Nothing beats seeing a movie on the silver screen. There’s something about the atmosphere of a theater that doesn’t translate to the small screen. Maybe it’s the size, maybe it’s the popcorn, maybe it’s the sound your shoes make every time you take a step on floors coated in decades of butter and spilled soda. Either way, there is definitely a magic to the movies.
That magic is why Matt Jenkins, a professor of Journalism and Media Production at Cameron University, moved his pet project “Independent Movie Night” from a cramped classroom to the hallowed halls of Vaska Theatre, Lawton’s oldest operating theatre.
Jenkins started movie nights in an effort to promote “better work on projects from students.” Originally, when he was simply hosting films in a classroom during off-hours, he would have anywhere from two to seven people show up. Since moving the event to Vaska, that number has swelled to upwards of 80.
“There’s something about watching a movie on a big screen in a theatre with a large soda and popcorn that isn’t achieved in watching a movie in a classroom or on a phone,” Jenkins said.
Movie night returns at Vaska this month with “Caliche Run,” by San Antonio based director Morgan Howard.
“Morgan Howard is a completely self-taught filmmaker. Determined to see his ideas come to life, he spent three years making the no-budget feature film “Caliche Run,” which he shot on 16mm,” Jenkins said. “In addition to writing, directing, and editing his debut film he also filled every role behind the camera using a variety of pseudonyms in the credits. “Caliche Run” is doing very well in film festivals and has screened at an Alamo Draft house.”
Jenkins hosts each movie night installment. He said that the movie nights are up an experience that most typical moviegoers don’t get.
“Movie Night provides the audience an opportunity to see interesting movies and talk with directors and producers regarding the productions that they otherwise would not have a chance to experience. Also, it’s important to promote independent production,” Jenkins said.
Some of the recent notable attendees were Pat Bishow of NYC based Amusement Films, actor and writer Anthony Brownrigg and Allan Arkush, a producer and director known for “Heroes,” “Witches of East End,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Rock N Roll High School.”
“Justin Hackney, the owner of Vaska, is instrumental in supporting of Movie Night by providing the movie theatre for the movie screening,” Jenkins said. “All screenings are free admission. I can’t thank him enough for his participation.”
Jenkins encourages everyone who attends to purchase something from the concession stand in order to thank Hackney for the use of Vaska.