FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 13, 2012) -- The Army and Air Force Exchange Service decided recently to close the Fort Rucker Post Theater because of the costs involved in upgrading it to a digital facility.

The last movie in the post theater will be Jan. 7, according to local AAFES officials.

The Fort Rucker Garrison is exploring other options for use of the facility after AAFES ceases operations in the theater. More details will be released as they become available.

Industry trends show that by early 2013 movie theaters using 35mm prints will be virtually non-existent as theaters across the country convert to digital picture and sound, according to AAFES officials. As a result, AAFES theaters that use 35mm prints have been undergoing extensive reviews to determine the cost-effectiveness of converting them to a digital format.

After a thorough review of the Fort Rucker theater, it was determined that, with a cost of approximately $120,000 to convert to digital and the availability of local off-base entertainment venues, the continued operation of the theater is not viable, said Larry Salgado, general manager for Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and Fort Rucker consolidated exchange.

"With a dual mission to provide quality goods and services while returning a dividend for quality of life programs, upgrading and continuing to operate theaters that are not viable is untenable for a self-sustaining entity such as the exchange," said Salgado. "We will still continue to provide avenues for Soldiers, Airmen and their Families to see all the Hollywood hits with our wide selection of DVDs and Blu-Rays available at the Exchange as well as through Instaflix kiosks."

The Instaflix kiosks, entertainment vending machines at Mini Mall and Triangle Express stores, offer a selection of 600-800 discs per kiosk and let users rent DVDs overnight for $1 and Blu-ray discs for $1.49. Once customers rent videos, remembering when to return them is simple. Rentals are due the next business day by 6 p.m., no matter what time they were rented.