Cyclone Cinema opens in spring

By Katherine Klingseis,

The Cyclone Cinema will be be up and running in spring semester, not fall, as had been planned.

“Optimistically, if [the lease] gets approved in September, I hope that we could get a show or two in at the very end of this fall semester,” said Luke Roling, president of the Government of the Student Body. “I don’t know if that will be feasible, but definitely in the spring, definitely right away in January.”

Last summer, discussion arose about turning the old Varsity Theater, which closed in January 2009, into a student focused theater. The GSB and the Campustown Student Association were the driving forces behind the Cyclone Cinema.

“We realized that maybe we could turn [the Varsity Theater] into a student-run, and focused, theater,” Roling said. “That was really the over-arching goal.”

The GSB passed the project in February with a vote of 28-2, approving $365,000 to be used to start the project.

“This summer, the project has gone through various steps to get to its final approval,” Roling said. “We at GSB can’t pick up a lease ourselves, we can’t sign GSB’s name on it. It needs the university’s name on it, and, for the university to put its name on the lease, it needs approval by the Board of Regents.”

Initially, the GSB hoped to have the project on the docket for the June Board of Regents meeting. However, the university asked for the project to be kept on hold for awhile.

“With the stuff that’s going on with Campustown, the Lane4 stuff, the university needs just a little bit more time to get a grasp of what is going to fill that space, and to perfect that project,” Roling said. “They requested that be put the project on hold for a couple more weeks.”

Roling hopes the project will be discussed at the Sept. 18 Board of Regents meeting. After the lease is signed, crews will go in immediately to fix and remodel the building.

Depending upon how long remodeling takes, the Cyclone Cinema will be open for business at the end of the fall semester or the very beginning of the spring semester.

“The biggest thing we have been focusing on this whole time is more under-21 entertainment facilities in Campustown,” Roling said.

Roling also plans for the theater to be an opportunity for students to learn how to run and operate a theater. The Cyclone Cinema will hire students to do numerous jobs around the theater.

“Optimistically, we hope that [the theater] will become a thriving thing, and will turn in additional revenue from people in the community coming in and enjoying the place as well as students,” Roling said.

While the project is somewhat stagnate at this point in time, Roling is hopeful the Cyclone Cinema will pick up momentum soon.

Roling said, “We are just kind of playing the ‘figure-out-what’s-going-on’ game, and hopefully we will be making progress forward in the next month or so.”

(Posted originally on on July 27, 2010)

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