On a typical Friday or Saturday, around 250 students trudge through snow and tunnels to get to Hoyt Auditorium to see the latest films put on by the UR Cinema Group.

The UR Cinema Group, with 33 official members, has been providing on-campus entertainment for students for 31 years.

“All members provide input for the movie schedule, but the final decision is made by our current Programming Director Greg Owsley,” UR Cinema Group Chairman Josh Veazey said.

There are 52 weekend movies shown per year in addition to sneak previews and their alternative film series, such as the Mel Brooks series shown last semester.

Movies are shown every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11p.m.

Each film costs the club around $1,000 to show per evening, with costs varying depending on popularity and age.

The group’s annual budget is subsidized by the SA because their operating costs are even higher.

“We have a small market. With the onslaught of home video, multiplexes and pirating, audiences have shrunk throughout the industry over the last decade,” Veazey said.

“Even though video and computer files don’t have the same quality or give the same feel as a theatre setting, many don’t go to the theater as often. This has affected on-campus audiences some, but most notably it has affected the off-campus crowd,” he said.

Revenue is generated through ticket sales and advertising from businesses and other SA group shown before each movie. The new advertising program is an effort to increase revenue according to Veazey. The group is also trying to expand its market.

“This year, we’ve started programs to attract more off-campus moviegoers,” Veazey said.

Tickets are $1.75 in advance or $2.00 at the door. Season passes can also be obtained at the Common Market or at the box office before shows. Group passes, of at least 20 people, can be obtained by calling x5-4452.

Student reaction to Cinema Group has been positive.

“Its great to be able to pay $1.75 to see a movie on campus. It’s a great program. And they show two different movies on Friday and Saturday so you can catch two flicks if you want,” Take Five Scholar Eleni Skrombolas said.

Cinema Group has many plans for the future.

“We’d like to expand the season pass program as well as continue to bring in off-campus patrons. We’re currently working on upgrades to the Hoyt lobby that will improve the movie- going environment,” Veazey said.

“We’ve also begun planning special events such as ‘Dinner and a Movie,’ featuring a catered dinner and the film ‘Chocolat,’ on March 4,” he said.Being a part of Cinema Group has been rewarding for sophomore Katye Blackwell.

“I enjoy going because the people are cool. I learned a lot about the behind the scenes workings [of the theater],” Blackwell said.

He can be reached at mhe@campustimes.org.



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