The Video Theater is located on the second floor of the Student Union building beside the computer lab. Admission to most films is free for any MTSU students/faculty/staff (with ID) and their guests. Regular weekly films are all free. Special events, such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, may have a cost associated with them. Please visit the Campus Life calendar for additional information on all our film screenings.
The movie theater seats 90, with a maximum occupancy of 95 (ADA accommodations available upon request). Seating is currently reduced for social distancing purposes. For most major film screenings, theater has capabilities for closed-caption and audio description by request using cup-holder devices provided to patrons (some older titles may not be compatible with audio description).
The theater is capable of screening standard films, and digital movie files. For more information on digital files, please read the FAQ below.
Weekly Film Screenings
Every week during the semester (excluding breaks), SPARE screens both pre-home (in theaters) and post-home (DVD/streaming) films in the Student Union Video Theater. The screenings are free for MTSU students, faculty, staff, and their guests. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons are allowed to bring small snacks into the theater and are expected to clean up after themselves. To learn about upcoming films, please visit the Campus Life calendar. Showtimes typically run on Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday evenings. When current safety guidance recommends limiting gatherings, film screenings may be held outdoors or in alternate locations. Updates will be posted on Campus Life's Instagram and Facebook stories.
Information provided by Swank Motion Pictures, USA.
The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17, United States code, Public Law 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be utilized publicly. Neither the rental nor the purchase or lending of a DVD carries with it the right to exhibit such a movie publicly outside the home, unless the site where the video is used is properly licensed for copyright compliant exhibition.
The concept of “public performance” is central to copyright and is the main issue of protection for these intellectual properties. Most of the persons participating in movie productions depend upon royalties for a major portion of their payment for work performed. For the purposes of the Video Theater, all screenings (even birthday parties) are considered a public performance due to the venue being a public exhibition space. For more information and details on academic exemption requirements, please reference this document. Additional questions can be directed to Tyler Adkins at 615-898-5608.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are only students allowed?
A: Currently, weekly film screenings are open to current MTSU students. Special events, such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the MTSU Student Film Festival, are usually open to students, faculty/staff, and community members (when safety guidance allows). Please visit our calendar for more information on event admission policies.
Q: Are food and drinks allowed?
A: Small snacks and drinks are permissible in the Video Theater and can be purchased in the vending machines on campus, as well as in the P.O.D. on the first floor of the Student Union. Patrons are asked to clean up after themselves as custodial staff do not service the venue between screenings.
Q: Can I rent the Video Theater for a private party or an organizational/departmental function?
A: The Video Theater can be rented for both. Departments, student organizations, and faculty/staff may rent the Video Theater. To request the theater, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have initial discussions about availability, licensing, etc. Keep in mind, if a film is involved, it is pertinent that the correct licenses are obtained and a tech be present. Please see the additional questions below to find more information based on different situations. Any additional questions can be directed to Tyler Adkins at 615-898-5608.
Q: I want to show a feature film. How much will it cost?
A: Prices for feature films vary depending on how old or new the film is. A regular license for an older film can vary between $450-$750 for a one-time screening, and a pre-home film can cost up to $650-$1050. Additionally, you will need a projectionist to screen the film. Projectionist rates are $15/hr for a student organization, $22/hr for a departmental organization, and $45/hr for a non-campus organization.
Q: I want to show a local/student film. Do I need a license?
A: Local and student films do not require a license. However, we do require written permission from the copyright holder (if applicable) before a screening can be approved. Additionally, all films shown in the STU Theater will need to be converted to DCP format. Please contact email@example.com for more information on the conversion process if you are interested in screening a film. As an additional opportunity, student films can be submitted into our film festival. More information is available here.
Q: I want to show a film that is digital. What format do I need to use?
A: In order for us to screen a digital file, it needs to be formatted so that it can run via Dolby DCP. All films shown in the STU Theater will need to be converted to DCP format. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the conversion process if you are interested in screening a film. Please schedule a time prior to advertising your event to test the film's digital file for compatibility.
Q: My party is private. Why do I need a license?
A: Please read the copyright document above for more information on the regulations regarding copyright. In short, due to our venue being a public performance venue, all screenings are considered public under the copyright legislature.
Q: How do I apply to rent the theater?
A: Please complete the correct form on our facility rental page and provide proof of license for films (if applicable). You may email proof to email@example.com. If you need assistance obtaining a film license, please call Tyler Adkins at 615-898-5608. We will contact you with follow-up questions regarding your event. For venue availability, please check the calendar. In general, the facility is unavailable on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. If you would like to have food at your event, please contact the Student Programming office at 615-898-2551 for more information.