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NEW SEASON BEGINS OCT. 5 WITH FILM ON JAPAN

From the mountains of Japan to the islands of New Zealand, patrons of the University Travel Club will wander, armchair-style, this season to 11 far-reaching countries or regions that are part of Utah's oldest and once-more exclusive travelog series.

Now at least 54 years old, the UTC will unspool its full-length, full-color films, with live narrations, from early October to early May, with all films booked in the Highland Park Elementary School, 1738 E. 2700 South, at 7:30 p.m.For the next two seasons, UTC films will be shown off-campus because of the extensive renovation of Kingsbury Hall. The renovations are already underway.

The elementary school auditorium provides considerably less seating than Kingsbury so patrons should order their season tickets early.

"Campus film records prior to 1940 have been lost," said Lynda Christensen, UTC coordinator and manager of Kingsbury Hall.

She notes that the series may predate 1940.

The University Travel Club involves no dues and is open to the public.

Although travelogs are again on the rise on campuses and at community arts centers across the country and in Canada, the UTC is the only show of its kind in Utah.

Here's a rundown of the upcoming season:

Oct. 5: Woody Thomas's "A Journey in Japan"

Oct. 24: Doug Jones' "Cruising to Bermuda"

Nov. 10: Fran Reidelberger's "Israel"

Dec. 1: Rick Ray's "Emerging Indochina"

Jan. 12: Ed Lark's "Finland, Land of Contrasts"

Jan. 26: Ken Armstrong's "Peerless New Zealand"

Feb. 16: Richard Kern's "Journey to the Everglades"

March 15: John Wilson's "Ontario Quebec - Wild and Wonderful"

March 28: Howard Meyers' "Glory on the River - the Golden Age of Natchez to New Orleans

April 11: Dale Smith's "Portugal's Places and Faces"

May 8: John Holod's "Czech/Slovakia"

Woody Thomas, John Wilson and Dale Smith are all newcomers to the UTC stage. Because of their popularity, they have been booked since 1992. Thomas will guide patrons from Japan's cities to the countryside, from the mountains to the sea coasts, from castles to shrines, from public parks to private homes.

John Wilson is highly regarded as a cameraman who will do just about anything to get the right shot. He has leaned out of helicopters flying over mountain peaks, scuba dived under icebergs, and come face-to-face with a grizzly bear.

Dale Smith's pioneering work in electrophotographic imaging processes significantly contributed to the highly successful Kodak Ektaprint Copier/Duplicator line of products.

Ed Lark's film on Finland is hot from the film laboratory and promises to be the very newest film on the subject.

Applications for season rates for the 11-film package have been mailed to previous UTC members. Others may obtain forms by visiting or writing to Kingsbury Hall, room 210, on campus or by phoning 581-7100 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Season rates save patrons the equivalent of three films, according to Christensen.

Screenings will again start at 7:30 p.m. Parking is adjacent to Highland Park Elementary School.