FORT LEE, Va. (April 8, 2010) – The Lee Playhouse is no more.
The Lee Theater, however, is all of the former and then some. The newest entertainment venue on post, scheduled to open April 17 after an extensive renovation, is the Playhouse reincarnated as a multipurpose facility that will include an Army and Air Force Exchange Service movie theater.
AAFES will christen the operation April 17 with free showings of current movies (see boxed schedule right). Outside the facility, there will be several family activities like face-painting, ice cream giveaways and food concessions. The event starts at noon.
Thomas Kuttamperoor, Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager here, touted the new facility as something that is long overdue and something the community deserves.
“We haven’t had a theater in quite a number of years,” said Kuttamperoor, “so we’re excited at the opportunity.”
New seating, flooring and a concession area will be featured in the facility.
Fort Lee’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation directorate will co-operate the Lee Theater with AAFES. As it did in the past, the facility will continue to stage concerts, plays and other functions. Movies shown at the Lee Theater will typically cost $4 and there will be free showings on occasion, said Kuttamperoor.
Show times are Friday night at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. All times are subject to change due to seasonal events.
In other AAFES news, Kuttamperoor said the Burger King adjacent to the theater is close to completion. The restaurant is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover and incorporates Burger King’s newest building design, said manager Shelia Enderle.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building,” Kuttamperoor said. “This Burger King is probably going to be the best-looking Burger King in the Petersburg area.”
The facility is scheduled for a soft opening April 24. A grand opening is scheduled a week later.
Another AAFES-affiliated restaurant is due to open soon. Popeyes is a newly constructed facility. It is co-located with a Firestone tire center and a shoppette/car wash/Class Six store at the former site of the AAFES Car Care Center on Sisisky Boulevard. All are scheduled to open around the end of the month, said Kuttamperoor.
The post’s restaurant offerings won’t stop with Popeyes. Kuttamperoor said that a Pizza Hut has been signed on as a tenant in the food court area of the PXtra, a facility located next to the post office. The national chain will offer whole or pizza-by-the-slice dining in and delivery services.
To make room for the new tenant, Kuttamperoor said Anthony’s Pizza, an AAFES brand and current occupant, will be removed. Another unnamed concessionaire will co-locate with Pizza Hut in the food court. Efforts to renovate the area will begin soon after the Burger King re-opens.
“It will start at the end of April, so you’ll have Pizza Hut by the end of June,” said Kuttamperoor.
AAFES recently opened a new Optometry Center in the main exchange and a cafeteria at the Army Logistics University.