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Students enjoy a poolside cinema while meeting friends and resting from studies

one female and one male student smile for the camera as they tread water holding onto yellow pool floaties
Students Jenna and Brennan Fuller enjoy time in the pool together while watching a movie.

When former University President John Tanner encouraged Brandyn Akana, head of Seasider Sports & Activities, to host more activities using the McKay Pool after its renovation in 2017, Akana said he immediately thought of showing a movie.

“Dive-in” movies, as they began to be called, have been popular events, explained Akana.

He and his team hosted another “dive-in” event on Friday, Sept. 18. They followed COVID-19 guidelines by checking every 30 minutes to ensure only 15 people were in the pool at a time. Students swam in the pool while watching the movies “Luca” and “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

landscape shot of five people on pool floaties in the McKay Pool watching a movie being projected onto a screen in front of them
Attendees of the "Dive-in" Movie Night watched the movies "Luca" and "Godzilla vs. Kong," and took turns being in the pool in order to follow COVID-19 safety regulations.


Sophomore Matthew Altenberg, an information systems major from California who attended the event, shared he had attended a “dive-in” movie last semester where they played “Flushed Away.” Altenberg explained he enjoyed the simplicity and dual experience of the activity because it added “another layer” to the cinematic experience.

“Most people usually sit down and be quiet when they watch a movie, but this time, it was a movie most people had already seen, so it was okay to splash around and have a little bit of fun.”

Katherine Hall, a sophomore psychology major from California, said it was her first time attending the “dive-in” movie activity. She shared she has met most of her friends while attending school activities. She added the activities allow her to “unwind and destress” from her studies. “I thought this was a good opportunity to meet people, spend some time away from homework and enjoy myself.”

Akana shared the purpose of these activities is to help students balance their well-being in every aspect of their college experience. “I feel these events and activities can also help the student[s] to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and even socially … and we can serve the students in a way so they can do better in the classroom.”

His committee also provided koko rice and bread for students to enjoy during the viewing.

Akana said 221 students attended the event, which lasted from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

He expressed his hope is to “get the students more involved and to be able to have a good campus life.”