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Telluride Colorado

Telluride Film Brings the Big Names

Attend on a Budget

The buzz about the Telluride Film Festival and what will be screening has really been building up anticipation for this weekends events. With Venice and Toronto taking care of film premieres as well, the Telluride film screenings promise to surprise and delight as always. Having screened movies in the past like Whiplash, The Hateful Eight, Juno, Brokeback Mountain and more, this year will be sure to impress with a fantastic lineup.

The Telluride Film Festival is celebrating its 43rd year this coming weekend and, while passes sold out months ago, it’s still easy to celebrate the weekend by doing more than just celebrity spotting around town. You can still participate, attend free events, and even camp for cheap throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend. Check out our four tips for enjoying Telluride Film Festival on a budget this weekend:

1. Check out the Films!

$30 per screening
There are tons of ways to check out the great films on the lineup throughout the weekend if you don’t have a pass. Individual tickets are $30 per show. How can you get these? Well, once passholders are all seated, tickets for the remaining seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis about 10 minutes before the show begins. The venues with the greatest likelihood of leftover seating include:


  • The Werner Herzog Theatre - Town Park - 650 seats

  • The Palm - Telluride High School - 650 seats

  • The Galaxy - Telluride Middle School - 500 seats

  • Chuck Jones’ Cinema - Mountain Village Conference Center - 500 seats

Also, consider going to morning screenings or late night screenings for a better chance at some of the smaller venues. In addition, repeat screenings are also a great time to find extra seating, typically listed as TBA screenings and announced the morning of at the Hospitality Center and at each of the individual theatres.

2. Consider purchasing The Late Show Ticket
$75 for the final screenings Fri-Mon

The Late Show Ticket gives you entry to the final shows Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at both Chuck Jones’ Cinema (Mountain Village Conference Center) and The Palm (Telluride High School). You can purchase these tickets at either venue’s box office when you get into town this weekend. All Late Show Ticket holders will be admitted to their shows with general passholders and it saves you $45 bucks on individual show tickets.

3. Go to the FREE Shows - FREE!

Once passholders have been sat at these specific screenings, the remaining seats are free on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise noted. These screenings include:

  • The Backlot - Wilkinson Public Library

  • Filmmakers of Tomorrow - Check out up-and-coming talent throughout the weekend

  • Conversation in the County Courthouse - featuring intriguing Festival guests

  • Noon Seminars in Elks Park (across from the courthouse) - open to all on Saturday and Sunday

  • Abel Gance Outdoor Cinema - Elks Park across from the Courthouse - each evening beginning at 8:30 pm, rain or shine

These free events are a great way to see some of the smaller screenings while visiting Telluride last minute or even on a budget. Be sure to pick up an event program at the Hospitality Center when you get into town to see which screenings you’d be most interested in checking out.


4. Enjoy a hike, ride, or meal instead!

Visiting Telluride during a festival weekend does not necessarily mean you have to attend said festival in order to experience Telluride during your visit. With hikes accessible from both the Town of Telluride and Mountain Village, getting active is easy and allows your to take in the beautiful landscape and surrounding peaks. Take a ride on the free gondola between Telluride and Mountain Village to truly experience the heights of the mountains or hop on a bike to ride the trails to give yourself a bit of an outdoor challenge. When in doubt, stop into a restaurant or bar to enjoy great food, brilliant drinks, and awesome happy hours. Do not miss out on the clean, mediterranean inspired menu at Altezza at The Peaks in Mountain Village or the traditional western fare of The New Sheridan Chophouse or Parlor Bar. For a quick bite, check out La Cocina, There Bar, or The Cornerhouse. No matter what you like to eat, there’s not a bad meal to be had here in Telluride.

Missing out on this weekend? Gold season is coming up so don’t miss your chance to experience the changing of the leaves here in the beautiful box canyon. Having had a strong winter and a very wet monsoon season, the fall season is going to be one not to miss. Direct flights from several major hubs run through September so be sure to check out the many ways to get to Telluride just in time for the most photographed season in town and the many events left before the lifts start turning.