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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Films fill up Gallagher

    Students wait to get into a free sneak preview of Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny last night at Gallagher Theater. More than 300 people showed up to see the film, filling Gallagher to near capacity.
    Students wait to get into a free sneak preview of ‘Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny’ last night at Gallagher Theater. More than 300 people showed up to see the film, filling Gallagher to near capacity.

    Students nearly filled the 340-seat Gallagher Theater last night for a screening of “”Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny,”” and the theater has continued to bring in students for discounted movie weekends this year, despite rumors it was closing down, said the theater’s manager.

    “”Attendance-wise, we have similar numbers with last year for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday screenings,”” said Mary Frances Miller, Gallagher Theater manager. “”The only times we didn’t make the ideal number of attendees were the two weekends at the beginning of the semester because students were still settling in.””

    Gallagher Theater shows discounted movies every week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for $3, along with free preview screenings of new movies, such as “”Stranger Than Fiction.””

    “”I think it’s pretty sweet,”” said Armando Salas, a music composition and education junior. “”I haven’t gone to a whole lot of their showings, but it’s really cool to see movies early and not have to wait.””

    The preview screenings, despite being free for students, fund staff and buying rights to other movies for the weekends.

    “”The free preview screenings are considered as free rentals,”” Miller said. “”The distributing company wants their name to get out there. We make money to distribute the film because they are paying to rent our space.””

    Students often crowd into the union before seats fill up at the free screenings. More than 700 screening passes were given out before the screening of “”Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny”” yesterday.

    “”It’s sick. I think they should do this more often,”” said Ross Bercun, a media arts sophomore.

    The free screening also drew people from outside the UA community.

    “”These screenings are really good,”” said Dustin Seppala, a Tucson resident. “”It’s good for creating hype, and people get to see it for free.””

    Gallagher Theater has also made more money this semester by renting out the theater space.

    “”We usually try to rent out the theater 10 times per semester, but this semester we were able to rent it out about 15 or 16 times, not including the lecture series and discussions held by the university,”” Miller said.

    The capacity of the theater is 340 seats, Miller said, and to break even, Gallagher needs 317 of the seats filled per weekend to cover the average $1,000 cost for buying rights to screen each movie.

    Unlike other businesses, the Gallagher Theater works under what is called a zero-based budget.

    “”The zero-based budget’s goal is not to make a profit off of the student body, but to provide a programming opportunity, something available for every student,”” Miller said. “”The $3 rate is just something we use to break even.””

    Miller declined to release financial data regarding Gallagher Theater.

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