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NEWS | May 15, 2024

Fort Barfoot opens revitalized theater with movie event

By Spc. Rhita Daniel | Maneuver Training Center Fort Barfoot

The Fort Barfoot Theater hosted a Star Wars-themed reopening ceremony, welcoming authorized patrons and their guests free of charge on May 4, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. This event marked the culmination of restoration efforts funded by Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid resources, as well as operations and maintenance funds to expand the post's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program.

The theater served as the reception center during Operation Allies Welcome from August 2021 to September 2022, hosting more than 10,000 refugees. In addition, standard wear and tear over time furthered the need for restoration efforts to preserve and enhance the facility, said Col. James C. Shaver Jr., the Fort Barfoot garrison commander.

The Directorate of Public Works spearheaded the restoration efforts, focusing on designing the space for multifunctional use in training and the MWR program.

"So, it's a theater and auditorium," said Shaver. "Theater seating is what was in there initially. We replaced that with seating that has a fold-up desk just like at the Regional Training Institute. So, when you're sitting there, you can take notes."

Other upgrades to the theater include state-of-the-art audio-visual technology to facilitate control over presentations and screenings. Shaver directed the stage, curtains and flooring to be refurbished to increase the aesthetic quality and acoustics of the theater space. Three projectors and screens are available for audio-visual presentations and screenings, with a microphone system for convenience. New speakers with Bluetooth input at the amplifier provides optimal sound quality during performances.

"We needed something that was higher-end," Shaver said, emphasizing the importance of having a multifunctional space. "Where we can centrally control what's being presented, whether it be a briefing for a group of people or whether it be a movie for MWR purposes."

"The movies are free of charge, so the only revenue we'll get will be from concessions," Shaver said. "The concession stands are not ready, and we don't have an employee to work it, so we'll rely again on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service food trucks and stuff like that to get funds that will support the MWR program and expand it in other areas, and sustain the theater and what we're doing there."

Shaver plans for the theater to start hosting more movie events during the busier training seasons for Fort Barfoot. 

"For the soldiers and the people that train here, there's no other theaters nearby," Shaver said. "So, it provides them a resource on post to do something while they're training."

Shaver explained that he selected the Star Wars theme to align with May 4, a renowned celebration of Star Wars, to attract more attendees to see “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.”

Pfc. John Malone, an infantryman with the Bedford-based Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry brigade Combat Team, shared that while training on post, he and a few fellow Soldiers noticed a poster advertising the event and decided to attend.

"I think something like Star Wars brings us back to childhood and it's also a break from work," said Malone. "I think everybody needs that every now and then."

Malone and the other attendees enjoyed complimentary concessions and admission during the event.

Shaver expressed plans for future improvements, stating that there would be a focus on enhancing the latrines to achieve a state-of-the-art appearance and quality. He also plans to relocate the concession stand indoors to provide convenience and shelter from inclement weather, allowing attendees to enjoy refreshments without having to leave the theater.

Read more about Fort Barfoot at


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