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Dive-in movie makes splash on campus

September 21, 2008

Apparel textile design junior Elizabeth VanFleteren tosses a beach ball Friday to her friend while watching “Kung Fu Panda” at the IM Sports-West outdoor pool.

Photo by Jason Chiou | The State News

With each breath, the mass of black-and-white vinyl that Evan Chisholm clutched in his hands grew a little larger.

The kinesiology senior puffed life into the vinyl curtain as one fin popped up, followed by the rest of the inflatable orca. Lights from the IM Sports-West swimming pool illuminated the pool toy’s outline as its details became lost against the night sky.

It was showtime.

“We actually went rafting down the Red Cedar (River) when it was raining this weekend, so we have these rafts,” Chisholm said between breaths. “We’re like, ‘Well, what are we going to do with them?’ Obviously, go to a dive-in movie.”

Chisholm and more than 400 MSU students filled the IM Sports-West lawn and heated outdoor pool Friday for the Union Activities Board, or UAB, dive-in movie “Kung Fu Panda.”

UAB planned the event and the Residence Halls Association, or RHA, provided the movie.

Last year, about 600 people came to two dive-in movie shows at IM Sports-West, said Rebecca Kapler, UAB’s arts director.

“I was happy with the final numbers,” Kapler said of this year’s event. “It was a short movie, so I’m happy we had that many people.”

A flier for the event inside Berkey Hall caught the attention of Phil Clark, an English senior.

“I was getting out of my English class and I saw on a little cork board out there in Berkey Hall that was like dive-in movie and that sounded really sweet,” Clark said.

Clark and his girlfriend, second-year law student Karen Michael, came on a date to the event and brought their swimsuits for the occasion.

A turtle, alligator and Chisholm’s orca floated toward the pool’s edge with movie-goers onboard as the movie began.

Although splashing died down following the movie’s start, not everyone was watching.

Lifeguards watched the pool, but the movie’s sounds were distracting, said Danielle Parlapiano, a communication sophomore and lifeguard.

“It is a little bit harder because you’re distracted by the sounds of the movie,” Parlapiano said. “Like people screaming in the movie, for instance. Then you’re like, ‘Is someone screaming in the pool?”’

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