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Yes, the ambience of a resort town where celebs frolic and no condo is appraised at less than your entire net worth has its allures. Park City is Sundance central, after all. And the chance to eavesdrop on cell-phone calls that might lead to distribution deals might serve as payoff for those long lines.

Skeptical about the excitement factor at hometown venues? Peruse this year's snowflake-adorned schedule yourself. The Sundance Film Festival's four official screening venues (plus a café and art center that's an offshoot of the New Frontier exhibits) feature roughly one-third the number of screenings you'll find in "PC-town." But like your favorite light beer of old, the hometown experience might be considered more filling, with far less fluff.

Who are the festival homebodies?

Lucky ducks who scored Quick Passes, super-tickets that allow entrance into any festival screening in Salt Lake City or Ogden. Only 265 of them were issued this year, said ticketing manager Linda Pfafflin. With at least one screening venue limited to 211 seats, that's a generous number.

"We live in fear of the day all 265 pass holders want to see the same show at the same time and venue," Pfafflin said. "Our Salt Lake patrons are true film lovers. They will go to movies that people coming in from around the country will not go to. They are not industry fans who will clap at every credit. We always tell directors that if they want to know how the public will really receive their film, go to a Salt Lake City venue."

What can you expect from a Salt Lake City screening?

A better shot at parking. A decent bedtime before a workday. And, says longtime Sundance attendee Chrissy Daniels, no "festival malaise."

"The last festival screening I saw in Park City was 'Napoleon Dynamite' years ago. I don't miss it," said Daniels, a director at University Health Care. "I think the Salt Lake City audiences are more excited to be there."

What's new with the Salt Lake district this year?

The Salt Lake Art Center is a new exhibit venue, plus earlier screenings — beginning at 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.

The center will exhibit works by six film artists as part of the festival's New Frontier exhibit, including "Three's Company: The Drama," a multimedia installation by "127 Hours" star James Franco.

New Frontier is a joint exhibit between the center and Park City's Miners Hospital, which will exhibit nine installations during the festival. Eight installations will be moved to the center after the festival, where 14 of the installations will remain on display through March 25.

"Our chocolate got into their peanut butter" is how Adam Price, executive director of the art center, explains the partnership, describing the exhibit as having one foot in the art world and another in cinema. "Not only is it a natural fit, it gives Salt Lakers a chance to see some of the very best work in the medium by some of the best artists in the world."

All that without leaving your hometown. —

Sundancing, with capital-city style

Main Box Office, Trolley Square • 700 E. 500 South; stop in for daily ticket releases; tickets, $15 each; visit for more ticketing information.

Broadway Centre Cinemas •111 E. 300 South; call 801-3231-0310, or visit

Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center •138 W. 300 South;call 801-297-4215, or visit

Tower Theatre •876 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City; call 801-321-0310, or visit

Beehive Tea Room Festival Café •12 W. 300 South; hours, Monday-Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-11 p.m.; call 801-328-4700, or visit

Salt Lake Art Center • 20 S. West Temple; open most Sundance festival days from noon to 7 or 10 p.m.; New Frontier exhibit continues through March 25; call 801-328-4201, or visit