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Sundance Survival Guide 

How to experience the film festival

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The SLC Attendee Manual
Get to know the Salt Lake City venues and surrounding areas.

By Scott Renshaw

With the advent of the Locals Quick Pass a decade ago, it became easier than ever for Utah residents to get in some marathon Sundance viewing. Get to know your Salt Lake City venues and the surrounding businesses, and learn how to get the most out of your down-in-the-valley Sundancing.

Consider public transportation. If you’re coming into downtown from the ’burbs, and you’re sticking to films at the Broadway Theater, Main Library and Rose Wagner Center venues, TRAX might be your best transportation option. The Gallivan Center stop (200 South) lands you almost exactly midway between the three locations, with a couple blocks of each venue. And with a short distance between the Broadway and the Rose, a brisk 10-minute walk will get you from one to the other. Even those coming from more central locations might want to use the Ballpark TRAX park-and-ride lot to avoid downtown parking hassles.

Meter Park At Your Own Risk
If you do drive, metered street-parking stalls are free after 6 p.m. on weeknights, if you can manage to find one. But avoid attempting to stake out one spot all-day on Saturdays, as you can get ticketed for exceeding the two-hour limit. You can get validated for the parking garage next to the Broadway Theater, but if you’re taking in more than a single show, you’ll need to go through the hassle of exiting and re-entering, or parking in the pay lots nearer to the Rose Wagner Center if you’re changing venues. There is nearby street parking for the Main Library, as well as an underground garage.

Close & Easy Food Bets
Like your Park City counterparts, you may find yourself trying to grab the quickest possible bite between showtimes. Fortunately, the three-block corridor on 300 South between the Broadway and Rose Wagner Center—plus a block in either direction off the major cross streets—offers numerous options. For a burger or sandwich, try Jimmy John’s (14 E. 300 South), Toasters (30 E. 300 South), or Rich´s Mighty Fine Burgers & Grub (30 E. 300 South); grab a burrito at Barbacoa (280 S. Main); snag a slice of pizza at Sicilia (111 E. 300 South) or Pier 49 (238 S. Main). If you have a bit more time to sit down, there’s Asian fare at Cindy Lee Café (264 S. Main) or P.F. Chang’s (174 W. 300 South); eclectic lunch & dinner dining at Atlantic Café (325 S. Main); and great pub grub at Squatters (147 W. 300 South). For fancier dinner-and-a-movie consideration on a less densely-packed moviegoing schedule, try Christopher’s (110 W. 300 South) or Eva (317 S. Main). About halfway between the Broadway and Rose Wagner is the Sundance Film Festival Cafe at the Beehive Tea Room (12 W. 300 South), which will add evening live music performances (7-9 p.m.) to its assortment of sandwiches, soups and desserts. Please note that not all establishments are open seven days a week; check ahead for hours at the time you’ll be in the neighborhood.

Tower Power
We haven’t forgotten about the other Salt Lake City venue; it’s just not exactly walking distance from the other two. And transportation time is definitely something to factor into your plans. Though epic traffic-light convergences might allow you to get from the heart of downtown to the 9th and 9th neighborhood in 10 minutes, assume at least twice that much time for travel to the Tower from the downtown venues—or vice versa—and finding parking. Don’t make the mistake of parking in the Smith’s grocery store parking lot, either, as you may be towed.Close & Easy Food Bets
Grabbing a bite near the Tower can be a bit tricky if you’re tight on time. A nearby Barbacoa (859 E. 900 South) can hook you up, and you can get a cup of joe and a pastry at Coffee Garden (878 E. 900 South). But other spots in the vicinity— Mazza (912 E. 900 South), Pago (878 S. 900 East) and Thai Garden (868 E. 900 South)—will require a bit more sit-down time.

Timing Is Everything
Build the right amount of time between screenings. Can you really make it from the Rose Wagner screening ending at 5:02 to the one at the Tower that starts at 5:30? See above for at least part of that answer; another part depends on the always tricky matter of when the screenings actually begin. Don’t be surprised if waitlisters filling in seats or other logistical issues cause your screening to begin five to 10 minutes later than the scheduled start time. If you’re going from one venue to another, and unless you’re fond of panicked dashes or hyperventilating at red lights, play it safe by allowing at least 40 minutes between the scheduled end of one film and the start of the next—and that’s assuming you don’t plan on eating during that intermission. You can get by with less—20 minutes or so—if on foot between the Broadway and Rose Wagner.

Sundance Survival Guide

The Movie Buff Manual
The People Watching Manual
Park City in 1 Day Manual
Sundance in SLC Manual

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