PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The 12th annual Arthur Lyons Film Festival, which screens "rare and rarely seen film noir classics," will open tomorrow in Palm Springs.

The festival runs through Sunday at Camelot Theatres and is organized by the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The festival will open with a 7:30 p.m. screening of 1951's "Cry Danger," starring Dick Powell.

Writer and film historian Alan Rode will host the festival for the fifth straight year, festival spokesman Michael C. Green said.

"It is such a joy to continue (Lyons') tradition of programming both renowned and rare films from the classic noir period along with special guest star appearances. There is simply no other festival in the world like this one," Rode said.

This festival will include a screening of the 1955 film "Hell's Island." The hard-to-find film, shot in high-definition, wide-format VistaVision, has not been shown theatrically in decades and is unavailable on DVD, Rode said.

"It's a fast-paced Technicolor thriller with overtones of `The Maltese Falcon,"' Rode said.

There will also be a screening of a new 35mm print of 1949's "The Great Gatsby," directed by Elliott Nugent, Green said.

"We have other classics and rarities on the program and we're in the process of finalizing some exciting guest star appearances," Rode said. "The 2012 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival will proudly uphold the dark cinematic tradition of classic film noir in the desert."

The festival was founded in 2000 by mystery author and Palm Springs community leader Arthur Lyons and his wife Barbara as the Palm Springs Film Noir Festival. The event was renamed the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in 2008 after Lyons' death.

The festival screens "prestigious and obscure black-and-white `B' movies from the classic film noir period, from roughly the 1930s to the 1950s.

For tickets, go to www.arthurlyonsfilmnoir.org or www.camelottickets.com, call (800) 595-4849, or go to the Camelot Theatres box office from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.