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Dinner-and-a-movie: Post theater offers something old, new

Courtesy Graphic

Courtesy Graphic

Published: July 17, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 17, 2014) -- It has been a little less than a year since the Fort Rucker Post Theater reopened its doors after a complete digital renovation, and theater officials are finding innovative ways to fulfill the needs of the community’s movie goers.

Offering free movie screenings and dinner-and-a-movie specials, the post theater is everything but an old building with a new coat of paint.

“Army and Air Force Exchange services in general has been willing to explore new opportunities to see where challenges can lead us. They are willing to see what resonates with our community,” said Col. Stuart J. McRae, garrison commander. “(For) every dollar that comes into the theater, a portion goes back into Soldier programs, so make a visit there if you haven’t yet.”

One of the newest opportunities at the theater is a partnership with The Landing Zone.

The Landing Zone is currently offering  patrons the opportunity to buy a $2 movie ticket to the theater with the purchase of a dinner entrée.

“We thought working together would be a great opportunity for both businesses to increase awareness about what we have to offer here at Fort Rucker,” said Lauren Jenkins-Fazio, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation promotions and marketing assistant. “We wanted to give our customers the chance to enjoy great food and great movies. This is a fantastic way for friends and Families to spend time together.”

Whether going on a date night, spending time with Family or just hanging out with friends, Jenkins-Fazio said this is a great chance to do something local and inexpensive.

“The theater here on post offers great movie options, including first run,” she continued. “Patrons should take advantage of this opportunity for as long as they can. This encourages people, especially those who are new to the area, to become better acquainted with their options here instead of having to drive to surrounding areas and spending more money.”

The movie tickets acquired through this promotion do not expire. So tickets may be held onto for a future movie that is not released yet.  The promotion is for dine-in only patrons on Fridays from 4-9 p.m.

It is also not uncommon for the post theater to show free screenings of new movies. Its latest showing in this manner was “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

“(AAFES) partners with distributors of new films in order to present the new movies at no cost. We are given one-time permission to show the film in our theater at no cost,” said Susie Antonello, AAFES visual merchandiser. “We feel it is important to provide these movie-going opportunities to show customers that we appreciate them and want to take every chance to give them a one-of-a-kind movie-going experience.”

Antonello continued by saying the Fort Rucker Reeltime Theater gives an excellent value to the military community.

“In addition, the theater has gone through a thorough renovation, featuring a new Dolby digital sound system, Christie digital projection, along with 3-D capability,” she added.

One way the garrison team is ensuring that the post theater stays relevant and resilient is by offering a new way to watch old, classic movies.

Casablanca will play at the post theater July 22 at 7p.m. with free admission. Classic movie night is a collaborated effort by the garrison command and AAFES. A public performance license was purchased for the one-time showing of Casablanca and has no connection with Reeltime.

“We want to find a sweet spot for viewership in order to make the theater as competitive as possible. Our intention is to make the theater more resilient, and the more viewership we have the better,” said McRae.  “We are working to try different things to see if there are other markets we can tap into. We are just exploring what our community wants to see.”

If showing old movies exhibits large promise, McRae said the garrison will try to show more.

“My goal in everything we do is to make as many of the services self sustainable, and that is what we are trying to do with the theater,” he continued. “I am excited to see where this goes. Trying new things is always fun and exciting. I hope it really takes off and we begin to set a trend across America and across AAFFES theaters.”

Instead of watching a classic movie on a small screen at home, McRae encourages everyone to have the movie experience again, or even for the first time if the film came out before viewers were old enough to see it at the theater.

“You can enjoy an old-time type movie as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen,” said McRae.

The post decided to try the classic movie night to reach out to classic-movie buffs, and also to introduce classic movies to a new audience and generation, said Antonello.

“As a way of reaching out and strengthening our relationship with the community, the post and AAFES has scheduled this one-time showing to bring back the nostalgic feel of the movie experience,” she said. “These movies have not been on the big screen for a long time and we hope to give the community a chance to come together and enjoy a Family-friendly social event.”

For a full list of what is playing at the post theater visit, www.shopmyexchange.com/ReelTimeTheatres/Movies-FtRucker.htm.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/130113/

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