Film festival draws business to downtown Victoria


March 23, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated March 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.

Downtown Victoria is a busier place since the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival kicked off Thursday, and it isn't just event organizers dealing with the increase.

Several downtown businesses said they've experienced effects.

Fossati's Delicatessen stayed open a bit longer than its typical 2:30 p.m. close on Thursday to accommodate the film festival crowd who made its way inside, said Jerry Torres, who works at the restaurant. On Friday, too, a steady stream of people went there for lunch.

Torres said any increase in customer flow is good for business.

"Everybody's welcome," she said. "We're happy to have them."

Greek's 205 Bar remained open its regular hours but did have customers who went in once their films ended Thursday night, said Blanche Charkalis, one of the bar's co-owners.

The business also contributed its mushrooms to a VIP festival event that same evening.

"I was there and saw some of the directors and people involved with the festival," Charkalis said. "It looked real exciting."

The Golden Gecko also took part in the VIP soiree.

As for the Rosebud Fountain & Grill, owner Fran McCue said she anticipated more customers walking through the doors Friday evening.

"We hope so," she said with a laugh.

Victoria museums also hoped for extra foot traffic, although not necessarily any added income from it.

The Nave Museum, Children's Discovery Museum and Museum of the Coastal Bend will offer free weekend admission to those with proof they attended the film festival, said Amy Leissner, executive director of the Victoria Regional Museum Association.

She said the museums work together when possible to encourage tourism and bring overnight visitors into town. This was another way to expose people to what the city has to offer.

"Victoria has a really strong arts community and we want people to know that," she said.



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