Movie Machine mobile cinema for troops in Afghanistan


British Forces in Afghanistan are about to get a big welfare boost. SSVC’s Movie Machine, a state-of-the-art 80-seat cinema on wheels, is deploying to Camp Bastion in Helmand Province for the thousands of British Forces based there.

Housed in the largest vehicle which is road-legal, the rig can convert from articulated lorry to plush cinema in just half an hour, with one man driving and operating. The Movie Machine will provide a unique respite for our servicemen and women. For a couple of hours, they can enter another world, and be transported back to the Odeon or Ritzy in their hometown. The Movie Machine will provide 3 screenings a day in Camp Bastion, entertaining up to1680 troops a week.

The £500k Movie Machine, one of only 4 in Britain, will be flown into Afghanistan on the world’s biggest heavy-lifter aircraft, the Antonov 124, as soon as space becomes available. We really hope it’ll get there in time for Christmas – it’s off to the call-forward centre next week, so fingers crossed it gets a space on the Antonov very soon.

Forces charity SSVC, (which also encompasses BFBS TV and Radio and CSE live entertainment) bought the Movie Machine out of its welfare funds, and the MoD pays the running costs. The rig has already done five years’ sterling service in the Balkans, touring the bases in Bosnia and Kosovo from May 2002 until drawdown in April this year.

So here’s to Atonement in Afghanistan, Sicko in the sand, and Beowulf in Bastion! Anyone who experienced the Movie Machine in the Balkans will know just what a great welfare asset it is.

(Of interest to sappers, one of our two drivers, who’s been with the rig since the start in 2002, did 23 years with the Royal Engineers, in UK, NI, Germany, and the Falkland Islands. He left the Corps in 1997. And then ended up back with the Forces in the Balkans for five years, and now Afghanistan…)


So long as they don't do a re-run of he "Great Escape" at Chrimbo then a good and well deserved asset for the lads out there.
Where do they sell the Popcorn from???

The movie cinema on the American Base in Kosovo sold ice-cream and popcorn.
Had one of them in Banja Luka in 2000, sweet bit of kit especially as I believe the camps are a bit more spartan in the 'stan than it was in Bosnia.
Better than the temperamental DVD player in the EFI

Good on SSVC
had the pleasure of using this in Bosnia 2002, it was the one bit of kit we had that the Americans were jealous of. Great for moral, a real boost - well done
awesome bit of kit, used this in Kosovo at Gundulph lines, watched 'Dog Soldiers'

My how we laughed.....
We're keeping it in blue, unless we can see a reason to paint it white. It's not going to be driving anywhere outside the wire. Most of colour will probably be sandblasted off in no time...
An ex-Royal Engineer bribable??!! I'm shocked at the very notion.

He wouldn dream of violating the strict code on porn in communal areas...
Predatorplus, just wondered why you asked about the colour? Were you thinking security, or heat? Or blue in other connotation...?
Well, the Finnish army is renowned for building saunas as soon as it pitches camp, even in forward areas. Got to keep your equipment clean and all of that !

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