Oldfather Studios, the University's film and media studies building that has educated student filmmakers since 1991, will be moving to its new $10 million facility in Summerfield Hall this summer. In remembrance of the facility, the department is hosting a "Farewell Celebration" on Friday, May 5.
The building was originally established in 1955 by University alumni Russell Mosser and Art Wolf, founders of Centron Corp. The building was once an industrial and educational film studio in Lawrence.
Alumni and anyone who wants to remember Oldfather are invited to the event. The reception will start around 5 p.m., and then at 6 p.m., the program will begin, and invited alumni and staff will speak about their time at the studios.
There will also be an open mic for any students or others to share their experiences. The staff will cut a cake in the image of Oldfather, and a large lithograph of the building will be available for staff, students and alumni to sign.The poster-sized picture of Oldfather will be taken to the new department in Summerfield Hall.
Michael Baskett, chair of the Department of Film and Media Studies, looks forward to remembering the studios that houses so many memories.
“We thought it would be a good idea to invite our alums back and anyone who is interested and wants to look around the building before we have to vacate it,” Baskett said.
Professor of film and media studies Matt Jacobson said that even though the move is an exciting new chapter, it’s also an emotional one.
“[Oldfather,] it had this sense of history, because people had been making movies here since the 1950s,” Jacobson said. “I just fell in love with that space, the way that the studio worked. I’ve got to teach generations of students how to make movies in a place that was specifically built to make movies. And I’m going to miss that. This place has so much history, and has so much charm. But we’re going to a new place. It’s better equipped, it’s bigger, and it gives us the opportunity to write our own history.”
The new facility will come equipped with a brand new soundstage, which has a two-story room with catwalks for lighting and observation. There is also a new “green room,” and recording studio, which Oldfather did not previously have. Other improvements are production classrooms and a larger computer lab with more editing bays, to name a few.
— Edited by Allison Crist