By Katherine Johnson
Because of ongoing renovations in the Bart Luedeke Center and low attendance in previous years, the Student Entertainment Council has decided to rethink the way it shows movies.
This new way of thinking began with the first event of the semester: an outdoor showing of Iron Man 2 on the Campus Mall. The idea was brought to life by Robert Mannanice, a junior in the Communication and Journalism Department, who is currently holding the position of film chair of the SEC.
Mannanice was elected to his current position after serving as president of the Alternative Film Club and saw the behind-the-scenes aspects of what it takes to run a film event.
In past years, the SEC film chair was responsible for playing major blockbusters every weekend, but Mannanice decided that this year he wanted to change things up and do what it takes to best maximize SEC’s film budget.
“If I show any weekend movies, they’re not going to be as often,” Mannanice said. “Originally I wanted to do them every other week instead of every week, but now we are just doing bigger events, [such as] Iron Man 2 a couple weeks ago.”
His idea to play Iron Man 2 on the campus mall was the first of many events he has planned for the year. The outdoor movie was more successful than many of the movies that were played in past years, when barely a handful of people went.
“It was a success; we got around 70 to 100 people,” Mannanice said. “You know, some people leaving, some people coming back, but for the most part it was a success.”
Numbers don’t lie when it comes to whether an event was a hit. In the last year, only around 10 people a night would show up to the movies that played on weekends. These numbers are what SEC is planning on using when it comes to planning the various other movie events.
“We used to show movies every weekend for three days, the same movie every time, and each day we were lucky if 10 people showed up,” Mannanice said.“It was kind of a waste of money, a waste of budget and it was the same movie every day.”
Mannanice expects to increase the audience attendance by enticing students with bigger and better events than those that have been put on in previous years. The goal is to have students leaving happy from any of the events that he puts on.
However, attendance is not the only factor in the changing of how movies are shown by the SEC. The construction on campus, specifically in the BLC, has become a huge factor in determining where the movies can be showed.
To compensate for the renovations to the BLC, Mannanice has booked one of the larger auditoriums in Sweigart for the year.
Mannanice has already come up with multiple ideas for the rest of the year, ranging from a showing of the Twilight saga during one weekend to having the Ultimate Fighting Championship live on Pay-Per-View.
“I’m going to try and have it when [the films] usually air on a Saturday night, and I’m going to try and have it live on campus,” he said. “Not on a huge screen but in the room we have reserved.”
Mannanice also has a Halloween film festival planned, during which American and foreign films will be played during the day on Halloween weekend, so that students can enjoy a full range of the holiday spirit.