In-person movie showings officially returned to the University of Georgia Tate Student Center on Aug. 21. Stan Jackson, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, and Matthew Hitchcock, cinematic arts director for the University Union, said students are very excited to have this event back.
In an email, Jackson said “two movies will be screened every weekend through the course of the semester.” Movies will be shown Friday through Sunday nights, with the exception of home football games. Jackson also said University Union added a Sunday matinee.
The social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced, with the room capacity set to one hundred. Masks are required inside the theater, and seats are marked off to enforce social distance between the viewers, Jackson said in an email. Basic sanitation products will also be available inside the theater for attendees to disinfect their seats after use. To minimize contact between attendees and working University Union volunteers, student affairs has created a contactless card scanning process that allows students to book their spots in advance or in-person through the Tate box office.
Hitchcock said Union will offer the movies as a drive-in feature as well. Intended for “bigger” movies, and held at the intramural field which is an easy way to spread people out. Hitchcock said this is an easy way for people to maintain social distance if they do not feel comfortable attending in the theater.
“When people get bored, this is a good thing to do as an alternative to going downtown where people may get sick or infect others,” Hitchcock said. “There are not many events occurring on campus anymore, therefore many students have expressed excitement about being able to leave their house or dorm room.”
Jackson said he believes students are just as excited for this event to open as the staff. The first showing of Little Women on the weekend of August 21 nearly hit full capacity, and many students expressed to staff that they were happy to have the movies return.
Movies are free for students who have a working student ID and pay activity fees on the Athens campus. The Tate Student Center Theatre for students is located on the third floor of Tate, and a list of its upcoming movies can be found on the UGA University Union website. Upcoming movies in September include “The Hunt,” “Spies in Disguise,” and “Queen and Slim.”
While Tate is opening this event in-person, many are still online. For example, the Tate Poster Sale will be held online this year, ending on Sept. 18, according to the Student Affairs website.
While a return to normalcy is hopefully in the near future, students can enjoy socially distanced in-person activities on campus and activities online via Zoom.