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Notre Dame Cinema starts with a bang

Maria Smith | Thursday, November 18, 2004

Do you ever get tired of heading to Movies 14 for the same old Hollywood hits?This year Notre Dame is offering a unique chance to catch some of those unique and fascinating films you don’t always get a chance to see, but only if you act fast.Since the Notre Dame Presents film series opened on Aug. 26 five of the six shows have sold out, demonstrating a high demand for the intelligent and less mainstream films the series presents. Both showings of “Control Room” the first week sold out with an estimated 100 to 200 people being turned away. The first three showings of “Fahrenheit 9/11″ on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3 also sold out, and only 16 seats were left open at the last 10:00 p.m. showing that Friday.This semester the series focuses on documentaries, including several recent high-profile documentaries dealing with the war in Iraq and American politics.Jon Vickers, Cinema Manager for the PAC, has also scheduled critically acclaimed films at the Vickers Theater in Three Oaks, Mich. for several years.”What we did was brainstorm a list of potential films … and started choosing films we thought we wanted to show,” Vickers said. “Coincidentally, a number of them were documentaries, so we decided to focus on documentaries for the fall.”Other films in the series include a documentary about the life of Portuguese singer Amalia Rodrigues and the earliest screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”The series was introduced to make use of the Browning Cinema in the new Marie P. DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. “The Browning,” as it is colloquially called, is the only THX-rated theater in Indiana. The rating requires such details as strict standards for the equipment, seating and acoustic neutrality of the space.The theater seats 200 people, which is obviously not enough to satisfy the University’s and local community’s demand for the films that have been scheduled.Administrators at the PAC decided to run a lighter schedule during the theater’s first semester to avoid having the films and other opening events for the PAC overlap. Beginning in the spring Notre Dame Presents will feature different films most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. While this will offer a wider variety of films, it will only offer 400 people the chance to see every film, which could be a problem if scheduled films attract as much interest as the first two.”If things continue to go well this fall we’ll continue to evaluate whether we need to add screenings,” Vickers said.In the meantime PAC administrator Tom Barkes encourages people to buy their tickets early if they’re particularly interested in a show.”[If people come] the morning or afternoon of the screening they should have their ticket,” Barkes said. “There is absolutely no guarantee that we will have tickets at the ticket office right before any of the screenings.”Tickets for all shows will cost $3 for students, $5 for staff and $6 for the general public. The box office is open from noon until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tickets go on sale the Monday before each show.