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Movies on the Wave's menu
By Warren Flood
Starting May 28, more popcorn and hot flicks will be served up as Western Film opens a second movie screen inside the Wave.
"Western Film's single screen is doing extremely well and to make it more profitable, really our only option was to add another screen," said Pete Stanbridge, University Students' Council's entertainment and reservations manager.
Attracting the off-campus market to Western Film is critical, since 70 per cent of summer ticket sales come from those outside the Western community, said Mark MacLellan, Western Film co-ordinator.
Both MacLellan and Stanbridge said they feel Western Film is on par with other London theatres in terms of comfort, sound and picture quality and said the Wave will be no different.
Stanbridge said the McKellar room, the second largest theatre in London in terms of seating space, sells out Tuesday nights and a second screen will increase capacity. "I think [the Wave] will be packed on Tuesday nights the same way the McKellar room is," he said.
MacLellan added while capacity is not an issue on other nights the additional screen will draw bigger ticket sales.
"The Wave is closed during the summer, and [a theatre] is great use of the space. It's a terrific idea for the operation," said Mark Wellington, manager of the Wave.
MacLellan said the financial risk is very low. "The whole outlay is only $15,000 and a lot of that is capital investment. It doesn't add any labour at all. We will use the existing concession stands and box office. I would think that we should be able to recoup [our costs] this summer."
Stanbridge said he and MacLellan came up with the idea of a second screen for the summer six weeks ago and approached USC general manager Jim Walden shortly after.
Walden said the idea is a practical one with added advantages. "A side benefit is we can use the same equipment and seating during the school year for a meeting hall in the education resource centre. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose," he said.
USC's VP-finance Derrick Taub agreed. "It's low cost, very low risk and has a high potential for return. These returns can be put towards USC programming fees, which could eventually reduce student fees."
By keeping admission prices at $4 with $2 Tuesdays, MacLellan said he hopes Western Film can fill the discount movie niche in London.