Free cable service and free movie tickets will soon become a thing of the past at U.S. bases in South Korea because of a decrease in Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation funding.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service theaters will begin charging moviegoers on May 1, according to Installation Management Command-Korea. Cable subscribers at U.S. Army garrisons in South Korea will have to pay a minimum of $15 for the service beginning July 1.

FMWR — a nonappropriated funds organization that has to break even on its expenses — has previously subsidized both services, but can no longer afford to do so, IMCOM-Korea spokesman Dan Thompson said.

AAFES movie ticket prices will be $5 for first-run movies and $4.50 for regular releases for adults, and $2.50 for first-runs and $2.25 for regular releases for children 12 and under. Tickets for repeat showings, which are movies that have been released on DVD, will be $4 for adults and $2 for children. Tickets for special play movies, such as classics, will be $3 for adults and $1.50 for children.

The new $15 monthly basic cable charge, which covers maintenance and distribution, will include all AFN channels. Premium subscribers will pay $40, a $5 increase from current rates. Current customers who do not want service do not have to do anything, as technicians will begin disconnecting nonsubscribers on June 1.

“We need to collect the $15 maintenance and distribution fee to offset the cost of operating the program,” Ron Buss, chief of FMWR Business Programs in South Korea, said in a press release.

To sign up for basic service or upgrade to premium service, call DSN 738-2288. Those who do not want to pay can set up an antenna where an AFN TV signal is available.

Technicians will begin installing necessary equipment in garrison buildings on June 1. Customers might experience occasional disruptions in service during June as technicians calibrate the system.

South Korea is the only U.S. military command where customers do not have to pay for cable or movie tickets, Thompson said.

From staff reports

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