By Brooke Caldwell, Ciera L’Huillier & Grace Prust
Maybe students have heard of the “UWGB Goes to the Movies” series, but maybe they haven’t. The event was popular a few years ago, then was halted due to the pandemic. CheapSeats was another option for students to stay on campus to catch a movie. The latter did not attract as many moviegoers and is not taking place this fall semester, so the Student Engagement Center is looking to bring back UWGB Goes to the Movies.
There was a difference between CheapSeats and UWGB Goes the Movies. CheapSeats was sponsored by the Student Engagement Center and took place at the Christie Theatre in the University Union. Newer movies were featured for cheap, and concessions were available for purchase in the Phoenix Club. Showtimes were 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm Friday through Sunday. While streaming options have increased in the past few years, the number of attendees dwindled. The movie shown in March 2022 had zero attendees.
The second series was also made possible by the Student Engagement Center. UWGB Goes to the Movies would rent out a movie theater and bus students to and from, providing them with a free ticket to the new release. This attracted more students as they would rather spend a night out with friends kicked back at a Marcus Theater. Looking at numbers, Student Engagement would try to fill a theater of 68, with the highest number of attendances coming from 2018 and 2019, with 98 total students.
While freshmen may not remember UWGB Goes To The Movies, some current seniors remember it before the pandemic put it to a halt. “It was actually a really fun experience that I could share with my friends,” says Skyler Strandberg, a senior double majoring in English and Education at UWGB. Strandberg added, “…I think it would be pretty beneficial to have that kind of event come back[…] It’s very convenient for college moviegoers who still want to experience the theater.”
As an avid moviegoer with his family, Freshman Devin Strandberg would like to see this event up and running again. “I would definitely like to see this event happen again. It sounds like a fun event to attend with friends.”
When connecting with Student Engagement, the Assistant Director, Adam Novotny, brought high hopes for the future of UWGB Goes to the Movies. “Yes, we have discussed as a staff in the Student Engagement Center about bringing this series back,” said Novotny. Novotny mentioned previously the increase in streaming services has severely affected CheapSeats and may not be as popular as it once was. With the outcome of that, Novotny stated, “We would like to hold more opportunities for students to go to the movies to see new releases.” It sounds like a lot more opportunities to attend movies with UWGB in the works as, “It would provide a great opportunity for friends to come together for a night out at the movies to see a new release!” said Novotny.