[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   March 25, 2011

Movie nights offer free entertainment, relaxation

Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

Movie nights — Fridays and Saturdays at the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center (CAC), building 2000 — provide Soldiers a chance to relax.

The CAC shows recent Hollywood releases, one movie Friday, a different movie Saturday. Show time is 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs movie-TV room that has five 48-inch screens and large, plush sofas to sink into for viewing.

PHOTO: Sgt. 1st Class Juan Roman relaxes with popcorn and soda on a plush sofa in the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center movie-television room as he watches “Tron: Legacy.” Photo by Tom Michele
Sgt. 1st Class Juan Roman relaxes with popcorn and soda on a plush sofa in the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center movie-television room as he watches “Tron: Legacy.”

Sgt. 1st Class Juan Roman, a very frequent Friday and Saturday attendee, said he enjoys coming to the movies. “They are current releases, are free, with free popcorn, and you only need to buy your own beverage. So, it’s inexpensive.”

Roman has been an observer-controller-trainer for the past four years with the 3rd, 335th Training Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade, the mobilization-demobilization trainers at Fort McCoy.

“The movies give me a chance to come and relax in comfort and with others to enjoy good movies. It gives me something to do. The CAC staff makes me feel welcome.”

Maj. Matt Jenkins, commandant at the Regional Training Site-Maintenance for the past six months, his wife, Yuko, and their two daughters, LeAnn and Malinda came to watch “Tron: Legacy.” “We have been coming to the CAC movies since we have been stationed at Fort McCoy,” Jenkins said.

“We use this as Family time, spending time together, and we come whenever it is a PG movie,” Jenkins said. “It’s comfortable, cozy and much better than a theater.”

Movies for the month of March included “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows,” “Skyline,” “The Fighter,” “Tron: Legacy,” “Chronicles of Narnia,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Little Fockers” and “Country Strong.”

Sheila Peterson, CAC manager, said the movies shown at the CAC are not yet released on DVD. “We offer a wide range of movies from G to R rated.”

The movies are available to service members and their spouses and dependents, retirees, and Department of Defense civilians.
That also includes students at any of the installation’s training sites, staff members at the training sites and programs and installation employees. Movies are provided to the CAC through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

“The movies provide Soldiers a little relaxation and a mental break from all the training and the stress in their life,” Peterson said. “We want the Soldiers to feel like this is their home away from home.”

“By providing comfortable couches, free and tasty popcorn and a huge room designed to be like their living room, it gives them a short escape from reality and takes them back to their own home,” Peterson said.

“It’s all for the morale of the Soldier,” Otto Peterson, a 25-year employee at the CAC, said. “The CAC is operated under the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) at Fort McCoy. We have been showing movies for about 15 years.”

A standard brand-name soda machine is at the door. Viewers may come and go at their leisure.
Movies generally are less than two hours long.

Information about the movie nights or a movie schedule is available by contacting the CAC at 608-388-3213.
The CAC is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

The list of movies also are available in the weekly DFMWR e-newsletter, DFMWR webpage, www.mccoymwr.com/ and on the DFMWR Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mccoymwr.

CAC visitors also may check out DVD movies to use free on the five upstairs players-screens and may rent DVD movies for $2 for a two-day time period, with a weekend considered one day for off-site use.
The CAC has about 200 DVD movies in its inventory.

Video games, including Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3, also work the same way, free for use on the in-house players, $2 per two-day for off-site use.

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