Meridan AMC turning into high-end Celebration Cinema
By the end of the year, MSU students should have another option when it comes to choosing where to take in a flick.
The former location of AMC Meridian 6 Theatres is being renovated to house Studio C!, a high-end movie theater venture from Celebration! Cinema. However, the theater will stray from the traditional movie-going experience — patrons will have the option to order prepared food and possibly alcoholic beverages from their seat to enjoy during the film.
“We’re going to take the food service and the theatre business and turn it on it’s head,” Celebration! vice president of marketing Steve VanWagoner said. “We’ll still serve popcorn but we want people to come in for a dinner and movie experience in one place. It will be unlike anything in the region.”
The theater will have six screens with stadium seating, including several reclining chairs in each auditorium. The seats will have a table attachment to make it easier for movie-goers to enjoy their meals.
VanWagoner said Celebration! is taking feedback from community members into consideration as it plans for additional features and is looking at the possibility of placing an age restriction for Studio C!.
Although pricing has not yet been determined, VanWagoner said because of the unique experience Studio C! hopes to provide, tickets likely will be more expensive than some of the other theaters in the area.
Although Studio C! has a different business model than most movie theaters, NCG Eastwood Cinemas promotions and marketing director Pat O’Boyle said he still expects competition between NCG and Studio C!
“I think any movie theater that opens in the Lansing market is competition, regardless of what the philosophy is,” O’Boyle said.
VanWagoner said the renovation of the building at 1999 Central Park Drive in Okemos, Mich., would leave the building looking almost unrecognizable from its current state.
“There won’t be a single inch in that building that will go untouched,” he said.
Mechanical remodeling already has begun at the site, but VanWagoner said substantial work will not begin until the theater is approved by Meridian Township.
Meridian Township Community Planning and Development Director Mark Kieselbach said Celebration! will spend about $2 million to renovate the theater, but the investment likely will bring increased business to the area.
“That new concept will draw people,” Kieselbach said. “They’ll want to come see what it looks like, and try it out. It’s a plus because we were lacking when the AMC theater closed and it certainly will help businesses here. If you’re coming here to see a movie or have a meal, people will stay for shopping. I think it’s a good fit.”