May 20, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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The Campus Theatre in Lewisburg will present two free movies on Memorial Day in honor of the generation of World War II.

Hail the Conquering HeroThe first, Preston Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero, begins at 1 p.m. on May 26.

The movie is a comedy from 1944 about a soldier returning to his hometown during the war when everybody believes — wrongly — that he is a war hero.

He struggles with his conscience and the truth as he is celebrated for heroic acts he never committed.

One of the most popular comedies of the year, it was nominated for the Academy Award for best screenplay.  

The Campus Theatre was a new theater in 1944, so watching this film will be like stepping back in time and experiencing the film as Lewisburg patrons on the home front might have experienced it upon its initial release during the war.

The Bridge on the River KwaiThe second, The Bridge on the River Kwai, will be shown at 6 p.m. on May 26.

The film tells the story of prisoners of the Japanese in the Pacific who are forced to build a bridge for their captors. It is one of the most celebrated films of the 20th century, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for David Lean, and Best Actor for Alec Guinness.

The kind of film that is best experienced on the big screen, it offers a fascinating glimpse into human psychology, pride, and the stresses of war.

Both screenings, which include free admission, free popcorn and free soda for attendees, are made possible by the Bucknell University Community Engagement Fund.

The fund was established in 2013 through a generous grant from the Degenstein Foundation in honor of Wayne Bromfield and his many years of promoting partnerships between Bucknell University and the surrounding community. Bromfield served as general counsel at Bucknell for many years.