Cyclone Cinema entices students

Aimee Burch

Cyclone Cinema entertains and delights students Thursdays through Sundays throughout the school year with free showings of recent movies. In its second year, Cyclone Cinema has entertained more than 1,400 students each single weekend.

Nate Dobbels, former Government of the Student Body vice president and speaker of the Senate, said the process for Cyclone Cinema began a few years ago after GSB invested in the former Varsity Theater. After a year, the decision was made not to use the Varsity Theater and instead work together to create a theater atmosphere on campus. The Inter-Residence Hall Association was already hosting Free Friday Flicks and the Student Union Board also had SUB Films at the time.

“GSB worked with Dr. [Tom] Hill, student activities committees, [the Inter-Residence Hall Association] and SUB to create a theater out of a lecture hall,” Dobbels said. “Eventually, we chose Carver Hall because it was open later, so we wouldn’t have to hire extra security, and it’s a fairly comfortable atmosphere.”

GSB President Jared Knight said GSB became funding partners with the project and purchased a high-definition projector and a higher quality screen for what became Cyclone Cinema. A new sound system was also purchased. IRHA eventually decided to step down from the project, but Cyclone Cinema still became a reality.

“We were a little worried at first,” Knight said. “The first three weeks, we were lined up at the doors and had to turn people away.”

Both Dobbels and Knight said one of the overarching goals of Cyclone Cinema is to provide a central location for student entertainment, particularly for those under 21.

One of the major decisions involved in Cyclone Cinema is acquiring the films and creating a schedule. Sam Thompson, head of films for the Student Union Board, said they go through a distribution company called Swank to get the films.

“[Swank] produces the films to college campuses,” Thompson said. “We get a list of movies that are available, and pick which ones we think ISU students would be interested in seeing and would be most popular.”

Once the list is made, Thompson said SUB gets a quote from Swank detailing the costs required and then goes about creating the schedule.

Thompson and Dobbels said student input and involvement is essential for the success of Cyclone Cinema. Thompson said anyone can join with SUB and be a part of the process involved for getting movies to campus.

“Cyclone Cinema was created, funded and attended by students,” Dobbels said. “It is a combination of organizations working together. It’s something unique and special.”