TCM Classic Film Festival Moves Ahead Amid Coronavirus Concerns

TLC Chinese Theatre - Los Angeles - Getty - H 2020
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The Hollywood fest says that it is "closely monitoring this evolving situation."

Hollywood's annual gathering of classic movie fans is moving ahead on its April 16 to 19 event dates amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus stateside. 

Organizers of the TCM Classic Film Festival — which takes place at the TCL Chinese Theatre and Egyptian Theatre — unveiled a slew of new additions and guests for the event on Thursday. 

The festival also stated that, amid coronavirus concerns, it would be "closely monitoring this evolving situation. We are working with internal and external partners to ensure that the safety of attendees and staff are our priority."

Among notable additions to the fest, Julie Andrews was added for a screening of 1982's Victor Victoria, Mel Brooks will introduce his 1987 spoof Spaceballs, Margaret O’Brien will attend a screening of 1949's The Secret Garden, and Oscar winners Craig Barron and Ben Burtt will hold a talk before 1950's The Flame and the Arrow

Lily Tomlin is to be honored at a hand and footprint ceremony at the festival, and film historian Leonard Maltin will receive the Robert Osborne Award for contribution to film history. 

The TCM statement added of its preparations, "At this time, the 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival is moving forward as planned. Our teams are still hard at work making sure the festival is the best possible event for our attending fans."

On March 5, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health identified four more cases of the coronavirus in the county, bringing the total number of cases to eleven. A day earlier L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a local emergency in the city, but also noted, "The step we’re taking today is about preparation, not panic."