Activities Programming Board replaces Cinema USI with monthly movie showings


Photo by Bryce West

The Activities Programming Board plays the Pixar short “Boundin'” before they start their monthly movie showing “Top Gun: Maverick” Saturday.

Bryce West, Staff Writer

The Activities Programming Board has replaced Cinema USI to present movies monthly rather than the previous weekly Cinema USI showings. 

 Cinema USI was an organization created in 2011 to present free movies to students on campus. Nathan Payne, assistant director of student activities, said Cinema USI has not held an event since April 2022, so the Activities Programming Board has taken its place. The APB was also in charge of planning Cinema USI events but they were operated under separate budgets and staff.

“Cinema USI started out as a weekly program,” Payne said. “It was designed to provide something on Thursday and Saturday nights.”

The APB has been doing movie nights on a once-a-month basis as opposed to once a week. This is because the APB is funded by the student activity fee all students pay as a part of their tuition. 

Since the program started, the APB has tracked attendance every year to see what movies students liked. He said in 2018, they saw a slight decline in attendance with the rise of more streaming platforms. He said by 2020, many films were going straight to streaming, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively killed the Cinema USI program by Spring 2022.

Presenting movies is not as simple as pulling up a movie on Netflix.  He said the APB has to work out various distribution rights with film studios, and the price can depend on the movie. 

While the APB still plans to hold movie night events on campus, they are also working on a partnership with AMC Theatres to hold events there. This partnership will allow APB to view movies in theaters to prevent having to wait and stream the movie. 

“We started trying this new thing where we would reserve theaters for AMC because then it became a ‘no, this is actually in theaters,’ and you can’t get it elsewhere,” Payne said.

This practice was tested last semester for “The Lost City,” Cinema USI’s final showing.

APB has hosted two movie nights so far this semester. They showed “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in August as a part of welcome week, and they showed “Top Gun: Maverick” Saturday.

“Top Gun: Maverick” was originally supposed to be shown in September. However, due to the unexpected financial success of the film, it was pushed to October.

Around 40 students attended the event. Several of the students attending the APB movie night shared mixed feedback.

Madeline Provines, freshman psychology major, said she thinks the movie nights are fun. She said she attended a movie night in the past and not as many people showed up for this event. 

Provines said the previous movie night she attended took place on a Friday night, while this event took place on a Saturday night, so she thinks not as many students attended because they were home.

“Maybe do, like, a Monday night,” she said. “A night that more people are here, or even a Sunday.”

Other students said they liked the timing of the movie night. 

“I think it’s cool that during the weekends, we can still have things to do around here,” said Heather Rutledge, freshman business administration major.

“I’m really excited and I hope that they give more movie nights because this is my first activity on campus that I’m doing,” said Lilly Williams, freshman pre-radiological and imaging sciences major.

APB has their November movie night planned indoors at the AMC Evansville 16. The film has not been decided, but they plan to make the announcement soon.

Payne said APB tries to make the movie experience something students would enjoy. 

“Every single event we do is free for students, including the movies,” Payne said. “We try to do popcorn, we try to do popsicles, we try to do something to make it an experience to go to the movies and something that you would want to do.”