Popcorn, candy and cheap flicks

Caitlin Marquis

By Caitlin Marquis

It’s no wonder students enjoy weekend movies at the Student Union Theater—cheap tickets, recent films, buttered popcorn and Kit Kat bars.

Students standing in line, munching their popcorn, might never consider the work it takes to make these fun weekend flicks a reality. But there’s more to the movies than flipping the switch on the projector.

Enter senior Priya Amin, film chairperson of the Student Union Board of Governors.

She’s the student behind the movies.

Amin has been a SUBOG member since her freshman year.  She’s been active with SUBOG’s concert committee.  So, she applied to be film chairperson in the spring of 2009. She was interviewed, selected and wasted no time getting started.

Priya Amin

Year’s movies chosen in summer

By mid-June, all the movies for the fall 2009 semester were already chosen.

“Big hits are the safest thing to go with,” she said.  For the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday night feature, she tries to pick “mainstream movies—things that did well in theaters.”

The Ugly Truth was one of many movies shown at the Student Union Theatre this semester.

For the free “Friday Night Flick,” she chooses a film that ties in with the featured movie. For example, the week the main movie was the romantic comedy “The Ugly Truth,” Amin chose to show one of the same genre, “P.S. I Love You,” which also happens to be one of her favorite movies.

Amin said she can’t simply choose movies she likes, however.

“My favorites change a lot,” she said, noting her favorite movie used to be “Pretty Woman,” though right now her favorite genre is action/adventure.

A coordinated effort

She works with campus organizations and coordinates with campus events.

For example, on Oct. 6, SUBOG and the Asian American Cultural Center co-sponsored the showing of “New Year Baby,” a movie about Cambodian genocide.

For Family Weekend, the animated film “Up” was featured.  “The comedy show isn’t always appropriate [for families],” Amin said. “We not only get parents on family weekend, but younger siblings, as well.”

And finally, before students sink into their seats and sip their sodas, they may wonder how SUBOG gets these movies before they hit DVD.

Amin’s job description does not include sneaking a video camera into movie theaters.

“We work with an agency called Swank [Motion Pictures, Inc.],” Amin said.  The company is a non-theatrical movie distributor.

“I give [Swank] a list of movies and when we would like to show them,” Amin said.  “They tell us if they will get them in or not.”

SUBOG buys these movies through Swank—the newest ones are the most expensive.

A fickle audience

Catering to college students is not easy.  Their interests change as rapidly as the weather.  So how does Amin keep students in the audience?

This year, one of her plans included 13 hours worth of Hogwarts, Quidditch and Dumbledore—a 13-hour “Harry Potter” marathon event for Halloween weekend because Amin said “a lot of people associate Harry Potter with Halloween.”

Last year SUBOG hosted a student-made film competition to break up the usual pattern of weekly films.

Want to see what movies are coming to the SU Theatre?

Follow this link to see the full schedule.


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