As a theater discipline whose business model relies on the provision of food and beverages during filming, the studio movie grill may face more challenges than other industries in the show.
But the Dallas-based studio Movie Grill is still serving snacks and meals at both the theater auditorium and the lounge at nine locations in the opening chain. With the “grill” concept at the top of their brand, the chain is taking care to ensure customers can continue to drink and eat and ensure new earnings streams, including private theater rentals.
Studio Movie Grill began reopening locations in Georgia, Florida and Texas in late June with 50% capacity – in states that have seen an increase in coronavirus cases over the summer. Employees are required to have a health check before starting their shift and wearing face masks and other protective gear
Tonya Mangels, head of marketing, explained, “Bar stools in the area have been completely removed directly from the bar to ensure social distance.” We have huge spacious lounges with significant booth seats and bar seats. Booth “closed” and socially isolated
Cinematographers can still order an elite, elite, ultra-old fashion featuring Matthew McConaughey’s Wild Turkey Longburn Bourbon – but they’ll be asked to wear masks when they’re not sipping cocktails or paying for snacks at the theater.
With the COVID-19 epidemic in its fifth month, the North American movieweing business is running at less than 20% power.
The three largest chains with about 1,500 locations – AMC, Regal and Cinemamark – have announced that they will reopen in mid-August. Theaters in Los Angeles, New York and many other places have not yet been given a reopening date by their health departments.
Smaller chains have been facing numerous challenges for customers reluctant to return to movie theaters since the recent Universal VOD announcement, although the number of COVID-19s is still high despite declining in some areas.
Studio Movie Grill has seven locations in California in the shuttered location, where Governor Gavin Newsom said nothing about lifting the ban on the opening of movie theaters.
Founder and CEO Brian Schultz said Diversity Golden State sponsors are well aware of the risks: “Our California guests are the most vocal about the safety of returning to a studio movie with our protocol,” he added.
But Schultz is optimistic that the business is making a comeback, and he said sales are growing at 3% to 5% per week. The chain has seen a visible return from its offer to rent auditoriums – which could accommodate dozens of patrons together for 200.
“Like our guests, we are eager to return to the movies safely,” he added. “Our option to rent private auditoriums has given our guests the opportunity to return to the movies on the big screen in a way that makes them comfortable.”
Schultz said personal bookings have been “wildly successful”.
Several studio movie grills have been reported by Filmwares Diversity Staff were focused on following safety protocols. Olivia Zehmer of Georgia-based Fire Safety Equipment Concern XII and Associates said she is satisfied with how a company’s recent journey has involved about 40 employees and family members.
“I was the organizer of the event and we usually went to a Braves game or bowling, but it was not possible,” he said. “We have chosen ‘Ready Player One’ as something that the family can be ready for. People are itching to come out and for many of us, this is the first time we’ve been to an event since the epidemic began.
Cody and Teresa Dolan say they decided to celebrate their 12-year-old daughter’s birthday at a Houston studio movie grill and screen “Spider-Man: Away from Home.”
“We have to be extremely careful because our daughter’s health and staff were very conscious of following health protocols including masks, gloves and social distance,” she said. “Everyone had a great time. The kids were grateful to see their friends and the adults were happy to be out of the house.
The Dolans were so pleased that they organized a second ceremony for their daughter, her four friends, and four teachers.
Mangels said that Dave Franco’s horror movie “Rent” starred last week. IFC releases are also available on-demand.
He added, “New content from smaller distributors is going to get audiences at the pre-epidemic level and we have clearly indicated demand if new content is available,” he added. “This week we look forward to the opening of ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ and ‘Black Water Abyss’ starring Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson.”
Currently, Studio Movie Grill has six theaters open in Texas, and it plans to reopen soon with outlets in Arlington and Plano, along with a site in Gaul.
Paul Dargarabedian, a senior analyst at ComScore, says the chain’s focus on providing a premium experience helps set it apart from other theaters.
“Studio Movie Grill is humble, innovative and enthusiastic about the movie and film experience, and these are particularly relevant features during the Covid-19,” he said.
Dargarabedian says he thinks of the future of moving into theaters that creates a soothing atmosphere with “high-feeling” and that at a time when more titles premiere at home, that kind of studio movie grill hopes that such experiences will continue to draw moviegoers.