Students logging online for Century movie tickets

Ryan Maldonado

A new Web site might save Northwestern students from wasting time in line at the box office.

According to a spokeswoman for Century Theatres in Evanston, NU students are logging on to the company’s restructured Web site, at www.centurytheatres.com, more than any other campus in the nation, accessing the site’s newest feature that allows customers to purchase tickets online.

Nancy Klasky, a Century spokeswoman, said 74 percent of all e-mail addresses followed by “.edu” registered on the company’s site are NU students, while the city of Evanston has become Century’s fourth most active market in the country. With an average of 65,000 hits per week, NU students are the fifth most active organization in the nation using centurytheatres.com, she said.

On March 15, Century’s site hooked up with the Web site Fandango.com, allowing Evanston’s Century 12 and CineArts 6 theaters to sell movie tickets online. Klasky said Fandango, which is accessible to members of Century’s Web site, allows customers to purchase tickets up to five days in advance.

“Now you can get tickets for Friday on Wednesday, ” Klasky said. “Fandango allows you to make sure you’re planning the perfect night.”

In a week and a half, Klasky said Fandango already has accounted for about 4 percent of all ticket sales in Evanston, a figure she called “phenomenal” given the short time frame.

Century’s site allows customers to print out purchased tickets or pick up their tickets at the box office, Klasky said. Student IDs can still be used to get the discounted price online, she said.

“It follows that more patrons are more likely to go to a place that is easier to use,” Klasky said. “Students can also access showtimes and discounts for the theater they choose (with the site).”

Some NU students said the Web site sounds like a good idea but that it might hurt casual moviegoers.

“It’s a good idea but it can work against you,” said Ben Stanton, a Weinberg freshman. “If you go to the theater on the spur of the moment, your movie might be sold out when you get there.”

Christina Saenz, a Weinberg senior, said she has a problem with Century’s Web site because computers and the Internet are not accessible to everyone.

“It shows the spoiled kind of culture this school lives in,” she said. “What do you do when people don’t have computers?

“People are too lazy to walk down south to pick up a ticket,” she said.