Support our mission
 
At Osan Air Base in South Korea, the Mustang Theater again is in business after a $1.1 million stem-to-stern overhaul.
At Osan Air Base in South Korea, the Mustang Theater again is in business after a $1.1 million stem-to-stern overhaul. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)
At Osan Air Base in South Korea, the Mustang Theater again is in business after a $1.1 million stem-to-stern overhaul.
At Osan Air Base in South Korea, the Mustang Theater again is in business after a $1.1 million stem-to-stern overhaul. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)
Airmen say the more spacious aisles and moveable seats at the recently-renovated Mustang Theater are especially popular with them.
Airmen say the more spacious aisles and moveable seats at the recently-renovated Mustang Theater are especially popular with them. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Next time Senior Airman Ryan Hunt takes a date to the movies here, there’ll be no need to arm-wrestle for the popcorn.

Hunt, a Korean linguist with the 303rd Intelligence Squadron, recently was inside Osan’s newly-renovated Mustang Theater, which again is thriving after closing in April for a $1.1 million stem-to-stern renovation. It’s been drawing long lines of customers ever since it reopened on Thanksgiving.

The theater, which seats 648, now has wider aisles, improved lighting, a new screen, a $60,000 Dolby digital sound system with 32 speakers, a refinished stage, a new, brightly lit self-service food counter called Reel Time Express, a redesigned exterior that includes changes to the roof and glass frontage at the entrance, and new flooring, walls and ceilings.

“The entire theater front has been changed,” said Lee Holloway, central exchange general manager for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. “Before you saw basically brick walls; now, it’s more customer friendly.”

But the biggest hit with some airmen may be the new, high-backed, moveable seats, complete with cupholders.

“They have beverage holders and they rock back and forth just slightly, so that if a person who’s a little bit heavier than others, gets a chance to lean back a little bit so they can see the screen better,” Holloway said. “It sure does make it a whole lot easier for the customer to be able to sit down and enjoy a long movie in a comfortable plush seat.

“The armrests in the center of the aisle actually go up,” Holloway said, “so you can have a little one in between mom and dad, or girlfriend and boyfriend can cuddle a little bit closer together without having an armrest separating them.”

Hunt said he hasn’t watched a movie there yet but got his first look at the new theater when he attended a unit briefing recently.

“I liked it a lot,” he said. “If you have a date, you can share the popcorn without having to arm wrestle. Probably put your arm around a girl if you wanted to.

“As soon as a movie comes out that I like, I want to go and see it,” Hunt said. “I’m curious what the sound system’s like.”

Master Sgt. Eric Jones, who has attended a movie in the refurbished theater, said he found both seats and the sound to his liking.

“It’s pretty good,” said the taller-than-average Jones, of the 621st Air Control Squadron. “For me, being tall, there’s leg room, the seats in the front are a lot better. They go back a little, and plus, you have somewhere to put your drink.”

Even when he was standing in line outside, and later when he was buying food, Jones said, he could hear the sound. “It echoed out so it was really, really good.”

And he found it roomy “because we were in line for at least about 40 minutes, and when we got in there, there were still seats. It was really spacious. ... I was happy about that.”

Jones gives the new theater a high rating: “From one to 10, it’s about nine.”

Staff Sgt. Robert Parker, like Hunt a Korean linguist with the 303rd Intelligence Squadron, attended a unit briefing at the theater.

“The equipment is a lot better,” said Parker. “The seats are dramatically better, more comfortable. They’re purple! — but hey, they’re real comfortable. It made a full hour briefing comfortable.”

The theater can help sustain troop morale in South Korea, which, said Parker, “is a very tough assignment for a lot of people.”

“It’s good that they’re actually taking the time and money to make people’s lives more comfortable.”

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up