Imagine the lights dimming, a hush falling over the crowd and the opening credits rolling in a room filled with UO students. After the vaccine rollout in Eugene, the club Ducks after Dark has high hopes for getting students back into the movie theater. “It’s gonna be so much fun, and so validating and almost heart-warming,” Tabitha Knight, a third-year student in the club said. “You just get to come back to campus and be with your people.”
Knight believes movies have the power to bring people together and Ducks after Dark is a great way to reunite the student body after a year-and-a-half of online school. A lot of students are sharing back-to-school jitters, and going to see a movie on campus might be the perfect way to get rid of them.
Ducks after Dark is a branch of the student activities board that gathers students together to show movies. The group offers free admission to UO students and has monthly, if not weekly, events on campus in the Redwood Auditorium. Since the start of the pandemic, Ducks after Dark has been choosing their movies by putting them to a vote in a club group chat, but Knight hopes there will be more student input in the fall. “We want to open it back up to students and volunteers, I was kind of thinking of holding voting parties or something like that,” Knight said.
Coronavirus continuously hindered the activities Ducks after Dark tried to put on throughout the 2020 school year. “It was kind of hard to arrange things, especially last spring because the guidelines kept changing every single week,” Knight said. “We were just trying to follow along with what the school was saying. I imagine it was pretty frustrating for students to try to keep up with our last-minute changes.”
“Right now fall isn’t looking too crazy,” Knight said, in regard to covid guidelines. “It looks like it’s just going to be wearing masks and asking people to be responsible.” Knight said the group doesn’t know what’s going to change, or if things will change, but they’re hoping for the best.
Ducks after Dark has a lot planned for fall. The group already has an eight-movie lineup planned that features a new film every week. “We have ‘Rocky Horror’ planned right before Halloween, which will be fun with the shadow cast and everything,” Knight said. When students attend a Ducks after Dark showing, they can expect mingling before the film, games, snacks and sometimes even trivia. Last year, the club even interviewed celebrities such as Matt Cripo and Tyrone L. Robinson over Zoom.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will show on Oct. 28 in the Redwood Auditorium, and they will be showing one movie every Thursday night for the rest of fall term. Some of the other films they’re putting on include “Cruella” on Sept. 30, “Black Widow” on Nov. 11 and “Yesterday” on Nov. 18.
“Coming back to campus after so long of being online and being alone in your room is hard,” Knight said, “so come to the movies and have a good time and meet people.” Knight believes Ducks after Dark has the ability to bring students together after a lull in their social lives. The group puts on mixer-type games before events so students have the chance to socialize as well. Ducks after Dark may look slightly different going into this next school year, but they continue to serve as an option for students to connect, even during the pandemic.
“It’s time to have those college kid experiences that we’ve really been missing out on,” Knight said. “I think that’s what Ducks after Dark is all about, is like those goofy college kid experiences.”