Podculture: Movie nights at Century 12 Evanston a former highlight for Northwestern students

Clay Lawhead, Reporter

CLAY LAWHEAD: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Clay Lawhead, and this is Podculture, a podcast covering arts and entertainment on and around Northwestern’s campus. This week, we look at one of Evanston’s largest spaces: Century 12 Evanston. Going to the theater has been a stress reliever for many students on weekday nights, especially on $5 Tuesday. It has even made Evanston feel like home for many students, connecting them to the greater Evanston community. Medill sophomore Ahlaam Moledina remembers these spontaneous trips to the theater fondly.

AHLAAM MOLEDINA: I really enjoy going to see movies with my friends on, like, you know, an evening when it’s been a stressful day, and we’d always go on a $5 day. I think that the $5 is pretty reasonable; at least where I live, I don’t go to the cinema that much because it is very expensive. It was definitely a great source of comfort, a great source of friendship as well.

CLAY LAWHEAD: Going to the movies made Moledina realize that Evanston is just like any other town, with people of all ages.

AHLAAM MOLEDINA: I think it’s very easy for us as Northwestern students to fall into a Northwestern bubble. It ends up feeling like everybody who lives in Evanston is a Northwestern student. The other day, I was walking down Sherman Ave., and it was like, ‘Wow, there are literal children who live in Evanston — it’s not just people aged between 18 and 22.’ And I think going to the cinema is such a way of reminding you that you actually live in a town where other people live. It’s a really good way of being part of a community that isn’t just the Northwestern community.

CLAY LAWHEAD: Communication and McCormick junior Parker Ryan marked his calendar every Tuesday to go to the theaters with his friends and simply relax.

PARKER RYAN: It was just an activity where you didn’t have to talk and put a bunch of effort and energy into it. It has a deadline, it has a schedule, so I have to get to the movie theater at this time and get my work done, and then just hang out for the rest of the night. That was usually a great way to relax.

CLAY LAWHEAD: An experience like going to the movies is hard to replicate, especially during a time of social isolation.

PARKER RYAN: The movie theater is something that I get to do with my college friends that I just haven’t been able to do. You can kind of adapt the movie theater — when it’s nice outside we have projectors and stuff — but that feel of the movie theater is something that we’ve been trying to replicate, but you can’t quite get there.

CLAY LAWHEAD: Communication senior Delaney McCallum has a special place in her heart for the Evanston movie theater and has been a frequent moviegoer for the past three years.

DELANEY MCCALLUM: The Evanston movie theater is like my second home off campus. I was typically there at least once a week. Freshman winter, I just was struggling so much with adjusting to being here. But I always knew that every Tuesday was $5 Tuesday. I always had Tuesdays to go to a movie by myself. I actually have a scrapbook with seven pages of just movie tickets from the Evanston movie theater.

CLAY LAWHEAD: McCallum becomes completely engrossed in the story every time she steps into the theater, and in that way, she becomes connected to the Evanston community.

DELANEY MCCALLUM: It’s like a magical little portal. Just for a few hours, I’m not at Northwestern anymore, and that’s so nice and special. So in that way, it connects me to the community for sure.

CLAY LAWHEAD: The physical experience of sitting in a movie theater, popcorn and soda in hand, is unlike any other. Although Netflix keeps us entertained, the movie theater in our community is what really unites us. Thank you for listening to Podculture.

CLAY LAWHEAD: This episode was reported and produced by me, Clay Lawhead. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Alex Chun, the digital managing editors are Molly Lubbers and Jacob Ohara and the editor in chief is Marissa Martinez.

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