Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

November 03, 2017

CIFF Announces Opening Night at Playhouse Square


The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF42) is thrilled to announce its Opening Night festivities will take place on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. The film will be presentedin the historic Connor Palace, with the post-film reception taking place in the stunning KeyBank State Theatre. This is the first time since 1989 that Opening Night will take place at Playhouse Square.

CIFF has a long-standing history with Playhouse Square, which includes a bevy of special guests and screenings throughout the years.

The Festival first screened at Playhouse Square in the Ohio Theatre in 1985 with its CIFF9 Opening Night film PARIS, TEXAS, with special guest Harry Dean Stanton in attendance. Making for a memorable moment in an already extraordinary night, Stanton surprised the audience by introducing the film through song.

The Festival last opened at Playhouse Square in 1989 with its CIFF13 Opening Night film MAJOR LEAGUE, where special guests included director David Ward, producer Chris Chesser, actors Corbin Bernsen, Bob Uecker, and Wesley Snipes, and Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

In 2016 in celebration of its 40th anniversary, the CIFF returned to Playhouse Square with the world premiere of BELIEVELAND. The screening, which welcomed 2,049 people at the Connor Palace, proved to be the biggest single screening in the Festival’s history. The film brought in special guests including director Andy Billman, producer Scott Raab, former Cleveland Brown Earnest Byner, former Cleveland Cavalier Craig Ehlo, and media personalities Jim Donovan and Tony Rizzo.

CIFF42 program information, including Opening Night film details, will be released in early March 2018. Opening Night tickets can be purchased beginning today by visiting

For information on the CIFF’s top four levels of membership, which offer benefits including Opening Night film and reception tickets and Festival all-access passes, please visit

The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. A thriving downtown neighborhood, residents, office workers and visitors can dine and relax at one of 15 area restaurants or on U.S. Bank Plaza under the glow of the world’s largest outdoor chandelier – the GE Chandelier. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland.

The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival will take place April 4 – 15, 2018. Following Opening Night, all screenings will take place at Tower City Cinemas and select neighborhood locations. For information on the CIFF, please visit

The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Media Contact

Debby Samples, Marketing & Media Director
2510 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113-3434

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