For the cinephiles on campus, finding theaters can be a struggle. But an option that often goes unrecognized is the Marquee Theater at Union South, where students can watch classic and popular movies for free.

The Marquee is a 330-seat venue that uses “dual 35mm projectors, an HD projection system, and a state-of-the art sound system,” according to the website.

Its movies are scheduled by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee, a student-run org that focuses on a diverse range of films when selecting their lineup. 

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They host screenings almost every day during the academic year, while some days the space is reserved for meetings or lectures.

With a variety of eateries near the theater, including The Daily Scoop ice cream shop, it’s surprising that this opportunity goes unnoticed so often.

The Marquee schedules blockbuster movies a few weeks to a month after they come out, providing students a way to keep up with Hollywood and enjoy popular film entertainment.

In the past few weeks, their range fell from “The Dark Knight” to “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.” 

They also play indie and more artistic films, as well as documentaries like tonight’s “Youth Unstoppable: The Rise of Global Youth Climate Movement.” Along with more recent films, the Marquee also screens fan-favorites from the past.

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Besides the fact that the screenings are free, the Marquee brings a cool element of participation to the world of cinema. Students are able to join the Committee and see how a real theater operates, from planning to equipment.

The Marquee also hosts events that go alongside certain films, like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” last October.

Students were encouraged to come in costume and interact with the film as it played, providing a cool and cheap experience to relive a cult classic.

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But what truly makes the Marquee so incredible is the fact that it’s a theater for students run by students.

The Committee knows the tastes and preferences of campus and is open to recommendations from people outside the organization. They ensure a clean, friendly environment that attracts all sorts of movie lovers and their friends.

So please, if you ever find free time, check out the Marquee’s schedule and see what’s playing.