Don't worry, there's always the Bijou

BY GUEST COLUMN | MAY 09, 2012 6:30 AM

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Imagine for a second that to see a movie, you would have to be under the age of 18. No longer can you lose yourself in a narrative that can change time and space in the blink of an eye; Never again may you observe the skill cinematographers have as they pan, tilt, and zoom across a fictional realm.  Movies, like moon bounces, playgrounds, or Chucky Cheeses, are only for children once you reach this certified age of adulthood. It may sound ridiculous, but with all the expenses a college student has (tuition, books, rent, and board, to name a few) college movie-goers usually can't afford to purchase $7 to $10 movie tickets. 

With all these expenses, the traditional movie-going experience is becoming as accessible for college students as a "you must be this tall to ride" roller coasters for kids.

Fortunately, film departments all over the United States have recognized the Hollywood oppression on the cinema market and have taken an uprising of film on college campuses. 

The IMU is a Swiss army knife of building capabilities. From Dance Marathon to band concerts and even standup comics, the IMU also houses a theater known for its dedication to well-received yet not quite blockbuster titles.  

There's something for everyone, for every genre at the Bijou. But this theater brings more than movie choices; it brings a true movie experience.

You may not expect much when you walk into the doors of the IMU. There may be a dance-off going on in auditorium next or maybe the sounds of a fraternity meeting in the opening foyer. Posters of King Kong and Casablanca are seen on the walls to the left, showing that movies are one of the few things that can bring us into the nostalgic emotions of yesteryear.

Three dollars later, you take your popcorn and your Coke into a small theater room. Though it is tiny compared with modern theaters, it holds plenty of room for laughter, tears, screams, oohs, and awes. You sit down in a comfortable seat and watch your film. Two hours pass, and you leave the theater with a tranquil happiness.

It's a graduate-student-led organization that never forgets that we are college students. We are people often without large amounts of money to spend on entertainment. The Bijou gives us entertainment, at a reasonable price.

Free movie tickets and dollar level refreshments are things I've never witnessed at other college campuses. I often visited the University of Michigan cinema, for example, and the prices for refreshments were much higher than at the Bijou. In addition to the simple price difference, though, the Bijou gives us the joy of filmmaking on an artistic level by offering films that one wouldn't always see.

This film movement is happening around the country. We are fighting Hollywood through our independent theaters, and on an artistic level, we are winning. Right here in Iowa City, we see the impacts of film on everyday life. It can occupy you on a Saturday night if drinking isn't your thing, and it can satisfy you during the week if you need that always important study break. Want to see a movie but don't have cash for that chain theater? Don't worry, there's always the Bijou.

John Campbell
UI freshman

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