Mary Riepma Ross and Danny Lee Ladely shared a dream that has come true! That dream envisioned a media arts center, dedicated to the art of the moving image, that would serve the University, this community, the state, and the region. Construction on that dream is completed, resulting in one of the finest and most up-to-date facilities of its kind in the nation, as evidenced by the unique and appealing building that is now located at 313 N. 13th Street.
Acknowledging the diversity of activities that will take place in this new facility (It is much more than just a movie theater.) last year the Board of Regents approved a new name for the new Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater. It is now called the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, named in honor of its generous benefactor.
That extraordinary building is also home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Van Brunt Visitors Center, named for UNL alumni Irene and Winslow Van Brunt. Located at the gateway to the city campus, the new UNL Van Brunt Visitors Center offers resources and information for visitors to the UNL campus, and is utilized extensively for recruiting new students by the UNL Office of Admissions, which has offices and staff located in the building.
Offices, classroom laboratories, equipment storage space, and editing suites, all belonging to the Film and New Media
program, are located on the second floor of the new building. Film and New Media, under the auspices of the Department of Theatre Arts, teaches students the skills needed to pursue careers in the film and television industries.
The new media arts center features two screens, state-of-the-art technology, a research library and film storage archive, offices, and a concessions stand. In it, we are able to show everything from silent movies to the most recent technologies, the new electronic (digital) cinema, and everything in between.
It is the first theater in this area, and the first university in the world, to be equipped with one of the new Barco
D-Cine DP-40 projectors, which utilizes the state-of-the-art Texas Instrument's
DLP™ Cinema technology exclusively approved by Hollywood for feature film display, and is the first to have been selected by THX for certification under its program for Digital Cinema products. We also have equipped our second theater with a Barco SLM G5 DLP™ projector thus ensuring high-quality digital projection in both houses.
Thanks to a generous donation by Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
, both theaters are equipped with Dolby Digital Surround EX, arguably the best and most up-to-date stereo digital sound system available.
All of the projection booth and auditoria equipment was expertly installed by representatives from the National Cinema Supply Corporation
and Midwest Cinema Service, Inc. MRRMAC films and videos are screened by professional personnel provided by IATSE Local 151 (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada).
There are two theaters. The Joseph H. Cooper Theater, seating 236, features a comprehensive repertoire of currently released American Independent Film and films from aboard, seven days a week, 3 shows nightly, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. It is so named in recognition of a generous donation to the University for this New Facility by the Cooper Foundation
The other theater, seating 106, is used for a variety of purposes. In it we program more esoteric fare, significant works that deserve to be screened but that don't attract larger audiences: documentaries, experimental film and video, the classics.
It is also used extensively by other organizations for showing films, such as the University Program Council
, a volunteer student organization designed to address the co-curricular, social, recreational, cultural, and educational needs of the campus, and most importantly, by UNL's Film Studies and Film and New Media programs.
UNL's Film Studies
program is designed for undergraduates planning to go on to a career within the film industry or its allied critical/archival disciplines, or to graduate study in film history, theory, criticism and production. The program provides a strong background in understanding the many ways in which the moving image (both on film and in television) helps to shape the contours of our lives. The Film Studies Major and Minor are interdisciplinary programs with courses in English, art, broadcasting, philosophy, theatre arts, and music which focus directly or implicitly on cinema. These programs are designed for students who wish to ultimately work in film production or academic film studies, and also for students who wish to understand film better as an art form, as popular culture, and as a major medium of communication.
Both theaters feature state-of-the-art presentations of sight and sound and comfort. Stadium seating ensures excellent sight lines from any of the seats in the theaters. Special acoustical wall panels augment the excellent sound system and specially designed fabric air ducts keep the temperature levels in the theaters perfect with only a whisper.
Both auditoria are also used during the daytimes for classrooms.
In this new facility, there is an archival quality film/video storage room, which is used to house our burgeoning collection of films and videos of around 2,000 titles, including the UNL Film Studies collection, the Jerry Jensen Cinema 16 Collection, and the Foster/Dixon Collection. There is a research library for film students and scholars as well as offices and work space for the Media Center's staff.
Finally, perhaps the most controversial aspect of this new facility, we now have a concession stand that sells popcorn! And it is popcorn grown and supplied by Preferred Popcorn
located in the Platte River Valley of central Nebraska. Also, coffee from The Mill
, sodas, mineral water, healthy snacks, and candy. Everything necessary for a complete motion picture entertainment experience!
Now offering concessions, two screens, and state-of-the-art sound and projection, the new Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center is one of the finest venues for independent film in the country. The new Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center will continue and greatly enhance the old Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater's well-deserved reputation for showing the world's best films with the highest quality presentation possible. Take advantage of this Lincoln treasure and see the films the rest of the country is talking about.
See you at the movies!