The deal of the Century?

Donovan Slack

In response to students’ criticism that the $8.50 ticket price was too high, Century Theatres today will begin extending its student discount to cover weekends.

Century’s discounted student rate of $6.50 – previously available Monday through Thursday – now applies to all shows, every day for any student with a valid school ID.

The Evanston theater manager alerted Century’s corporate headquarters in California to students’ concerns, prompting the decision to extend the discount, said Nancy Klasky, vice president of marketing for Century Theatres.

“I think we were listening to people,” Klasky said. “We try really hard to tailor the theater to the needs of the community, and students are living within two blocks of the theater seven days a week.”

Indeed, students had complained about the $8.50 ticket price since the theater opened in November.

“For the ($8.50) price, I can go to (a matinee at) Old Orchard including bus fare,” said Weinberg senior Alex Stacey, “and I can go shopping and get a nice meal at the same time.”

But students on Thursday expressed approval of the company’s willingness to accommodate their limited budgets.

“I am excited they’re lowering prices for students on the weekend,” said Weinberg sophomore Robin Shannon, “because that shows they are recognizing that students are an important part of Evanston.”

The 2-month-old Century Theatres multiplex on Maple and Church streets features 12 screens of first-run mainstream movies and six screens of independent and art films in the CineArts 6.

Since its opening, Century Theatres’ revenue has met and exceeded corporate expectations largely because of NU students, Klasky said.

“There was a marked difference when students returned from holiday, ” she said.

But theater managers have other concerns to address if they want to continue attracting students.

For instance, the final showings at Century begin at about 10:30 p.m., prompting some students to request later screenings.

“We’re students, (and) if we’re the kind of people they are trying to attract, they need to consider our schedules,” said Weinberg sophomore Lauryn McGee.

But the Evanston multiplex is Century Theatres’ first venture into a university town, Klasky said, so the company is learning as it goes.

And students are still learning about the theater. On Thursday, many braved the snow to try out the theater’s state-of-the-art stadium seating, piano bar and caf