College student presence in theaters has climbed and fallen in numbers since the 1950s. Currently, however, theaters are finding the least amount of attendees, many of them students, in ten years due to the limited amount of time and money students have.
Time and money may be the two main deciding factors for a college student’s night, especially the students at USF. A student may want to see a movie, but the theater may be too far away or cost too much. These are very important elements to determining night of USF business student, Hillary Rieveley.
“I never go see movies because I don’t have time,” said Rieveley. “School keeps me very busy and I commute so I spend most of my money on gas. Plus, I have Netflix.”
Along with Rieveley, movie streaming programs such as Netflix, and accessible devices like RedBox kiosks,
provide easier ways for students to watch movies. But are these movie-viewing alternatives hurting cinema attendance? USF film studies professor Robert Snyder says yes.
“Undoubtedly, it’s a contribution,” said Snyder. “Why leave the couch, bed or home for a theater?”
Apparently, Hollywood may not care so much about it either. The movie industry continues to make money off of distribution, not only ticket sales, says Snyder. According the Motion Picture Association of America‘s (MPAA) annual report from 2010, the industry continues to stay afloat. In 2010, movies generated about $10.6 billion even though attendance was down five percent from last year.
However, Cecilia Bolich, former USF staff and current manager of Beacon Stadium Cinemas, says that Redbox and Netflix can’t compare to theaters.
“If patrons wish to see a new movie that has been released, Netflix or Redbox cannot compete with theaters, since new titles are not released to them for another 3-5 months,” said Bolich. “However, if customers are planning a fun night to watch any movie, then these devices certainly offer a cheaper alternative.”
Recently, theaters have tried to up their attendance by supplying 3D films. 3D has helped Hollywood sustain financially, but contribute to the rise in ticket prices. USF film studies professor Amy Rust says that 3D movies are ideal for drawing in a crowd because of their exclusiveness.
“3D is a win-win for studios and theater chains,” says Rust, “because at least for the short term, 3D is not something that one can duplicate at home. It draws viewers to the theater, where owners pay more for films and audiences pay more for tickets.”
Theaters already had raised their ticket prices before 3D came about to compete with the economy. In fact, CNNmoney.com reported in March that ticket prices are expected to increase four percent before next year.
Inflation is to blame, says Rust, and theaters depend highly on their avid moviegoers to obtain revenue. According to the MPAA, frequent moviegoers (those who attend a movie once a month or more) account for more than half of movie tickets sold. However, frequent movie goers are now only 11 percent of the population.
Among those, Carly Lambert, a USF student majoring in business and finance, makes an effort to see as many films as possible throughout the month. By budgeting her monthly income, Lambert sets aside a few bucks for the movies.
“I’m such a nerd when it comes to money and I love movies so I know how to plan in order to have both,” explained Lambert. “It’s not hard being a student and going to see movies, especially when theaters have student discounts.”
Bolich claims that students are still attending her theater thanks to student discounts and many theaters within a 10 miles radius of USF include a student discount. However, theaters can choose the days and times to implement the markdown. For USF students, getting to a close theater to utilize the discount can be a problem when the closest theater is, at least, a 20 minute drive.
Muvico Starlight 20 located on Highwoods Preserve Parkway shows matinee films for $7.50 until 8 p.m., then the price can range anywhere from $9 to $9.75. However, Starlight 20 advertises $5 movies for USF students who attend a movie at any time Monday through Thursday.
The AMC Veterans Cinema, located on Anderson Road, provides an $8 student discount for movies on the same days and hours as Starlight 20. Regularly, adult tickets are priced at $10 at any time throughout the day.
Thankfully, USF’s Campus Activities Board provides an event called Movies on the Lawn. Every other Wednesday, the board shows a current and popular movie in the Marshall Student Center Plaza to students for free. Thus, knocking out students’ issues with theater proximity and expenses.
The CAB even plays movies throughout the summer. The only downside to Movies on the Lawn is that they can’t provide what theaters, Netflix and Redbox can offer – more selection. To see a movie for free nonetheless, is a deal that no college student can pass up.
Despite the setback made by rival school, Florida State University, USF’s Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team fortunately qualified for Regionals hosted in Tallahassee, April 29-May 1.
The Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the ScallyWenches, played admirably against six teams last weekend at Sectionals in Orlando. The ladies came home with three wins under their belt and three losses.
The team began play at 9:00 a.m. and fought through a rough hour and ten minutes of game against the Florida State Southern Lady Ultimate Team but came up short. The FSU team, one of USF’s biggest competition, defeated the ScallyWenches with a total score of 9-6. However, USF slammed Florida State’s B team later that day with a score of 11-1.
After the game against Florida State, a tired USF lost another game against the University of Florida (Fuel) with a score of 10-3.
Grad student and stand-in coach, Danielle Renzi, argued that it takes a while for the team to warm up.
“Morning games are the death of us,” said Renzi. “I wish we had played FSU in the afternoon. It was a good game for us nonetheless, but we would have kicked butt with more rest from an afternoon game.”
Food and rest clearly helped the girls regain their strength to score two wins for the rest of Saturday’s afternoon games. The ScallyWenches triumphed over The University of Miami (11-7) and Florida State’s B team.
Sunday led way to USF winning one game and losing another. The girls prevailed against Florida’s B team (Diesel) but were unsuccessful against University of Central Florida (13-3).
“We tried our damnedest to pull out a win in the last game,” said captain, senior Brooke Abney. “I’m most proud for our team qualifying for sectionals ….”
USF’s ScallyWenches will lose their senior captain and coach before the next fall season, but their legacy will thrive with the team that remains.
USF Women’s Ultimate Frisbee captain, Brooke Abney, and coach, Danielle Rentz, will take different paths away from USF at the end of the spring semester. Abney, 22, will be graduating with a B.A. from the College of Business and first-year graduate student Rentz, 23, will be entering the Peace Corp for a year.
“They are going to be missed incredibly,” said sophomore ScallyWench Danielle Davis. “We can only hope that someone can step up and provide the same leadership and skill that they’ve shown. They’re the best.”
With only one more production left in the 2011 spring season, the USF Dance department has welcomed New York dance legend Doug Varone to grace the stage and help the dance students produce a spectacular finale.
Doug Varone is the founder of the Doug Varone and Dancers company located in New York City. Since it’s beginning in 1986, the company has performed all over the country, Europe, Asia, Canada and South America. Varone’s accomplishments include choreographing several operas, working in film and television and has also choreographed the film “One Last Dance” starring Patrick Swayze. He has worked with dozens of dance studios and USF’s School of Dance is exicted to have him dance on their stage.
USF dance is including a few of the dances from his most recent production, “Chapters from a Broken Novel.” The inspiration for Varone’s work is from a collection of photographs, quotes and conversations all bound in notebook. Varone has transformed those memories into a choreographic marvel.