At the Movies

One of the nicer things about being at JBB is that we have a good movie theater. They show first-run movies, and these come out as quickly as a week after they premier in the US. For example, the new Star Trek movie just came out on May 9, 2009, and was playing in Balad on May 15.

 The theater was built by the Iraqis before the US Invasion in 2003, and has the strange feel that most of the Iraqi buildings have. But it’s definitely a well built theater. Here is what it looks like on the outside, with bomb-shelter built overhead, of course:

 JBB Balad Theater

On the inside, they have concession stands where you can buy popcorn, pizza, and drinks,

Popcorn Stand

as well as a Subway sandwich store on the upper level:

 Upper Level chandelier

The theater has an upper balcony, and a large lower general seating area. It claims to have THX sound, but I find the acoustics in this theater to be less than stellar, although they certainly play every movie loudly. But hey, we’re in a war-zone, so there is no sense in complaining about such things, right?!?! It’s a real, full-size movie theater, and I love movies!! Here is the view of the screen from the upper balcony, note the soldiers with their weapons waiting for the movie to begin:

 Balcony at JBB Theater 

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I acted in the new Star Trek (2009) movie. It was filed in early 2008. In March 2008, there was a call for “extras,” background actors, to walk around during the scene at the Starfleet Shipyard (actually the Pastoria power plant near Bakersfield, California). The scene occurs early in the movie, and I’m walking around in a blue jumpsuit, carrying some space-ship repair part. This was something of a life-long dream for this Trek fan. So here I am at the theater, about to go in on Friday, May 15:

 BN Star Trek in Iraq

Last Friday was a very lucky day because the supervisor of the legal office closed down the office for a staff party, and the party was the 1700 first showing of Star Trek at the JBB movie theater!!! First time EVER shown in Iraq. This was lucky because they also had a 20:30 showing, but that showing had a line with hundreds of people waiting to get in an hour early, and it is likely we would not have been able to get in to that one. So I got off work an hour early for once, and got to see Star Trek in a non-crowded theater. Hooray! The scene I’m in is where Kirk decides to join Starfleet Academy and rides up in his motorcycle to get on board a space shuttle. It is a very short scene, perhaps 15 seconds long, and I did not see myself, although others claim to have seen me.

 So that is a brief overview of the Balad, Iraq movie theater, and all the fun times that can be had there. In case you are interested, here is a listing of the movies that are playing this month:

Iraq, Balad

Sustainer Theater Movie Schedule


THU APR 30 – 1700 Miss March (R)

2000 The Last House On The Left (R)

FRI MAY 01 – 1400 Coraline (PG)

1700 Duplicity (PG-13)

2030 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

SAT MAY 02 – 1400 Duplicity (PG-13)

1700 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Coraline (PG)

SUN MAY 03 – 1400 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

1700 Coraline (PG)

2000 Duplicity (PG-13)

MON MAY 04 – 1700 Duplicity (PG-13)

2000 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

TUE MAY 05 – 1700 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Coraline (PG)

WED MAY 06 – 1700 Coraline (PG)

2000 Obsessed (PG-13)(1stRun)

THU MAY 07 – 1700 Miss March (R)

2000 The Last House On The Left (R)

FRI MAY 08 – 1400 Race To Witch Mountain (PG)

1700 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

2030 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

SAT MAY 09 – 1400 I Love You Man (R)

1700 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Race To Witch Mountain (PG)

SUN MAY 10 – 1400 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

1700 Race To Witch Mountain (PG)

2000 I Love You Man (R)

MON MAY 11 – 1700 I Love You Man (R)

2000 Race To Witch Mountain (PG)

TUE MAY 12 – 1700 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Madea Goes To Jail (PG-13)

WED MAY 13 – 1700 Madea Goes To Jail (PG-13)

2000 I Love You Man (R)

THU MAY 14 – 1700 Race To Witch Mountain (PG)

2000 X-Men Origin:Wolverine (PG-13)(1stRun)

FRI MAY 15 – 1400 Monsters vs Aliens (PG)

1700 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

2030 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

SAT MAY 16 – 1400 Adventureland (R)

1700 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Fast And Furious 2009 (PG-13)

SUN MAY 17 – 1400 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

1700 Fast And Furious (PG-13)

2000 Monsters vs Aliens (PG)

MON MAY 18 – 1700 Monsters vs Aliens (PG)

2000 Adventureland (R)

TUE MAY 19 – 1700 Adventureland (R)

2000 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

WED MAY 20 – 1700 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Fast And Furious 2009 (PG-13)

THU MAY 21 – 1700 Fast And Furious 2009 (PG-13)

2000 Star Trek (PG-13)(1stRun)


FRI MAY 22 – 1400 Observe And Report (R)

1700 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

2030 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

SAT MAY 23 – 1400 Knowing (PG-13)

1700 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 12 Rounds (PG-13)

SUN MAY 24 – 1400 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

1700 12 Rounds (PG-13)

2000 Knowing (PG-13)

MON MAY 25 – 1700 Knowing (PG-13)

2000 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

TUE MAY 26 – 1700 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)

2000 Observe And Report (R)

WED MAY 27 – 1700 Observe And Report (R)

2000 12 Rounds (PG-13)

THU MAY 28 – 1700 12 Rounds (PG-13)

2000 Angels And Demons (PG-13)(1stRun)


2 Responses

  1. That’s so cool you see first rate movies. We just saw Trek last week…but we’re taking our youngest to see it in IMAX…I’ll be sure to tell Bill to look for you in the xtra’s scene…Blessings.

  2. I was thrilled we got to see Star Trek only 1 week after my husband saw it back in the states (and he was very good to not spoil it for me).

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