One of Manhattan College’s most well-known traditions has been given a new name and a new location. The popular “Movies on the Quad” has officially been moved to the new Student Commons building for the Fall 2014 semester.
Given the new name “Cinemas in the Commons,” this classic MC event will still essentially be the same, as the only changes are the new name and new location.
“It is the same as ‘Movies on the Quad,’ but we just felt that for the beginning of the school year we really wanted to drive traffic to the new building,” said John Bennett, Director of Student Activities.
Students will still be able to view popular and current movies while munching on free snacks provided by Student Activities in the Great Room in the Student Commons.
“It is a beautiful room, but the only thing is we need some reclining seats! I will admit that it is a little awkward because you will be sitting up, unless you bring a blanket and sit on the carpeted floor,” Bennett said. “It is more comfortable on the Quad, so that is the only negative about the move,” he said.
Some MC students agree with Bennett, and think the event should have just remained on the Quad.
“I feel like the Commons is too far, like we’re lazy, we’re in college. We’d rather be outside and enjoying the great weather,” sophomore Peter Kuzniewski said. “You get to lie down, it’s all just free. But in the Commons we’re going to be in chairs and not as relaxed or comfortable.”
“If we wanted to watch a movie inside we would just do it in our dorm,” sophomore Kim Pusey said. “I also feel like the Quad is central compared to the Commons, so people would just walk by and see it, whereas in the Commons people might not know it’s happening and then they won’t go.”
While the Quad provided more comfort while viewing the movies, as students could spread out blankets and lounge around while watching the movie, the Great Room also bestows some comfort since students will not have to deal with the outdoor elements.
Student Activities does plan on moving the event back to the Quad come next fall, so the move is not permanent.
“We are definitely going to have ‘Movies on the Quad’ again, actually on the Quad, but for this semester we felt that we should start the year in the building,” Bennett said. “We just thought these first few weeks we wanted the students to get used to coming here to the new Commons.”
The Great Room will then serve as the rain site once the event moves back to the Quad next fall.
Bennett hopes the popularity of “Cinemas in the Commons” will further increase because of the movie selection this year.
On Aug. 30, there was a showing of the popular comedy “Neighbors,” starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogan and the next showing will be “The Amazing Spiderman 2” on Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.
“We only select movies that are current releases that are not out on DVD yet because once something is out on DVD or Netflix or something like that, why would somebody leave their futon, their bed, their dorm rooms, to come out and watch it?” Bennett said. “So we make sure to get a list and we check to make sure that the movie is not out on DVD yet. We also try to stay away from, obviously, inappropriate movies,” he said.
Student Activities hopes to make “Cinemas in the Commons” a year-long event, if all goes well with the already scheduled screenings.
“We would love it to be yearlong. I think that would be great if students knew that every Friday night they had that as an option,” Bennett said.
What most students don’t realize is how much it costs to screen each movie.
“We need the support of the student body to make that happen because it does cost about $1,000 per movie. You know how you always hear the FBI Warning? We’re the ones paying that to actually show it,” Bennett said.
“We pay a company and they give us the list of possible movies. Movies that are already on TV are cheaper than the ones that have not been released on DVD. New releases you pay about $1,000. And we’ll show the movie on Friday and then we’ll send it back on Monday,” he said.
If “Cinemas in the Commons” continues to be a popular Friday night event that students look forward to going to, then Student Activities will be able to show more and more movies as the year goes on.
“In our perspective, it is such an easy and fun thing to do,” Bennett said. “Everyone loves movies. It’s social, it’s appropriate, it’s free for students to go. We just need students to buy in,” he said.
Hopefully “Cinemas in the Commons” will be a way to connect students through popular movies that everyone will enjoy.
“I can guarantee that every Friday night on campus there are hundreds of students in their individual rooms watching movies. Some are homesick, some are just watching with one friend, some are texting the whole time. There’s no reason we can’t get them all together in one room,” Bennett said.
“Movies on the Quad” was not the only event moved to the Student Commons, as basically everything that was originally held on campus will now be located in the new building.
“Just about every event is going to be moved to the Commons,” Bennett said. This includes Family Weekend, Scatterbomb shows, the Third Annual Lecture Series, and all club meetings.