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Much More Than Movies

Theater in the Woods, Fly-In Theater

July 24, 2016 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 attendees will have numerous opportunities to immerse themselves in aviation history and fiction through this year’s Theater in the Woods programs and Fly-In Theater films.

Theater in the Woods programming, sponsored by M&M’S, kicks off on Monday, July 25, at 8 p.m., when the Coulson Aviation team will be presenting on the history of the Martin Mars, the world’s largest water bomber. Coulson Flying Tankers Inc. purchased the bomber in 2007 and has used it to fight fires across North America. (See more on the Martin Mars on page 10.) Also on Monday night, Jessica Cox will present Right Footed, the documentary about her life. Cox is the world’s first armless pilot.

The Founder’s Innovation Prize, held on Tuesday, July 26, at 8 p.m., is a contest rewarding the best idea pitched that helps prevent aircraft loss-of-control accidents. A judging panel will choose among the top five of more than 140 previously submitted entries. The selected teams will present their ideas to a panel of aviation industry experts. The winners will receive a cash prize, which they may use to develop their idea.

Pearl Harbor’s 75th anniversary will be commemorated on Wednesday, July 27. The 6:30 p.m. program includes presentations by Pearl Harbor survivors, Daniel Martinez from the National Parks Service, and author Mark Wortman. Martinez is the chief historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wortman is the author of 1941: Fighting the Shadow War, A Divided America in a World at War.

The evening program audience can meet team members and alumni from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds on Thursday, July 28 at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m. the U.S. Coast Guard will present on their 100 years of service in border protection, search and rescue, and more.

Gen. Chuck Horner and Gen. Michael Hostage will present on Friday, July 29 at 8 p.m. as part of the 25th anniversary commemoration of Operation Desert Storm. Horner is a retired USAF four-star general who commanded the American aerial forces during Operation Desert Storm. Hostage is also a retired four-star general, and has flown in several combat missions, including Desert Storm.

The program on Saturday, July 30, at 6 p.m. is The Boeing Company’s centennial, and will look back at the history of Boeing and forward to Boeing’s future.

Meanwhile, this year’s Fly-In Theater lineup, presented by Ford Motor Company, is packed with great aviation films, from documentaries to historical dramas to films taking place in outer space, in addition to a host of notable presenters. 

Kicking off the lineup on Sunday, July 24, is a double feature consisting of Above and Beyond and One Six Right. The former, which will be introduced by filmmaker Nancy Spielberg, is the true story of a group of Jewish American pilots who helped Israel succeed in the 1948 War of Independence — in part by smuggling airplanes out of the U.S. under the nose of the FBI to train in Czechoslovakia. Filmmaker Brian Terwilliger will present his film One Six Right, an aviation classic about local airport life, specifically at Van Nuys Airport in Southern California. Attendees will also have the chance to purchase their own copy of One Six Right, and $5 of each sale will go to support EAA member programs.

On Monday, July 25, Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan will present The Last Man on the Moon, the documentary that follows his 1972 mission to the moon as well as the effects that the famous mission had on him and his family.

NASA astronaut Kent Rominger will speak prior to a showing of The Martian on Tuesday, July 26. The film, which features Hollywood stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Kristen Wiig, is about an astronaut who is left for dead alone on Mars and must find a way to communicate with NASA back on Earth, resulting in a dangerous and near impossible rescue mission.

Enjoy The Final Countdown on Wednesday, July 27, a 1980 film about an aircraft carrier transported through time to Hawaii on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack, giving its crew an opportunity to change the course of history. Capt. Joe Kimball of the U.S. Coast Guard will lead a presentation prior to the movie’s showing.

On Thursday, July 28, help celebrate the centennial of Coast Guard aviation with The Guardian, the story of a rescue swimmer who trains a new recruit — a former swimming champion with a bad attitude — before the pair embark on a mission in the dangerous Bering Strait. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard will be on hand to introduce the movie, which stars Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher.

A special presenter, still to be announced, will kick off the Fly-In Theater’s showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday, July 29. This latest installment in the Star Wars saga is about the rise of a new threat in the galaxy and the resistance members who attempt to fight it.

A showing of The Blue Max will wrap things up on Saturday, July 30. To be presented by Andrew King and Kermit Weeks, the movie is about an emotionally detached young man raised in the lower rung of society who flies for the German air force in 1918 in an attempt to earn the coveted Blue Max award for those who make 20 kills.

The Fly-in Theater, which features a five-story tall screen and free popcorn, is reminiscent of the drive-in theaters of the past, and guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Movies start nightly at 8:30 p.m., with the exception of Wednesday and Saturday, when the showings will begin at approximately 9:30, following the night air show.

All programming at Theater in the Woods and the Fly-In Theater are included with your admission wristband.

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