(Click play to listen to a portion of an interview with Activities Council member, Andrew Bertucci.)
By Tasha Mero
HONOLULU — With everything being so pricy nowadays, getting the chance to watch a movie for free is almost unheard of.
The Campus Center Board Activities Council offers free movies to the students and general public about once a month. “The Dark Knight Rises” was shown on Friday night, November 16, 2012 in the Campus Center Ballroom. The movie held in the third floor ballroom, had two different showings” 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Theses events are usually held in the Campus Center forum on the second floor, but was recently moved upstairs to the third floor. Andrew Bertucci, a fifth year senior and longtime member of the Activities Council, said that they moved the event upstairs as a test-run.
“We moved it because we’re looking at doing this for next semester, so with this being our last movie night we were looking at doing some sort of test to see how it would work in the ballroom,” Bertucci said. “We didn’t know if the attendance would be larger, which the ballroom would be a lot more easier to hold.”
Movie Night Info
The free movies at Campus Center are actually very popular and have around for quite some time now. According to Bertucci, a communications major and council member since 2009, movie nights have been around for the past six or seven years. Students and community members alike, come out to see these free movies.
“This semester has been high attendance, we’ve had at least 300 plus people almost every movie night,” Bertucci said.
Movie nights are typically designated for Friday nights and the Campus Center Board Activities Council tries to schedule them as often as possible. Including this movie, the council has planned five different movie nights during this Fall semester.
“We try to schedule them at least seven to eight times throughout a semester,” Bertucci said. “During the beginning of the semester we try to keep almost every Friday and then as bigger events start to take over Friday nights they kinda space out between one or two every month.”
Manoa Activities Council
Every movie played on movie night is chosen by the Campus Center Board Activities Council. However, according to Bertucci, the council is undergoing some new changes.
“We are now going into a committee phase where we have a specific committee within the council that decides what movies will be chosen,” Bertucci said. “We do it all through a company that shows what movies will be available by a certain date and time.”
When Bertucci was asked what he liked about these events, he said he likes that they can show movies before they’re released on DVD.
“The company has a special contract with the movie companies to be able to release the movies at a certain price to be shown for one day only, that’s the part of the contract,” Bertucci said. “So it kinda makes it nice because it gets the interest of the audience because they can’t see the movie anywhere else and here we’re showing it for free.”
Inside the Ballroom
“The Dark Knight Rises,” a PG-13 movie initially released in July, attracted quite a bit of people. Upon entering the ballroom, moviegoers were greeted by a special guest. There was a man dressed up as the Batman character standing outside with several of the council members.
Once inside the ballroom the security team quickly inspected people’s bags before letting them into the seating area. In the ballroom were rows and rows of chairs filled with people. Upbeat background music played as the audience waited for the movie to start.
Food and drink were located downstairs on the second floor of Campus Center, outside of Jamba Juice. The foods offered were Subway sandwiches, cookies, popcorn and yes, even cotton candy.
“The cotton candy machine was a purchase I think about a year or so ago,” Bertucci said. “It was definitely something we wanted to add that would be different than the popcorn.”
The food line had numerous people waiting patiently to purchase their snacks. The price of the food and drinks is what got freshman Alyssa Pascua, interested in attending the movie night.
“The food is pretty cheap: 25 cents,” Pasuca said.
The nursing major also came to a movie night two months ago, when she watched the movie “Brave.” Pascua said she likes that the movie nights have two different showings because then it won’t get too crowded.
Sitting with her two best friends at the 6:30 p.m. showing, Pascua said there should be free events like this more often. Although Pascua has already seen “The Dark Knight Rises,” she decided to watch it again.
“I like watching movies, even if I watched it already,” Pascua said.
Computer science major, Saul Castro, who has never seen this movie before, came to movie night with two of his friends. When asked if he would recommend movie night to others, the second year student said he would.
“Yeah sure. It’s cheap, it’s free,” Castro said.
Rodney Roabang, a fifth year student at UH Manoa, came to movie night because he likes Batman. The biology major said he likes to watch movies in the theaters as well.
“I like to watch movies, I always watch movies,” Rabang said.
Rabang, who has already seen this particular movie before, said that he always suggests movie nights to other people. He also said he would come to more events like this if they were free as well. When asked if he had a suggestion to improve movie night, Rabang couldn’t think of one.
“I’m content,” Rabang said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Movie night is a great way for students to do something fun, without spending too much money. It is especially convenient for those students who live on campus because they can just easily walk on over.