Boris Tsang/Sun Senior Photographer

Students will soon have the opportunity to flock to the Arts Quad to safely watch films.

April 1, 2021

Lights, Camera, Action: Movies on the Arts Quad Return to Campus This Spring

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Following a year of virtual events, limited building access and few in person events, Cornell is bringing back a beloved on-campus tradition — Movies On The Arts Quad are returning this spring. 

Hosted by the University’s Student and Campus Life Office in tandem with student organizations including Cornell Cinema, Film Club and Class Councils, Movies On The Arts Quad is slated to be the biggest organized social event at Cornell since March 2020. 

Every Thursday beginning April 8, films chosen by the Cornell Film Club will be screened, with a focus on highlighting popular works. 

“Rather than a one-time event, it will feel like a weekly drive-in theater plopped down on the Arts Quad,” said Nick Boozang ’21, president of the Film Club.

Movies shown this semester will include Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shrek, Kajillionaire, Do The Right Thing, Detective Pikachu and Moonrise Kingdom. Shrek will be screened on April 22, its 25th anniversary, which also falls right before the Wellness Day weekend.

The student groups involved in the organization of the series are optimistic about turnout. For Boozang, the event marks a return to normalcy as seniors spend their last semester on campus.  

“I’d expect so many students to come out. It’s going to be such a blast – a real celebration that we safely made it through the last year as a school community.” said Boozang. “Having been off-campus my entire senior year, it’ll be a great feeling when I see all of my friends finally come together safely for a night at the movies.”

Some students reflected this enthusiasm, glad to have the opportunity to hang out with friends at an official Cornell event after a full year of Zoom breakout rooms. 

“I would go just because I love sitting down outside,” said Mark Krneta ’23. “I don’t even know half of these movies but I will definitely attend anyways.”

Although the event will be outdoors, masks will be required. Students will be able to obtain hand sanitizer, additional masks and blankets at the concessions tent.

Kyle Schillace, Assistant Director of the Student and Campus Life Office, explained that the University and the organizing team has carefully calculated COVID-related precaution measures in order to make MOTAQ possible this spring.

The first showing will be next Thursday, April 8, and as the event name suggests, the event will be held on the Arts Quad. There, Cornellians will get to watch Detective Pikachu grace a giant inflatable screen as they sit in socially-distanced circles spread throughout the lawn. 

Students will be able to find their seats at the Arts Quad at 8 p.m., with the movie set to start 30 minutes later. There will also be a maximum amount of attendees to prevent crowding, so Cornellians are suggested to come early to reserve their spot.