MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For more than five months if a service member or their family wanted to see the latest movie, they would have to dish out more than $8 per ticket and go out in town to see it. Soon all the money they will need to see the latest flick will range from one to two dollars.
The base theater, which has been closed since February of this year, is finally getting ready to unveil its improvements, some of them noticeable, while others remain hidden to the naked eye.
“We’re hoping to have our first showing sometime around Sept. 17,” said Charlie Miller, theater and entertainment manager with Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “A majority of the changes that have been made to the theater won’t be seen, but they’ll definitely have an impact.”
The base theater received new air conditioning and heating units as well as ventilation shafts. This will help the theater maintain a good temperature during both warm and cold weather.
“With the old units, it took a while for the theater to adjust, when it started getting cold it took a while to heat up and when it was getting warmer it took a while for it to cool down in here,” said Miller.
The cooling and heating units which were housed in the basement of the movie theater have now been moved outside and placed in a new building close the theater.
Miller said that once people start coming to the newly refurbished theater they will notice the difference the air conditioning makes.
Thicker, more durable carpet replaced the worn and weathered carpet. Stage lighting was added in the hopes that when plays or performances are shown the new lighting enhances the experience, added Miller.
All of the hardwood in the theater was stripped and re-stained, giving it a new glossy look. The concessions stand is now stocked with more beverages including fruit juices and vitamin waters.
But one of the theater’s best looks is not noticed once people enter the theater or when they sit down to watch a movie, but after they have enjoyed a few too many beverages. The bathrooms for the males and females received a complete makeover.
“I think the bathrooms needed the most attention,” said Miller.
The walls were re-painted, a new wooden door was added, the flooring was replaced with tiling. New urinals and toilets were also added. In addition, the hand-washing station and towel dispensers are motion-activated.
“Now it’s cleaner and it’s more sanitary for our customers,” added Miller.
Once the theater re-opens, Miller said it will be available to service members and their families Tuesday through Sunday.
“I can’t wait for it to open, when it was open I would go around three times a month,” said Seaman Kevin Hughes, a religious programs specialist with Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune, and avid movie-goer. “It’s also a lot cheaper, with-in walking distance and more convenient than going out in town.”