Pass by Crescent Hill on a Wednesday night and students can be found relaxing and taking a break from the stresses of a school day. People are laid out on blankets in the grass, talking and munching on popcorn while enjoying a movie being projected on a wall.
Movies on the Lawn is a free program sponsored by the Campus Activities Board. Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., students come together to watch movies, some of which have not yet been released on videotape or DVD. The films shown at Movies on the Lawn can range from the most up-to-date movies, such as Tomb Raider and Shrek, to older movies that were popular many years ago, such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The films are shown directly behind the Special Events Center and across from the Crescent Hill parking garage. When the weather is bad or it is too cold outside, the movies are shown inside the Special Events Center, which has stadium seating. Movies on the Lawn attracts about 300 students weekly, but the numbers can rise to approximately 2,000 people during special events, such as Homecoming. Students come like herds of bulls, bringing not only themselves, but blankets, lawn chairs and even couches.
It isn’t necessary to worry about spending $5.50 on a movie ticket and $10 for popcorn and a soda; everything is free. “It’s just like going to a drive-in movie, except without the cars and it’s free,” said Urvick St. Jean, a junior majoring in communications.
Food is served each week as well, beginning at about 8 p.m. There can be anything from fresh popcorn (served every week), to cake and even pizza, depending on the theme of the movie. The members of CAB do their best to tie in the theme of the movie with the food being served. For instance, the year before last when American Pie was shown, apple pie was served. CAB’s executive director, Patrick Dean, said CAB may even be planning to serve ribs when they play the movie Hannibal.
As well as being a weekly outing for students, Movies on the Lawn is also a community event, meaning that anyone is invited, not just students.
“(It’s) a good way to get to see what other organizations there are on campus,” Dean said.
Movies on the Lawn is a place to meet and interact with other students. As a freshman, a student may find college life overwhelming at first, but Movies on the Lawn provides an atmosphere to mix and mingle with other people.
Many students come to Movies on the Lawn with a group of friends, a boyfriend or girlfriend, roommates or suitemates.
“It’s a good place to just chill on a casual date with your girlfriend or to meet somebody you might consider dating,” said Eric Styles, a junior.
Many on-campus and off-campus organizations help CAB by co-sponsoring events such as Movies on the Lawn. Papa John’s has been a dedicated co-sponsor of the program, and CAB hopes to establish more co-sponsorships this year.
Students are encouraged to support Movies on the Lawn because it is sponsored by CAB, a programming organization.
Programming organizations plan events for USF students with A&S funding, the $7 per credit hour that every student is required to pay.
For those students who are already familiar with Movies on the Lawn, “Keep expecting a good time,” Dean said.
Contact Chantel Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org