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GFC giving out a year of free movie passes for 1 day of ‘Groundhog Day’

01 a.m. Feb. 2.

After watching the cult classic “Groundhog Day” for 24 hours straight, you might know what it feels like to live one day of your life over and over again.

In celebration of the often-overlooked holiday, Gateway Film Center is holding a “Groundhog Day” movie marathon. The 1993 movie stars Bill Murray, who plays a self-centered weatherman stuck in one day of his life, Groundhog Day, and is forced to repeat the day every morning he wakes up.

Showings will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, and will continue every two hours during the day. The last showing will be at 10 p.m.

“Groundhog Day” doesn’t typically get a lot of attention, but Gateway Film Center representatives wanted to change that.

“It’s a really fun thing to do this time of the year,” said Meghan Vesper, director of sales and marketing at Gateway Film Center.

“We refer to it as the unrecognized holiday in the U.S., and we like to recognize that.”

Students are welcome to enjoy showings throughout the day, but there is a special prize for anyone who sits through every showing of the film: free movies at the theater for a year.

“The people who stay the whole time will receive presidential passes,” Vesper said, which would allow them into any movies at the theater for free, including screenings of 3-D films.

This year will be the 3rd annual Groundhog Day Marathon.

“Last year, there were 18 to 20 people who stayed for the whole 24 hours,” Vesper said.

The one-day event is expected to draw more people than ever before this year, Vesper said.

“This year we are hoping to get a good size that stay the whole time this year, we have had a lot of interest,” Vesper said.

In order to win a year’s worth of movie tickets, patrons must attend every showing of the film. Attendees will be given a “badge” at the start of the night, and before each showing begins an employee will punch a hole into the badge to prove that the holder was present.

Between showings, attendees are welcome to leave the theater, but they must return in time for the next showing in order to be eligible for the prize.

Students might intend on leaving to grab a quick bite to eat, but there will be food specials available at the theater as well.

There will be “pizza and cheeseburgers on special, along with a few surprises too,” Vesper said.

While some students seemed interested in the marathon, others said they couldn’t miss class.

“If I had the time, I would go, but since it’s a school day, I couldn’t. It sounds like fun though,” said Jenny Reinard, a second-year in social work.

James Ferrell, a second-year in math and music education, agreed.

“If I had the time available I would go, it would be an interesting experience,” Ferrell said, and added he wouldn’t have a problem watching the same movie repeatedly, but would have trouble staying awake for 24 hours.

The Groundhog Day Marathon was started because Gateway Film Center “wanted to do something in the lull between holidays,” Vesper said, referring to the time between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.

“Groundhog Day is an underappreciated holiday, and an underappreciated film,” Vesper said. “Our job is to promote great films.”

Admission is $6 for unlimited screenings.


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