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Vandenberg brings back the silver screen

The Vandenberg theater displays movie times for recent shows April 30, 2014 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.Team V members wary of driving into the surrounding area to enjoy a movie got a reprieve, April 18, when the base celebrated the theater's soft re-opening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

The Vandenberg theater displays movie times for recent shows April 30, 2014 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.Team V members wary of driving into the surrounding area to enjoy a movie got a reprieve, April 18, when the base celebrated the theater's soft re-opening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

Lt. Col. Gregory Marty, 30th Force Support Squadron commander, Col. Jed Davis, 30th Mission Support Group commander, and Christine Stallwood, Vandenberg Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, cut a ceremonial ribbon marking the official re-opening of the base theater May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

Lt. Col. Gregory Marty, 30th Force Support Squadron commander, Col. Jed Davis, 30th Mission Support Group commander, and Christine Stallwood, Vandenberg Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, cut a ceremonial ribbon marking the official re-opening of the base theater May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

A crowd files into the base theater during its grand re-opening May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The theater was closed last fall due to insufficient equipment and funding issues, but has since been renovated with capabilities of screening 2-D and 3-D movies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

A crowd files into the base theater during its grand re-opening May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The theater was closed last fall due to insufficient equipment and funding issues, but has since been renovated with capabilities of screening 2-D and 3-D movies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

A line of people wait outside the base theater during its grand re-opening May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The theater was closed last fall due to insufficient equipment and funding issues, but has since been renovated with capabilities of screening 2-D and 3-D movies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

A line of people wait outside the base theater during its grand re-opening May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The theater was closed last fall due to insufficient equipment and funding issues, but has since been renovated with capabilities of screening 2-D and 3-D movies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - -- More than 400 moviegoers came out for the grand re-opening of the base theater and free pre-screening of the movie Godzilla May 10, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif.

Lt. Col. Gregory Marty, 30th Force Support Squadron commander, Col. Jed Davis, 30th Mission Support Group commander, and Christine Stallwood, Vandenberg Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the theater.

"We were one of the luckiest ones out of twenty military bases to get the chance to preview Godzilla before it hits local theaters," said Stallwood. "So I said, we need something for our grand opening, I need something big, and what's bigger than Godzilla?"

More than $165,000 was spent to upgrade the movie theater with a capability to show 2-D and 3-D movies.

"We have a new state-of-the-art surround sound system that will blow you out of this world," said Stallwood.

The theater, located across from the dorms on South Dakota Avenue, closed last fall due to insufficient equipment and funding issues.

"The theater was using an outdated projection system, a 35mm camera, which caused a general lack of business," said Christine Stallwood, Vandenberg Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager. "At the time the intention was for the theater to be permanently closed, but due to a request from Vandenberg's command with special emphasis on location and quality of life activities that are within distance, we were able to reopen."

Unbeknownst to some members, the theater opened for business April 18.

"The soft opening was to give us the opportunity to operate the new equipment for a couple of weeks to ensure we have identified any potential issues," Stallwood said.
Though the theater won't be showing first-run movies, there are other perks for those choosing to view their shows at the base theater.

"Fiscal and manning challenges have taken their toll on everyone at VAFB in some form," said Lt. Col. Gregory Marty, 30th Force Support Squadron commander. "AAFES' significant financial commitment in re-opening our theater reinforces what an important partner they are in ensuring the morale of everyone on base. Practically, this theater gives our Airmen and their families a safe and affordable way to escape from the daily grind. We are very grateful and hope everyone will enjoy and support our new theater."