The Procrastinator Theater: For students, by students

by Brook Gardner-Durbin

The Procrastinator, MSU’s on-campus movie theater, has been organized and supported by students since its inception in 1991. While it moved from Linfield Hall to its current home in the SUB (next to Avagadro’s Number) in 2008, its mission has never changed: to provide low cost entertainment to the community.

The Procrastinator (Pro) is supported in part by ASMSU and is budgeted to run at a deficit, which allows ticket prices to be kept low — only $2 for most shows. A small part of every student’s yearly tuition goes to fund entertainment on campus, and about $2 of that goes to help keep the Procrastinator running. The Pro is also sponsored once a week — the 9 p.m. show on Thursday nights — by Erotique. The sponsorship lowers the cost of tickets of the late Thursday show to only $1. Erotique also provides various prizes for trivia contests, as well as physical challenges, before the film starts.
The business model of the Pro, focused on entertainment over profit, allows the theater to play more independent movies than it otherwise could. Later this year, for example, it will be showing “Only God Forgives,” an indie film re-pairing Ryan Gosling with “Drive”’s director Nicolas Winding Refn, which was not released in Bozeman’s main theater. However, the Pro is not just an indie theater — currently “The Fast and the Furious 6” and “Iron Man 3” are showing. Films are chosen by ASMSU’s Director of Films, junior David Thiede, who takes into account a number of factors when selecting upcoming films. While box office performance is not the only factor, it is a good general guideline because it will provide a good estimate of how popular a film will be on campus.

Even though Thiede wields immense authority, student input on future films is always appreciated. The easiest way to request a film is by logging on to the Pro’s Facebook page, at “Don’t forget, we are supported by students and run by students. We want to provide students with the best, cheap entertainment we can,” said Thiede. “If there’s something you want to see, let us know.”

Besides regularly scheduled films, the Pro is also home to several special yearly events. The yearly showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” around Halloween is a must-see and never fails to fill the theater to capacity. The Pro is also part of the Pro Expo every spring, a ComicCon-esque event co-sponsored by a number of other campus clubs and organizations, as well as local businesses. Possible future events at the Procrastinator include a screening of “Die Hard” (“The best Christmas movie ever!” according to Thiede) around Christmas-time and a partnering with one of the other clubs on campus for an outdoor film festival.

The Pro is frequently used during the day for lectures and conferences, but any club recognized by MSU can reserve The Procrastinator any time it is not in use. Movies come to the Procrastinator for two weeks, rotating from the late show to the early show. Films are shown at 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday to Saturday. The early show is at 6:30 p.m. and plays Thursday through Saturday. Sunday’s shows are at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets cost $2 and the schedule can be found on the ASMSU Facebook page.