What Is the History of Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids?


Quick Answer

The 18-screen Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids opened on Nov. 16, 2001. Celebration Cinemas, formerly known as Loeks Theaters, intended for the location to be built in December of 1998 on the East Beltline, but the project was delayed. The Grand Rapids location includes an IMAX screen theater.

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Full Answer

Celebration Cinemas is a movie chain in western Michigan founded by Jack Loeks. The company began in 1944 in downtown Grand Rapids with the opening of its first theater, Midtown Theatre. In addition to the indoor locations developed by Loeks, the company also opened and operated a number of drive-in theaters across the state.

In 1965, the company opened a theater megaplex in Wyoming, Michigan. Called Studio 28, the theater initially only had a single theater with 1,000 seats. The cinema expanded to six screens in 1976, 12 screens in 1984 and 20 screens in 1988, making it the largest theater in the world at that point in time. Celebration Cinemas eventually closed Studio 28 in November 2008.

As of 2015, nine Celebration Cinemas locations serve the cities of Grand Rapids, Lansing, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Portage and Mount Pleasant and their surrounding areas. The Grand Rapids North, Lansing and Portage locations feature IMAX screens.

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