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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Best seat in the house

Studio! C opens Monday, providing upscale theatergoing experience

by Allan I. Ross

Thursday, Dec. 6 — Loeks Theatres officials unveiled the company’s latest movie theater experiment Wednesday night: a six-screen “grown up movie theater” in Okemos that includes a full menu and bar, reclining chairs and optional wait service.


Studio C! doesn’t open till Monday, but Lansing’s new upscale movie theater rolled out the red carpet for the media, which featured tours of the new building, food samples and a special hour-long preview of upcoming films.


After being ushered into one of the building’s six theaters, attendees were welcomed by Emily Loeks, director of education and community partnerships for Loeks Theatres Inc., parent company of Celebration! Cinema and Studio C!. She told attendees that Studio C! continues the tradition set forth by her grandfather, Jack Loeks, who wanted to create outstanding movie-going experiences. Guests rocked in their plush, faux leather chairs, nodding.


Chad Wozniak, of Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality and Business, introduced the menu for Oscar's Bistro, which includes gourmet pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, pretzel sticks and sweet potato fries tossed in sea salt. The menu also features salads, appetizers, chili dogs, chicken fritters and desserts, as well as a full bar with specialty cocktails.


The term “adult movie house” has other implications, so assistant general manager Ted Minuth prefers to call Studio C! a “grown up movie theater.” He took us on a tour of the digital projection booth, where everything from the house lights to the movie projector are controlled by push-button.


Prices are a bit higher than both NCG Cinemas in Eastwood Towne Center and its sister theater, Celebration! Cinema, on Lansing’s south side. At Studio C!, a typical matinee show costs $8 and an evening show is $10 (they are, respectively, $7 and $8.50 at Celebration and $5 and $8.50 and NCG).


But if you really want an inimitable cinematic experience, for a $7 service fee, you can sit in one of the special premier seats that come in designated sections in back or the side of the theater, depending on which of the six screens you’re watching. These seats come with a mechanical recliner, free popcorn and a call button that will summon a member of the wait staff (called “movie ninjas” by management) who come to your seat and refill your drink or take your food order.


Now that’ s outstanding.

Studio C!

Opens Monday
1999 Central Park Drive, Okemos

(517) 393-SHOW

For hours, tickets and show times, go to celebrationcinmea.com/studioc

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