpiece movies had sold out. He bought tickets to 10 other movies and threw in a festival T-shirt.
“I decided to limit myself to about three films a day, though some days I do have four,” he said, adding that he may select more before the festival begins.