Final Day: Studio 28 to close after 43 yearsNovember 23rd, 2008 at 1:20 am by Laff at the Movies under Entertainment
There will be a special open house event to mark Studio 28′s last day of business from 5pm-7pm.
The last movie at the original theater (theater #1) will be Madagascar 2, and it will be showing at 7pm.
There will also be concession deals for $1.00 and a chance to check out some stand alone theater seats from theater #2 up for bidding.
They are still thinking about an eventual auction of items – that might be sometime in January – because once Studio 28 closes it will take awhile to come in and catalog everything. Some of the seats will not be able to be sold in the auction as stand alone seats because they are the stadium seats on risers.
Studio 28 set to close, last movie will be Sunday, November 23rd
Its a sad day for John Loeks, owner and president of Celebration! Cinema and Studio 28, telling the people of Grand Rapids that the theater his dad built and made history with as the first mega-plex in the country, will be closing in ten days.
John started the press conference by lightening the mood, telling us he wasn’t there to talk about the new James Bond movie.
The decision comes after John and other Celebraion! Cinema company officials looked at declining attendance patterns at Studio 28 and the cost of new roofs on a facility that was built in different pieces over the years.
THE CLOSING FACTOR:
While the economy is a factor, the declining attendance at Studio 28, especially for matinees led to today’s decision. The attendance is down, they say, mostly because of the theaters on the outer edges of town that have shrunk Studio 28′s radius of potential customers.
Loeks says the schedule of movies coming out really wasn’t the factor in when they would close, he said they didn’t want to just close immediately, because they wanted to keep their employees in mind. Those 55 employees have been offered jobs at other Celebration! Cinema theater locations – an offer that most are taking, according to one employee who tells me that 30 of the 55 will be moving to Celebration! RiverTown, about a dozen others will be going to either Celebration! South or Celebration! North.
Back to the release schedule – Loeks also told me that if they were looking at the upcoming movie schedule, they would have liked to stay open through the holidays.
FROM FIRST TO LAST:
Boeing Boeing with Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis was the first movie that played when Studio 28 opened a one-theater screen with 1,000 seats on December 25, 1965.
Studio 28 expanded to 12 screens and later became the first-ever mega-plex theatre in May of 1988 by adding eight screens for a total of 20 screens.
The family-friendly hit Madagascar 2 will be the last movie at Studio 28, November 23rd at 7:00pm… ending where it all began in theater #1.
There will be a festive atmosphere on the last day: Studio 28 will be open all day, with an open house from 5:00-7:00pm with special deals on concessions and treats.
There will also be special benefits and showings over the next 10 days at Studio 28.
For those who are big fans of Studio 28, there will eventually be an auction, perhaps a month after closing, of memorabilia and items at the theater.
The future of the property is uncertain, while the company has had conversations with the city, there hasn’t been any formal interest in the 12-acre property.
TRANSITION TO OTHER THEATERS:
Between now and the last day on November 23rd, Celebration! Cinema wants to help transition Studio 28 customers to other theaters by giving out coupons for free pop and popcorn at other theaters.
The popular “air popped” popcorn at Studio 28 will be moving to Celebration! Cinema South.
And all showtimes before 1:00pm will be $5.00 at all the Celebration! Cinemas.