‘Lost’ fans find common ground and common theater at Gateway

One of television’s most popular programs is getting silver-screen treatment.

Gateway Film Center is airing new episodes of “Lost” live on one of its big screens every Tuesday. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is free.

“We usually have [‘Lost’] in a theater that’s at least 100 seats,” said Melissa Starker, sales and marketing manager for Gateway Film Center.

Starker said screenings are regularly near capacity, and the season premiere was screened in a full 300-seat theater, complete with a bar and themed treats.

“We actually had a bar in the theater and a concession stand,” she said. “We also made ‘Lost’ cupcakes with sharks and planes crashing into them and things like that.”

“Lost” was chosen by Gateway Film Center over other shows because of its appeal to audiences.

Lost “just has a really, really strong connection with its audience,” Starker said. “It’s the kind of thing that feels like an event with every episode. And also with ‘Lost’ in particular, it’s just so beautifully shot … so it just makes sense to see it on the big screen.”

Last Tuesday’s episode drew 9.45 million viewers, putting “Lost” No. 3 in its time slot behind “American Idol” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.” The season premiere, however, garnered 12.1 million viewers, according to The Nielsen Company.

Fans of “Lost” are drawn to its various qualities, ranging from its character work to the show’s distinctive plot twists.

“I like ‘Lost’ because of its mature character development and the continuity of the story,” said Brian Kennedy, a graduate student in computer science. “A lot of shows are so episodic that there’s almost no meaning to watching a new episode.”

For Andrew Lin, a first-year in art, “Lost” is appealing because it is not predictable.

“It ends in a cliffhanger every episode so that just keeps it going,” he said. “And plus there’s all these crazy conspiracy things. That’s always fun.”

Many fans feel the Gateway Film Center offers a unique viewing environment and an ideal opportunity.

“It’s in a theater and it’s free,” Lin said.

For Kennedy, last Tuesday’s episode was his first “Lost” experience at Gateway Film Center.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it,” he said. “It sounds kick-ass.”

Beginning this week, Gateway Film Center will also be airing new episodes of “Glee” on its screens.

Doors will open at 8 p.m. Tuesdays, and the episodes will air at 9 p.m. However, this week’s episode airs at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

“It’s another one of those shows like ‘Lost’ where you mention it to people and they get so excited,” Starker said.

“Lost,” meanwhile, is currently in its sixth and final season. New episodes air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC, and the series finale is set for May 23.

[This story ran in The Lantern on April 13, 2010. Click here.]

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