Courtesy of Campus Cinema
As the countdown to Oct. 31 slowly creeps away, Campus Cinema has been preparing for the season with a selection of horror films waiting to be screened.
Campus Cinema, a student-led and university-funded organization, offers virtual or in-person film screenings nearly every weekend for students free of charge. Community members are encouraged to attend as well, charging $1 per ticket with revenues returning back to the Center for Student Enrichment. Typically showing films fresh out of theaters, Campus Cinema works to create an accessible theater environment right on campus. They show movies in Jamrich 1100 on select Saturday evenings where you will find Luke Tschumperlin and Samantha Wright, president, and treasurer of Campus Cinema, respectively, preparing concessions for eager students.
“We want to be another thing on campus that provides different opportunities for students. They don’t have to go off campus to do anything,” Tschumperlin said. “It’s kind of a movie theater experience for students for free so they don’t have to go and spend money.”
This year, the organization has been drawing a large interest from students after their kickoff screening of “A Quiet Place: Part 2” attracted over 150 people in August.
But this popularity has not always been the case.
When the 2021 winter semester rolled around, Campus Cinema’s former president opted for at-home learning, leaving then-freshman Tschumperlin to run the show. As COVID-19 continued to be a large concern for all student organizations, Tschumperlin struggled to gain traction for the club and increase turnout.
“The hardest thing was probably getting the showings out there. Last year it was really difficult to get people to come to showings … maybe two or three people would come,” Tschumperlin said. “We had to cancel showings because nobody would show up. It was really sad.”
Since then Tschumperlin and the Campus Cinema crew have been working hard to “revamp” the organization, performing an overhaul on their social media platforms in a hope to transform the group into a recognizable brand. Campus Cinema has been increasing its student outreach as well.
“Before every showing, we do a poster giveaway for whatever movie we’re playing. [On Oct. 19] we gave away the “In the Heights” 27-by-40 double-sided movie poster, which is really cool.”
Campus Cinema bases its film selection off of current events, so just as the leaves changed from green to shades of autumn, the choice of genre twisted to the darker side.
“I made sure to pack October full of scary movies,” Wright said. Wright, a fan of slasher films and all things Halloween, believes that horror as a genre can do much more than just provide viewers a quick scare.
“When horror is done well, we get a chance to explore what makes us human, and what makes us afraid,” Wright said. “It shows things that we are not ready to deal with in a day to day society.”
As Campus Cinema began to create their line-up of movies for the weeks preceding Halloween, they wanted to ensure a balance between recent horror releases and classic throwbacks.
“For our main showings, we like to pick things that are just out of theaters and about to hit DVD, so I was all on board for ‘The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It.’ But one of my goals for Campus Cinema is to get the audience exposed to things that they may have not seen before, like the original ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ (1984) or ‘Scream’ (1996),” Wright said. “In taking an ‘oldie’ like ‘Scream,’ people can see this classic horror film and be like, ‘Whoa, this is really what horror is about,’ and not just crappy horror remakes.”
After their virtual showing of “Halloween” (2018) on Oct. 16, Campus Cinema has two horror films left to share. They will hold a virtual screening of “Scream” (1996), which is accessible through NMU’s Hub on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. Once you register for the showing, you will be emailed a link and have 48 hours to watch the film.
For their Halloween weekend showing, Campus Cinema will hold an in-person screening of “The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)” on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in Jamrich 1100. Along with free admission and a chance to win a poster, Tschumperlin and Campus Cinema are adding a new feature to their in-person screenings.
“Starting at our next in-person showing [Oct. 30th], we’re having fresh popcorn. So we’ll make that right before the show starts too,” Tschumperlin said. “We haven’t had that yet this semester, so I’m excited.”