The St. Olaf Movie Archive Lending Service (SOMALS) and the Automated Movie Machine in the Lion's Pause offer students more rental options.
The Lion's Pause installed the Automated Movie Machine on Nov. 5, after a period of informational meetings. The company distributing the machines and the movie service contacted St. Olaf with a proposal to install a machine in Buntrock Commons. The offer was turned over to Kris Vatter, the Lion's Pause adviser, and then approved by a Pause staff vote. The Automated Movie Machine expanded the Pause rental service by increasing the number of DVDs available to students.
"We wanted to keep up the rotation of movies with newer, more recent titles," Stuart Shrimpton '06, Pause Head of Movies and Amusements, said. "The Pause doesn't have the budget to buy a lot of new releases so the machine helps to bolster our inventory."
The Automated Movie Machine is a vending machine. To rent a DVD from the machine, students need to use either a credit card or a debit card. Renters choose from nearly 200 titles.
Whereas the Pause charges one dollar for a 24-hour rental, the Automated Movie Machine provides different rates for different media. New releases cost $2.50 for a 24-hour rental, video games cost $4.50 for a four-day rental and "favorites" or non-new releases cost $2 for a three-day rental.
Renters must use the same card when returning a movie which they used to rent it to complete the transaction. Each rental has tax, and $1 per day late fees are charged beginning 10 minutes after a movie is due back.
SOMALS is student-organized and provides a list of movies owned by all the members, creating a St. Olaf-wide movie collection. The service provides online access to the lists of all participating students as well as contact information for students involved.
The SOMALS service relies on several rules for participation that all members must follow, including respect for other people's discs and returning movies within three days. Lenders are responsible for keeping track of their own movies. Finally, SOMALS implements a borrower's agreement to obey copyright laws and to pay for any damaged materials.
The Pause still sees its rental service used regularly, according to Shrimpton, and although there has not been a lot of publicity, he said that "feedback so far has been positive" on the new machine.