Movie Nights to Replace Winter Ball Dance

This school year, ASB has started hosting schoolwide movie nights, in addition to traditional dances in an effort to increase school spirit and promote student participation in school events.

Over the past couple of years, dance turnouts have slowly decreased, as dances are not as popular as they once were.

“Dances aren’t something that everyone enjoys,” ASB President junior Ramiel Petros said. “It’s something that you either like or you don’t. We just find that every year people choose to do other things than go to the dance.”

Last year, after ASB held the school’s largely unsuccessful Winter Ball, ASB decided to look for alternate activities. Additional efforts to increase turnout at dances, such as renting mechanical bulls and hiring more expensive DJs, proved to be ineffective. ASB then decided it was time for a change.

“We noticed that dances were not as popular, so we cut the Winter Dance and said we’ll just have [the Sadies dance] from now on,” Ramiel said.

After cutting the Winter Ball, due to its proximity to Sadies and its relative unpopularity last year, ASB decided that it wanted to have more school-wide events than only three dances a year.

“We had been talking about doing a movie night, so that kind of became the new idea that we thought we’d try out this year,” Ramiel said. “It’s not [movie nights] instead of [dances], it’s just a new thing that we want to try and see how it works.”

After the first movie night was held on September 6, parents, students and teachers alike seemed to respond positively to the event, according to Ramiel.

“The first one we got 509 kids who came to it, and after that Ms. Satterwhite got a lot of emails from parents and teachers saying how much kids liked it,” Ramiel said. “We found that after dances usually you have kids leaving early saying that wasn’t fun, but for the movie night, [we didn’t hear about] anyone leaving feeling that they didn’t have a good time.”

Based on the feedback ASB has received, movie nights seem to have the potential to be more popular than dances, once a few minor kinks are worked out.
“I think that movie nights would be better than dances [like homecoming] if they were more comfortable and more people went,” junior Kelly Hayes said. “[Last time], the gym floor was kind of hard.”

In the future, the school plans on hosting only two movie nights, one at the beginning and end of the year, and holding them on the baseball diamond instead of the gym.
In addition, movie nights seem to appeal to a wider range of students, due to their versatile nature.

“At movie night, it honestly doesn’t matter how many people go because it’s just a place you can hang out and talk to a small group of friends,” junior Liza Koulikova said. “Last time I didn’t even watch the movie. I just had food made for me and hung out with my friends.”

However, despite their apparent popularity, movie nights don’t take in as much profit as dances.

“The dance tickets usually range from $13, to at the end of the week $16,” Ramiel said. “[But for movie nights] since it’s only $10 tickets, you need a lot more people to go to make up for it. We still have the same amount of expenses because we have to pay a tech person, which is about as much as a DJ, and we have to pay for the food too, so it’s more expenses and less income.”

Tickets for homecoming this year took in $14,194. Expenses totaled $850, leading to a net profit of $13,344 just for homecoming. Conversely, the income brought in from movie night was $5,555, while expenses were $2,190. This lead to a much smaller net profit of $3,366.

However, ASB hopes that the popularity of movie nights will build, making the events even more profitable for the school.

“Movie nights [right now] are not more profitable, but I think it’s more rewarding,” Ramiel said. “People seem to like it more.”