APB tries new approach for movies

Jake Tapley

Ditch the $6 stale movie popcorn, the $9 movie ticket and the two 12 year olds making out in the back of a theatre, and attend a free movie at USI instead. 

As a result of the efforts made by the Activities Programming Board (APB) and Student Affairs working together, more campus-based opportunities are now available to students.

In years past, APB has put on movies bi-weekly, showing movies every other Thursday. With the assistance of Student Affairs, APB is now able to show a different movie each week, with three showings throughout the week.

APB President Ian Savage said he believes the service they provide is a huge convenience to students.

“We try to get movies shown after they leave the theatres but before they come out on DVD,” Savage said. “We want the experience to be something students can’t get anywhere else.”

In years past, Savage said APB tried to accommodate too many people.

“There was too much personal interest in the movie-picking,” Savage said.

APB Film Chair Luke Willisams said he plans to solve this problem for the 2012-2013 school year by selecting movies that appeal to a broader audience.

“My criteria are simple,” Williams said. “Did it make money? Did people go see it?”

Williams admitted that he also uses review-based websites such as Rotten Tomatoes when deciding if a movie should be a part of the lineup.

“The Avengers,” “21 Jump Street” and “The Hunger Games” have already managed impressive turnouts, a trend that Williams said he hopes will continue. He said he estimated “The Hunger Games” brought in around 250 students last Wednesday.

The next film to be shown is Men In Black III set to play tonight at 9 in Forum 1.

Associate Provost for Student Affairs Marcia Kiessling said she views the relationship between APB and Student Affairs as an independent union. 

“It’s more of a collaboration than a merger,” said Kiessling. “Mergers sacrifice identity. … I consider it to be a partnership that allows an extension of APB’s work.”

Student Development, a branch of Student Affairs, is in the process of securing funds and renovating the equipment used to show APB films.

“We’re in a transitional stage right now,” Kiessling said. “It was time to go to a more contemporary style.”

That style involves the use of innovative digital projector technology.

“It is (going to be) similar to the quality of a theater,” Kiessling said.  “We are moving away from reel-to-reel projectors.”

Movies are scheduled to be shown on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Taking students into consideration is necessary if we want to fulfill our strategic plan and accomplish the goals that our university has set in place,” Kiessling said. “Becoming a 24/7 campus takes time, but the combined efforts made by these two groups have set the wheels of progress in motion.”

According to the USI 2010-2015 strategic plan, becoming a 24/7 campus means engaging students in the process of developing a “full time campus” and encouraging students to be deliberate in their co-curricular activities.

The strategic plan is a way to provide students with more to do around campus.