Navy Bases Set for Advance 'Top Gun: Maverick' Screenings

World Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick"
A view of the red carpet appears at the world premiere of 'Top Gun: Maverick' on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at the USS Midway in San Diego. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

"Top Gun: Maverick" is set to open in U.S. theaters on May 27 for Memorial Day weekend. Tom Cruise took 36 years to deliver a sequel to the Navy's favorite movie, so anticipation is high.

Navy Fleet and Family shared the news that the service will get a chance to see the movie early on May 21 or 22 at 31 on-base theaters around the country. We've got a full list of the locations and times below, but make sure to confirm the screening with the theater box office to find out what you'll need to do to get tickets.

Of course, the Navy pretty much bought those 30 early screenings by giving unprecedented cooperation to producers Cruise and Jerry Bruckheimer. Legend says that Navy recruitment went up "500%" after the 1986 release of "Top Gun," and the brass jumped at the chance to give "Top Gun: Maverick" all the support they could.

What did the service get for its investment? "Top Gun: Maverick" is a fantastic movie, a refreshing counterpoint to all the comic book and sci-fi popcorn movies that seem to exist only to advance the plot so you'll come back to see the next one.

The movie's got incredible in-flight action, filmed in the cockpits of real, airborne fighter planes instead of on a soundstage with a green screen and computer effects. There's a moving story about the lifelong connection between Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Iceman (Val Kilmer), true love with the admiral's daughter (Jennifer Connelly), and issues to be resolved with Goose's son Rooster (Miles Teller).

Will "Top Gun: Maverick" be the cultural phenomenon that the first movie became in 1986? That seems impossible because the world and movies have changed in countless ways over the past 36 years. Is the new movie a better film than the original "Top Gun"? Yes, it is. That's an idea that would've seemed laughable just a few years ago, but the team behind the new movie really did wait until they figured out a story worth telling before they made a movie.

See the movie early at a Navy theater if you can, but go back to a commercial theater in a couple of weeks to get the full Dolby Cinema or IMAX experience. The action in "Top Gun: Maverick" is spectacular, and you want to see it at some point on the biggest screen with the best sound possible.

Here's the list of advance Navy screenings.

May 21

  • Bangor at 6 p.m. (Cinema Plus Theater)
  • Camp Lejeune at 7 p.m. (Base Theater)
  • Camp Pendleton at 1:30 p.m. (Bulldog Box Office)
  • Dahlgren at 7 p.m. (Base Theater)
  • El Centro at 7 p.m. (NAF Theater)
  • Fallon at 4 p.m. (Desert Moon Theater)
  • Gulfport at 6 p.m. (SeeBee Theater)
  • Kings Bay at 6 p.m. (The Box Office Theater)
  • Kodiak at 7 p.m. (Billiken Theater)
  • Lemoore at 6 p.m. (MWR Theater)
  • Little Creek at 5 p.m. (Gator Theater)
  • Miramar at 6 p.m. (Bob Hope Theater)
  • New London at 7 p.m. (Dealey Center Theater)
  • New River at 4 p.m. (Station Theater)
  • Oceana at 1 p.m. (Aero Theater)
  • Patuxent River at 6 p.m. (Center Stage Theater)
  • Pearl Harbor at 7 p.m. (Sharkey Theater)
  • Pensacola at 11 a.m. (Portside Cinema)
  • Port Hueneme at 2 p.m. (Needham Theater)
  • Quantico at 6 p.m. (Little Hall Theater)
  • San Diego at 6 p.m. (Base Theater)
  • Whidbey Island at 6 p.m. (Skywarrior Theater)
  • Yuma at 6 p.m. (Station Theater)

May 22

  • 29 Palms at 5 p.m. (Sunset Cinema)
  • Cherry Point at 4 p.m. (Two Rivers Theater)
  • Fort Worth at 2 p.m. (Movie Reel Theater)
  • Great Lakes at 7 p.m. (Epicenter Theater)
  • Kaneohe Bay at 12 p.m. (K Bay Theater)
  • North Island at 1 p.m. (Lowry Theater)
  • Parris Island at 3 p.m. (Depot Theater)
  • Yorktown at 6:30 p.m. (Washington Auditorium)

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