SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — The inflatable outdoor movie screen was erected early for day one of 2013’s Waterfront Film Festival.
“Presales are up this year compared to last year,” Kori Eldean Rentz, the festival’s co-founder said. She added, “So I think everyone is really enthusiastic about it. So I think we’re gonna have a really big turnout this year.”
The festival’s anticipated opening was felt throughout South Haven, the host city. “We’re prepped for a ton of people to come in here. We’re looking for a lot of business,” Gina Kellogg, a waitress at Brix Corner Oven said.
However, the event didn’t kick off without a hitch. A power outage in South Haven from Wednesday night’s storms shut down a lot of businesses for the day. Brix persevered, drawing in a crowd.
“We don’t have our computer system, so we write everything by hand. A lot of ticket writing, a lot of handing off of tickets, but little frustrating this morning, but we have everything figured out,” Kellogg explained.
A wood-fire oven made the difference, along with food and ice provided by nearby sister restaurants.
Before the outage, the festival’s outdoor movie screen was already powered by a generator located at the water plant next door. So organizers said the show must go on.
While volunteers were limited technology-wise, Eldean Rentz said ticket sales continued online. A lot of work was being done out of this make-shift office.
Once power in the city kicked back on in the early evening, those volunteers moved to the ticket office inside the Michigan Theatre. It was a bumpy start but quick recovery in South Haven.
“It’s a new city so it’s fun. It’s easier because you have an existing movie theatre. So we have three movie theatres that we don’t have to build and put together,” Eldean Rentz said.
There are three venues for the festival. That includes the Michigan Theatre, LC Mohr High School, and Foundry Hall.