Late Night Film Series is ‘just getting started’ in new state-of-the-art cinema


University Event Production Services employee Aaron Tackett works on the projector for a movie in the Student Center’s movie theater on July 11, 2018.

Emily Baehner

UK’s Late Night Film Series is returning “home” as the renovated student center has opened. Late Night Film Series will be shown at the Worsham Cinema, a reiteration of the Worsham theater from the old student center.

When the Late Night Film Series began in 2007, very few films were shown at the student center, despite the existence of a theater. The student center director’s office began the program to utilize that space on a weekly basis. The program has grown from two movies a week to about 80 films a semester.

This year, the Late Night Film Series will be exclusive to Friday nights at 10 p.m., joining a dozen other student-curated sub-series and blockbusters as part of the larger Gatton Student Center Cinema program, in what the program’s website calls its “most diverse and interesting schedule to date.”

Accompanying this new film schedule is one of the most state-of-the-art cinematic theaters in Kentucky. The Worsham Cinema features 60-speaker Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, 4K Christi Digital Projection, and 564 seats. Located on the Visitor’s Axis, the massive tiled dome is on the southern side of the building and looks out on Barker Plaza.

Zach Lamb, the assistant director for Activities & Marketing for the Gatton Student Center, said this top-of-the line projection and sound is unique for a college movie theater, and the result is unparalleled.

“We are one of a handful of universities in the world currently using DCP technology to screen our films,” he said. “There isn’t a better movie experience in the state of Kentucky.”

The Gatton Student Center Cinema screened several films over the summer during See Blue U Events and before K Week, but the first official screening was on August 19, following the Gatton Student Center Spectacular. “Avengers: Infinity War” was shown to a full house. The location change seems to be benefiting the film series.

“Memorial Hall was far from a cinematic venue, and our presentation suffered as a result,” said Lamb, who has been with the film program and the student center since he was hired as an undergraduate student in 2011. He has maintained involvement with the program as he moved into a role as a graduate assistant, a full-time employee and now into his current role as the Assistant Director.

“We are showing more movies than ever before, attracting our largest crowds ever, and we’re just getting started,” Lamb said.

This move to the student center is changing the way the entire program is approached and is allowing for more films to be shown to larger audiences. In addition to the improved viewing capabilities that the Worsham Cinema offers, the student center has far moredaily traffic that affords the film series a number of new opportunities. One of those opportunities, said Lamb, includes bringing a diverse, quality movie program to the heart of campus.

“President Capilouto has often called the Gatton Student Center ‘the living room of campus.’ To extend the metaphor, we’re the state-of-the-art entertainment center,” Lamb said.

Sophomore computer science major Peter Regard also praised the theater. When he first stepped into the new location, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“The cinema blew my mind because it’s huge and stunning in design,” Regard said. “The blue glow of the room creates an appealing look during the bright parts of the movies.”

Gatton Student Center Cinema will be showing a wide variety of films, everything from Lilo & Stitch to Django Unchained. The full list of films to be shown this semester is featured online. Every film is free of charge.