Through MSC Aggie Cinema’s new online platform, students can now watch over 200 movies spanning a wide selection of genres for free.
MSC Aggie Cinema is a student-run organization that usually screens popular movies on campus for students to view. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they switched from in-person screenings to their streaming service, AggieCinema.tamu.edu, which is available for all Texas A&M students.
Macee Brotherton, a business senior and chair of MSC Aggie Cinema, said the organization’s purpose is to bring culture, education and entertainment through movies to students.
“When we realized that things were probably not going to be normal for fall 2020, we came up with an alternative because all of our programming before then had hinged on us being able to meet in-person,” Brotherton said. “We’ve been trying to figure out a way to still have that sense of community and to still bring these movies that are so important, influential or entertaining to students on campus.”
Neha Deshmukh, a business sophomore and vice chair of MSC Aggie Cinema, said they were able to create the streaming service through the company Swank to continue making movies accessible.
“They provide customizable streaming platforms to universities,” Deshmukh said. “Over the summer, we looked into some other colleges that have been using it and how they felt about it, and we decided it would be a good fit for A&M this year.”
Whether a person lives on or off-campus, this platform is open to all students, said Lillian Cantrell, a chemistry junior and director of blockbuster series for MSC Aggie Cinema.
“If you’re logged into the Texas A&M Wi-Fi, or if you use the Texas A&M VPN, and you go to AggieCinema.tamu.edu, you [will] have access to 200 movies,” Cantrell said. “Each month, we’ll actually be adding 10 movies, and these can be voted on from polls that we will put out on our social media.”
Deshmukh said the movies on the platform consist of a variety of genres, such as action, drama, comedy, musical and documentary, and they plan to expand into television shows.
“There’s subtitles and captions on all of the movies, and you can even watch them in other languages,” Deshmukh said. “We’ll also be adding customized things specific to A&M, maybe something like Member Picks [that] we would recommend. It’s also really great because we can add our own ad content, so a lot of the things that we’re going to be using the ads for is to promote other organizations on campus.”
Brotherton said she is excited about how the organization is still able to provide screenings through its new platform.
“We find community through movies, [so] being able to offer this to students in a really uncertain time, and in such a way that we can also offer it to students who aren’t directly on-campus through the VPN, [has] a lot of potential to help feel a little more normal,” Brotherton said.
Deshmukh said the Aggie Cinema platform is an excellent alternative to paying for other streaming services.
“There might be students who are really struggling with expenses right now because of all of the craziness going on,” Deshmukh said. “If we could provide a way for them to cut out the expense of paying for Netflix or Hulu or Disney+, and instead [use] our platform just to make their lives a little bit easier without having to compromise on their entertainment, I think that would be really great for the community.”