LSC Pulls Sunday Movies, Cuts Down LecturesBy Timothy K Layman
Associate Technology Director
In a change from past years, the Lecture Series Committee will not be showing any Sunday movies for the rest of the academic term.
"There are no Sunday movies for the second half of the term because the attendances no longer justify the effort level necessary to present a movie," said LSC Chairman William J. Gehrke '97.
Attendance at Sunday movies has fallen over the past few years, in part because of the increased availability of videotapes.
"Also, as we get further into the term, MITstudents have growing course demands which make them less likely to attend movies, especially on Sundays,"Gehrke said.
The last Sunday LSC movie for the term was The Dark Crystal, shown on Oct. 27.
Instead, LSC will offer a smaller number of popular older films which are better attended, he said.
LSC does not currently have plans to entirely phase out Sunday movies.
"I fully expect there will be Sunday movies next term and into the future,"Gehrke said.
Number of lectures down
In addition to showing movies, LSCtraditionally sponsors various topical lectures on campus. However, it has not sponsored any lecturers on campus yet this term.
LSC has not been doing many lectures because prices have grown so much, said LSC Lecture Director Stephanie D. Rosch '98.
Lecturers can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to bring to campus.
"It is difficult for LSC to justify spending so much money on an event that can draw no more than about 1,200 people," Gehrke said.
The group instead expends a great deal of effort seeking less prominent lecturers - like Dilbert comic artist Scott Adams - who are often not yet represented by an agency and therefore do not charge a high fee, he said.
LSC used to spend the revenue generated by the movie program to fund lectures, but the movies have not been making enough lately. As a result, LSC will try to bring more lecturers to campus by co-sponsoring lecturers with other MIT-affiliatedgroups.
"MITis rather unique in its lack of institutional support for a general-interest lecture program," Gehrke said. "LSC is seeking to increase the level of support from MIT."
Last month, the group helped bring George Takei to MITas an artist in residence, but the visit was actually sponsored by the MITOffice of the Arts, the Graduate School, and some sections of the Department of Humanities.
LSC will be co-sponsoring a lecture in December with the National Space Society and the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
The lecture will feature Robert Zubrin, who will talk about the importance of the exploration of Mars, Rosch said.