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October 15, 2012

Standing Room Only: City native’s film packs ’em in at local theater

NEW CASTLE — Chris Pappas could not be happier with his hometown these days.

The filmmaker and New Castle native known professionally as Cristos recently moved back to the area from Los Angeles so that he could make his movies here. His first effort, “Tunnel Vision,” had its local debut Friday and Saturday at the Westgate Cinemas Friday and Saturday.

The response to the locally filmed suspense thriller was overwhelming, Pappas said. Nearly 500 people came out over the two-day run to see the picture, creating standing-room-only crowds.

Because of the response, Westgate has extended the run of “Tunnel Vision” through Thursday. The film will screen at 9 p.m. each night, with special half price showings at 7 and 9 p.m. today.

The buzz created by this local success has drawn some national attention as well. Because of the film’s popularity in New Castle, Pappas said, it has been picked up for a run in Pittsburgh, and inquiries from other areas have been received as well. Most notable among them is a deal in the works for screenings of the film in Los Angeles.

The film already has been seen in New York City, where it was one of just nine movies selected for screening at the Urban World International Festival sponsored by cable networks BET and HBO.

“When I arrived and saw this sea of people, I had a lump in my throat,” said Pappas, who stars in the film in addition to writing and producing it.  

“I just couldn't believe it. New Castle is such a great town, with great people. I cannot thank everyone enough for their show of support. I can't tell you how much I really appreciate it.”

 

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