The screen blinks to life in front of you as you settle into your plush seat. With popcorn in your left hand and a soda in your right, your anticipation mounts as the previews play, a warm-up for the showing to come. A hush soon comes over the crowded theater as the last bits of chatter die out. Finally, the time has come. The film has begun.
When people think of a theater like this, the first thought that usually comes to mind is an image of a Marcus Cinema or an AMC theater. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison however, both students and the general public alike need to look no further than the Marquee Theater right here on campus. Located on the second floor of Union South, it is one of many great places to catch a movie. The theater screens a variety of films throughout the week that range from older classics like “Alien” to newer releases like “Deadpool.” During awards season, the theaters also show many Oscar nominated films. “The Revenant,” “Spotlight” and “Room” were among them this past year. To top it off, every film screening is completely free. There is no spot on campus that is cheaper or more convenient than the Marquee.
In addition to the Marquee, there are also a few theaters near the campus for those eager to catch the next big blockbuster on opening night. Students can drive or take a bus over to the Sundance Theater in Hilldale Mall. While the theater is small, it screens a handful of new releases. If you’re looking for a more complete selection, a little farther than Sundance is the Marcus Point Cinema, another good option for moviegoers.
There’s a multitude of opportunities to experience films, including the various clubs and activities you can join to get involved in the film community. The most notable group is the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee. Established in 1940, WUD Film meets once a week to discuss films and select what gets screened in the Marquee. Within this club, there are even opportunities to attend large-scale film events like the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. WUD Film is a great way to meet new people and build a greater appreciation for film.
On the more technical side, clubs like Hollywood Badger provide insight into the entertainment industry. Each meeting, a speaker comes to discuss various topics on entertainment media. These guests have included actors like Anders Holm, an alum who appears in the film “Neighbors” and stars in the show “Workaholics.” This club offers the chance for networking and learning more about the industry as a whole.
Beyond extracurriculars, the easiest way to show your support for films is to attend the events that UW-Madison has to offer. Various film festivals are put on throughout the year like WUD Film’s Marquee International Film Festival, which showcased a variety of films from across the globe. The greater the interest in these events, the greater the potential for more of them in the future. Whether you are a die-hard fan or a casual moviegoer, there are no shortages in Madison when it comes to movies.