Military movie theaters going digital
posted by Michael Zoldessy on March 25, 2013 at 7:45 am
WILIMINGTON, DE — Reports from USA Today are saying that half of the movie theaters on military bases will close. The 60 remaining are being converted, based on demand with very little money coming from tax dollars.
It would be nice to know the identities of the 60 since I doubt they are on CT. When I was at Fort Dix in the 1950’s there were several theaters,3 or 4. Rather than just being “Military Issue”, The Timmerman was new and up to civilian standards. What a crowd for the preview of Sweet Bird of Youth. No Fort Diz theaters on CT.
Quite a change since I was in the Army 1959-1962. Back then every medium sized base had at least one 35mm theatre. The larger posts had 2-4 theaters, many of them quite nice. Very small posts usually had at least 16mm facilities. There were 5 program changes a week, all single features (mostly recent releases with a scattering of reissues) accompanied by shorts & previews. Admission was only 25 cents.The theatres were then operated by the AAFMPS (Army Air Force Motion Picture Service).
You really appreciated these theatres when you were overseas and the post theatres were the only place you could get your fix of the American movies which of course were a connection to home. The post theatre at Camp Kaiser, Korea was my home away from home during my year long stint in that country and made that tour of duty much more bearable for sure!
My only negative recollection of those post theatres was at Fort Bliss, Texas when the bone-headed post commander, a general I think, decided that we had to wear uniforms or coat and tie to attend the 25 cent flicks. Not what we wanted to hear! Most of us boycotted the post theatres and got our movie fix in downtown El Paso or at the numerous drive-ins in the area after that. I heard attendance dropped 75 per cent but the policy was still in effect when I got discharged in 1962.
Ft Bliss now has a commercially operated cinema.