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Actor Richard Dreyfuss signed autographs and chatted with fans at the Plaza Classic Film Festival.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival will return this summer with a new format incorporating social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual event, put on by the El Paso Community Foundation, will present “pop-up” drive-in movies at several locations and stream other films in a managed digital format, Eric Pearson, president and CEO of the foundation, said in an email.

“This is a time of uncertainty, but it is an opportunity to strengthen the bonds in our community in a safe way,” Pearson said. “I know it’s not ideal, but it will definitely be a fun way to allow people a real outlet, digitally and in person.”

Plaza Classic staples, such as the popular Local Flavor film showcase, documentaries and newer movies, will be screened digitally on the festival’s website, plazaclassic.com.

The festival starts July 30 and ends Aug. 9. Officials said more details will be released in the coming weeks.

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The Plaza Classic Film Festival, created in 2008, has screened more than 1,000 movies for more than 500,000 attendees. In the past, it has had an estimated annual economic impact of $1.5 million on the El Paso economy, the foundation said in a news release.

The festival has brought stars including Al Pacino, Richard Dreyfuss, Shirley Jones, Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross to join in the celebration of classic film.

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María Cortés González may be reached at 915-546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.

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