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Oh… hello. I didn’t see you there.

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many semi-regular updates on what’s going on at The Varsity. As the Executive Director and Programmer, I often wind up as spokesperson for the organization, but I’d love for this to be a place to talk a bit more informally and personally about what’s going on, what I’m excited about, and what I’m hearing from you.

It’s been so rewarding just to be at the theater this past week and meet folks as they come in the door. I started driving down to the Varsity from Ames in the mid ’90s to see movies I couldn’t see anywhere else, but every day I meet somebody whose history with this place goes back much further than that. Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines in particular brought out a number of people with long and deep connections to the exhibition community. It was a real treat to meet them.

We’ve also heard from you about ways we can make your experience better and we are doing what we can. Just moments ago, we added a date and calendar view to the website to make it easier to find what’s playing on a specific, upcoming date. Other updates coming soon to the website will include an FAQ and a form for you to suggest films you’d like to see at The Varsity.

Has anybody sat in Row D in the Loft Auditorium? If the answer is yes… we know. Many who sit in that row experience obstructed sight lines if there is someone directly in front of them, and we are working toward a solution that will raise those seats to alleviate the issue. What’s been really amazing is how accommodating we’ve seen patrons be with swapping seats in the event someone has an obstructed view. Thank you.

Now that we’re open, we’re working to confirm an exciting mix of films over the next few months, and I’m very excited to see what you all respond to. As I sit in the office typing this, a nearly full matinee screening of Sunset Blvd. is playing through the wall in the Loft Auditorium. The turnout for repertory films has been very impressive so far. I hope that continues with a series we will be announcing very soon: New Sights and Sounds. The series will feature new additions and big moves on this latest addition of the Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All-Time list.

Lots of other great programming is being confirmed for the coming months. Watch the website Coming Soon page.

That’s all for now. Thanks again for coming out to the theater, connecting with us, and being part of our film community.

— Ben Godar

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