BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – “We’re trying to bring out all of the children, all of the elementary school kids, middle school kids, whoever wants to come out, and their parents,” says Bluefield State University student Desmond Freeman says.
“It’s basically to bring college students to the theater,” adds Juan Defredidas, another student at the university.
The Historic Granada Theater in Bluefield is utilizing university students to bring more people downtown.
Students in the Lessons in Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at Bluefield University undertook the Granada Project during the 2022 spring semester.
The project consisted of programming and promoting a week of upcoming movies at the theater. It was an effort to attract as many different types of people as they could in one weekend through big-name movies.
“Brian Tracey from the Granada Theater approached us in the fall about perhaps doing a partnership with some Bluefield State students, and so I volunteered my entrepreneurship class, and so these wonderful gentlemen here, we just worked together and we had a blast,” says the instructor of the course at Bluefield State, Diane Belcher.
The students collected survey results from 94 people to find new ways the Granada can expand and retain a bigger customer base.
They reviewed and suggested various ways the theater could do so. Some of their suggestions included displaying old pictures and memorabilia in the theater, as well as holding tours before movies. Executive Director of the Bluefield Arts and Revitalization Corporation, Brian Tracey says the project was a great way to bring the community together.
“I was helping to teach the class, but at the same time, they’ve taught me a lot of lessons, as well,” Tracey says. “It’s given us insight into a different demographic. We want to reach all parts of the Bluefield community and students are a big part of that.”
The movies the students promoted will start Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
On Friday night, they will be selling raffle tickets for free movies and musical events. The proceeds will go to the Granada Theater. The original ticket booth outside will be open to purchase tickets.
In addition to Harry Potter on Thursday, the movies will include Rush Hour on Friday, April 8th at 7 p.m., Scooby-Doo on Saturday, April 9 at 11 a.m., The Matrix on Saturday evening at 7 p.m., and Send Me No Flowers on Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m.
Middle and high school students have a chance to buy one ticket and get one for free for all five movies.