Memory Lane: Co-Op Movies in Olin Auditorium

22 June 2023
Rebel Without a Cause

No matter one’s major or the dorm in which one lived, there was one thing at Carleton that regularly united us: the weekend movies in Olin Auditorium.  The serious films in the student-faculty film series, usually shown on Wednesday nights, presented movies as an art form.  The Co-Op’s weekend series was supposed to be for entertainment, either on the screen or through debates with Mansco Perry over his selection of movies when he ran the program in 1972.  In particular, two movies have stuck in my memory: “Casablanca,” because it was so good, and “Red Line 7000,” because it seemed so inane.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

Thinking about those two movies led me to wonder what else had diverted us.  The excellent staff in the Carleton Archives were able to provide me with the movie list for Winter term 1971, but no others.  Movies were usually listed in the NNB (Noon News Bulletin, for those of you who don’t remember) and often discussed in the ‘Tonian.  The Archives has made both of them available online, and I have used them to compile as complete a list as I could for our years in Northfield.  There are gaps.  For example, there was no mention of movies at the start of our freshman year.  Sometimes the movies that were advertised never arrived or were replaced by substitutes.  But perhaps the partial list below will spark some memories.

Send us a note at to let us know what has resonated with you. In looking back, I, for one, have learned that “Red Line 7000” was directed by Howard Hawks, starred a young James Caan and had pre-Star Trek George Takei in a supporting role.  According to Wikipedia, Hawks was “not proud of the picture as a whole” and Caan called it “a joke,” but Quentin Tarantino is a big fan.  Perhaps it is time to revisit it.

Peter Hirtle ’74

Click here for a (partial) list of Olin Co-Op Movies.

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