The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

A night (or afternoon) at the movies

The Little Theatre is playing host to a program that will show a series of movies free of charge to all St. John’s students. The program is sponsored by Campus Activities and the Student Programming Board, and is aimed at giving students something to do on campus.

The movies, which are shown three times a day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, are films that have recently left the box office. A special Halloween showing of the horror movie The Descent brought a sizeable crowd.

“Turnout has been very good so far,” said Damien Duchamp, director of Campus Activities. “The capacity of the Little Theatre is just over 400. Some of the shows have had as many as 300 students.”

With posters hanging all around the campus, many students were aware of the program, but had not yet gotten around to seeing one of the movies.

“It’s seems like a pretty good program,” said freshman Stephen Hernandez, “but my schedule has been conflicting with the movie times so far. I kind of wish they had shows during the weekends too.”

Hernandez was not the only student who felt that shows should be spread out over several days instead of six shows over two days.

“There should be shows on the weekend in addition to the Tuesday and Wednesday shows,” said freshman Alia Bellwood.
Several of the students felt that different titles, including some older movies, could draw even larger crowds.

“There’s a pretty good selection of movies, but since they’re just out of the movie theater, a lot of people have seen them recently,” said junior Jeremy Buffone. “I think it would be cool if they played some classic action movies like Rambo on the big screen with the surround sound.”

“Action and comedy would be good,” added freshman Orhan Orho.

Despite some complaints, all of the students interviewed felt that the movie program was a good idea, for reasons varying from “can’t beat free” to “it’s finally something to do on campus during the week”.

One of the reasons students are able to enjoy this movie experience is because of the extensive renovations to the Little Theater. There were more than $1 million dollars in improvements, including new chairs, new walls and ceilings, and new sound equipment.

“Part of the reason for these improvements was to have something that could function as a movie theater on campus,” Duchamp said.

The improvements are not over yet, though. Those in charge of the program are constantly trying to think of new ways to improve the experience and make it feel like a real theater, Duchamp said.

“We’re thinking of purchasing lit frames for posters of the movies we’re showing,” he said. “There’s also talk of buying a popcorn machine.”

The movies being featured this semester, other than The Descent, are World Trade Center, Invincible, and Idlewild. These films, from a variety of genres, show that Campus Activities and the Student Programming Board are trying to appeal to what is obviously a very diverse campus.

While students on campus continue to complain of a lack of programs that appeal to them, those in charge continue to try and find a happy medium that will appeal to the most people. In the meantime, the movie program remains one of the more successful programs on campus, and continues to grow.

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