Film Streams’ Student Nights go digital


Zach Gilbert

Both Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater and Dundee Theater closed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Student Night will continue in a digital capacity all year long. Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska at Omaha.

On the first Monday of every month, local nonprofit theatre Film Streams has proudly hosted a student night for years, offering free movie tickets for full-time students of any age.  In light of the Coronavirus turmoil of 2020, adjustments had to be made.

Going forward, the executive team at Film Streams will form a list of free films that will be made available online to students at the start of every month. In addition, the team will be offering supplemental “thought-provoking film resources” in a corresponding monthly email sent to student subscribers, according to a statement on their website.

To receive this email, you can sign up at and check the “I would like updates on Film Streams’ monthly student night” box.

As proud long-time sponsors of Film Streams’ student night, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) are pleased to offer this adapted opportunity to local students.

“With both Film Streams venues closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, Student Night can still live on in the digital sphere,” UNO stated in their official announcement.

Though this is new terrain for the student night specifically, this is not the first time the arthouse cinemas have dabbled in the digital space.This past spring, Film Streams closed their Ruth Sokolof Theater and their Dundee Theater, in accordance with CDC recommendations and the Douglas County Health Department public health order issued on March 18.

“While it breaks our hearts to be closed, we are proud to stand in solidarity with the community in working to prevent the virus’ spread,” Film Streams stated in a message released on their website on March 19.

In the meantime, the organization implemented a “Film Streams @Home” virtual release platform. Throughout the summer, Film Streams continued to offer new titles on a weekly basis on their website, which were available to rent at $12 for non-members and $8 for members. This program has been extended into the fall, as well.

To access the catalogue of available titles, you can create an account at and provide your name, email address, and a password. When selecting a title to purchase, click “get@home tickets + donate” below the film’s image, and you will be taken to a payment screen, where you will be asked for your credit card information.

As soon as this payment has processed, you will receive a confirmation email, and the film will immediately become available to view on the Film Streams @Home platform under “My Screenings.” Here, you can see a list of all the films you have purchased through the platform.

Each film is available in “My Screenings” for 30 days, but as soon as you begin viewing your rental, you will have a 48-hour watch window. Films are able to be streamed on almost all computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Though the coronavirus pandemic seems to be raging on for the foreseeable future, Film Streams has made the most of this moment by not only structuring their Student Nights to proceed digitally, but also by offering their usual slate of compelling and challenging cinema via the internet.