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Student Senate to offer movie nights in University Center starting fall

May 8, 2014

Next fall semester, UW-River Falls students will have another option for a weekend activity.

On April 29, Student Senate unanimously passed a motion which allocated $8,000 to fund a “Student Senate Cinema.”

“The purpose of the cinema is to provide more weekend programming, as well as a healthy alternative for students,” said Senate President Tony Sumnicht.

The cinema will run one movie four times each week. Every weekend there will be two showings on Friday and two on Saturday. The cinema will be in the Kinnickinnic Theater in the University Center.

“We plan to show pre-DVD movies. Movies that are out of theaters, but not on DVD,” Sumnicht said.

In its editorial last week, the Student Voice listed some concerns with the cinema. Chief among those concerns was how the cinema would affect the River Falls Theatre.

“The concern primarily for us is the Falls Theater. The theater is an important aspect of River Falls both in town and for the UW-River Falls campus. Not only is it a low-cost activity for students, the theater also works with campus in several ways. The theater provides us with movie tickets each week for our feather search in the Student Voice; the theater also has worked together with residence halls such as Hathorn Hall to provide a free movie showing for those living in the hall,” the editorial said.

The theatre raised its ticket price this past summer from $3 to $4.

Despite the fact that the cinema will be playing movies at night on both Friday and Saturday, Sumnicht said the cinema should not be in competition with the River Falls Theatre.

“I discussed this with the Director of Student Life [Paul Shepherd]. About four years ago they used to show movies in the Falls Theatre like we plan to do. The relationship with the theater didn’t change, because we are not showing brand new movies,” Sumnicht said. “They will be high quality movies, just out of the theater already.”

Junior Nicky Broeske said that she may utilize the cinema, but it would entirely depend on the movie.

“It depends on the movie,” Broeske said. “If it was a new movie that’s supposedly good, then probably yes I would go, but if it’s one that’s been out for a while, then no.”

The $8,000 allocated to the cinema is meant to encompass all of the fees for the cinema. Students would not have to contribute any money toward the cinema.

“In order to show the movies publicly we have to pay for copyright. So we did a whole budget with previewing movies, and we came out to $8,000. What happens with that is that we pay the copyright fee, and a small fee for each day it is shown. We came out to that $8,000,” Sumnicht said.

Sumnicht added that the $8,000 is only for the fall semester. Senate will review the cinema near the end of fall semester to see if there is enough student interest in funding it for another semester.