Cinema returns with big movies

Having overcome delays with the installation of a new digital projector, UPAC Cinema will return to full operation with an Oscar Weekend extravaganza beginning Friday, April 19.

UPAC’s new schedule, which will fit an entire semester’s worth of films into three weekends, will feature some of the biggest titles from the past four months. This weekend features Oscar-winning films Argo, Skyfall, and Django Unchained. The Oscar Weekend will be replete with Academy Award themes: a red carpet, press, sparkling drinks, and RPI celebrities. The following weekend will feature two of the year’s best animated films, Wreck-It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians. These films will run during the entirety of Relay for Life, and a portion of this weekend’s profits will be donated to the organization. The semester will finish with the most requested film by the campus, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, on May 3.

UPAC Cinema, unlike most theaters, offers films in the 16 mm, 35 mm, and full digital film formats. More than half the films released in the last year were not available in the 35 mm format, only in a digital form. Films shown on campus will primarily be projected in a digital format, but the older formats will be retained to teach the history of cinema.

“While the 35 mm projectors are near and dear to our hearts, digital projection is the direction the industry is heading,” said UPAC Cinema Chair Mike Chamberlin ’13. “That being said, digital is offering us greatly improved picture and sound quality that will be sure to amaze our audience. We believe when people see the new system they will agree it was well worth the wait.”

The final installation of the digital projector was a collaboration. Along with the club members, UPAC received help from graduate student Joseph Perchiacca, the Rensselaer Union, the campus HVAC technicians and electricians, the purchasing department, media operations, and cinema technicians.

“It was a strong team effort from multiple groups to bring films back to campus before the end of the semester that made this all possible,” said Chamberlin. “This installation was a team effort all the way around and countless hours went into it.”

“Better picture! Better sound! Better experience! The new cinema has been designed to impress. After spending nearly nine years maintaining and upgrading the 35 mm systems, it is sad to see them go,” said Perchiacca. “However, I am extremely excited to be a part of bringing UPAC Cinema into the next generation just before I graduate.”