The auditorium in the basement of Gonzaga Auditorium undergoes a transformation on Friday nights. It turns into a true movie theater, but one where all of the snacks, drinks and tickets are free instead of $15 each. In case you didn’t know, this is done by Fairfield at Night, who runs a program called Fairfield Flicks where they usually show just-out-of theater movies for free. Last semester, however, only five movies were shown over the course of the entire semester.
Colleen Wilson, the assistant director at the office of student engagement, and Sarah Dippelhofer ‘19, the Fairfield Flicks manager for Fairfield at Night, both cited the cost of having new movies every Friday to be the main reason behind the change in the frequency, “
“[We] had decreased showings this fall to save costs,” said Dippelhofer.
They continued to say that, for a fresh out of theater rental, it costs Fairfield at Night about $1,000 and the movie nights themselves didn’t attract enough student attention to show a new film every week. Reducing the amount of films seemed like a good way to attract student attention through other events.
However, many students protested the lack of movies last semester. Pia Saurbier ‘22 said, “The weekly movies are something to look forward to at the end of the week.”.
So, Fairfield at Night worked out another solution to the problem, which was implemented starting January 2019, the start of spring semester. By choosing to make half of the movies in the semester “throwback” movies, it would cut the cost and allow them to show movies nearly every Friday once again. To select the films, Fairfield Flicks managers Dippelhofer and Theresa Bravo ‘19 selected 15 new movies and 15 throwbacks, and let the students pick from those selections through a poll sent out to the student body. The final lineup was chosen based off of the responses of about 200 students.
The schedule for this semester is a mix of new movies like “A Star is Born” and “Mary Poppins Returns” and throwbacks like “Parent Trap” and “Mean Girls”. Every student interviewed about the new movies were excited to see some of their old favorites.
“I think a lot of people can enjoy the throwbacks and it brings people back to childhood,” said Pia Saurbier ‘22.
This is especially true of first year students, who have not gotten a full experience with the Fairfield Flicks program because of the limited selection and showings last semester. When talking to Dippelhofer, she also mentioned an exciting idea of matching snacks to the movie that it being shown, like peanut butter oreos for “Parent Trap”, to make movies even more fun.