Story by Katie Ericson
Even in the capitol of Iowa, there are not always a lot of non-alcoholic things to do on Friday nights. Some students fall back on the classic choice — movie night.
The same group of friends watches the same couple of movies over and over, and it can get dull.
Then, the Campus Advancement Committee of Student Senate started Free Movie Fridays.
Each Friday night a different movie, one out of theaters but not yet on DVD, is shown in Sussman Theater.
It’s completely free of charge, there is never a repeat movie.
Seniors Zach Keller and Carly Kinzler started Free Movie Fridays in Fall 2012.
“(We) thought movie nights would be a great way to provide consistent entertainment for students on campus,” Keller said.
Breaks are the only time movies are not shown to students. During Homecoming weekend, the movie was simply moved to Saturday so students could enjoy all the activities Student Senate was staging.
That night, “Despicable Me 2” was screened, and over 250 students came to see the film. There was a similarly large turnout for “The Great Gatsby,” where students had to pull in chairs from the surrounding lobby to sit in the aisles.
Keller said the movies usually average around 200 people in attendance.
It is not much of a surprise since, in addition to the free movie (saving students around $5 to $8 depending on your theater) there is also free food at each viewing.
Popcorn, gummy bears, m&m’s plus drinks are all provided.
Usually the line into Sussman Theater is not actually for seats, but for food.
“I like being able to mix all the snacks with my popcorn,” said junior Erin Mercurio. “It’s like a little bag of surprises.”
There are many reasons Free Movie Friday has continued success.
“Being busy college students it can be difficult at times to get off campus to see a movie, so bringing them a free movie on campus is very convenient,” Keller said.
Junior Hannah Powers agreed.
“It’s way easier to just walk over to Olmsted Center and see a movie than actually find someone with a car and get a ride. Plus, it’s free. You can’t really beat that,” Powers said.
The last movie for October is going to be “The Conjuring,” an appropriately scary film for Oct. 25. It will be shown in Sussman Theater at 9 p.m. The new films for November will also be released at that time.
When asked about the process for choosing movies, Keller said they try to focus on the students.
“We primarily base our decision on big name movies that people would be excited to see and that have not come out on DVD yet. We also try to select a variety of movies that will appeal to a wide range of Drake students.”
This means that the movies have ranged from “Iron Man 3” to “Life of Pi” to “Les Miserables.”
Next month, students can expect to see more action and blockbuster films. But until Oct. 25, there will be no way to know which movies will be shown for sure.