Cosford Cinema upgrades planned

Following a renovation of the Bill Cosford Cinema, attendees next year will be able to enjoy the movies offered free to students in a different setting.

“The first phase focuses on upgrading the sound to a level equal to contemporary theaters,” said Sam L Grogg, dean of the School of Communication. “The first level of the new Dolby Digital sound system has been installed already, and over the next year we will add projectors showing both 30- and 70-millimeter films on an upgraded screen.”

While these technical improvements will add to the quality of the theater, other enhancements hope to improve the visual feel of the Cosford. Orange and green acoustic tiles will be added to the interior to create a more comfortable movie-watching experience for viewers. Plans are also underway to improve the concessions area outside the theater, increasing both its function and aesthetic appearance as well acting as a congregation point for students.

Motivated in part by the recent contribution of over 3,000 original movie prints by film archivist Ray Regis, the renovations are meant to create an intimate and professional experience befitting these vintage films.

“With the acquisition of this major collection of original prints, we want to show these films in the proper setting rather than on a DVD in a classroom,” Grogg said.

While the UM community may enjoy the enhanced movie theater on CAC night, the overarching motivation reflects a desire to improve the School of Communication’s motion picture program.

“With the renovations we hope to expand the curriculum of the motion picture programs,” Grogg said. “We strongly feel the Cosford is an important component of the community of film here at UM, and we want to keep it that way.”

The latest CAC movie presentation of Pirates of the Caribbean II began with swashbuckling earnest on Sept. 20, with scores of moviegoers ready to see the blockbuster.

But it soon became evident to those present that the new surround sound system was malfunctioning.

“I talked to the projectionist and he explained that with used movie prints sometimes the stereo sound doesn’t pick up,” Joey Kadin, a freshman, said. “He told me the new equipment should work and someone is coming to fix it soon.”

Most of the viewers, who found the experience disappointing, left soon after the problem started according to Steven Ball, a freshman, who did not stay for the entire film. “I could barely understand what they were saying because the volume was so low, so I got up and left after about 15 minutes,” Ball said.

The Bill Cosford Cinema showcases a recently released movie every week. Admittance is free for all UM students who present a valid ‘Cane Card.

Michael Bonan may be contacted at