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Theatres

Dr. Phil's movie theatre complex of choice is Studio 28 in Grand Rapids, on 28th Street about a mile west of US-131. A 20 screen mulitplex, it was the largest multiplex in North America until just a few years ago, with both the largest number of screens and seats. There are now 24 and 25 screen multiplexes elsewhere in the U.S. that are now bigger. With the same company's Celebration Cinema at Knapp's Corner on East Beltline, north of I-96, which has 17screens plus an IMAX theatre (!), and Star Grand Rapids, which was set up by a family schism to the first company, which has 18 screens, and the Cinemark Theatres at the new Rivertown Crossings Mall on 44th Street (west of US-131 by a few miles and just east of I-196) -- the Grand Rapids metro area is blessed with many quality movie theatres for some odd reason.

The movie theatre of choice for big budget movie openings is Studio 28's Theatre #1, which is a huge full-size old-fashioned theatre, wtih a HUGE screen, and kept up to date with like a 49-speaker THX Dolby sound system. There are wide seats (including a few double-wide loveseats that are, unfortunately, perfect for Dr. Phil) and they are numbered, so we have been to several reserved seating events, such as the opening runs of Jurassic Park and Star Wars Episode I / II. And Studio 28's Theatre #2 next door is a tiny little thing which shows movies at the very end of their runs and some of their Alternative Theatre selections.

We also do some movies in Holland. The Star Holland, occassionally. The Holland 7 is a 7-screen multiplex run by the Goodrich chain of theatres, and is much more likely to show something really interesting than Star Holland. Then there's The Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland, owned now by Hope College, this restored old-time theatre shows an odd assortment of foreign and alternative movies -- stuff that never shows up anywhere else. They have a policy of not showing R-rated films, except that many of their foreign films aren't rated, so it seems a somewhat arbitrary moot point.

The only Kalamzoo theatre that Dr. Phil is relatively familiar with is the Kalamazoo-10, on West Main M-43 just north of McDonalds, half a mile east of US-131. They are also owned by the Goodrich chain of theatres, and while I might quibble with the condition of the film they run through their projectors (some of the prints I've seen there have been awfully dirty and they do a crappy job splicing breaks), they do manage to surprise from time to time by actually showing a film that isn't playing anywhere else. Hideous Kinky, starring the incomparable Kate Winslet, was one such movie.

We must also pause to mourn the loss of the Alpine 4, at I-96 and Alpine Avenue, which was owned by the same people as Studio 28. They were a second run movie house, and when we moved down to West Michigan, it cost 99¢ to get in. Then $1.49 and then $2.00. Still, you could go see Titanic six months after it opened or catch a movie that you really didn't want to dump $7 on using just a small pile of quarters. (We almost never used bills to go to the Alpine, it was "against the rules".) They did a good job and actually made the company a profit. Alas, when K-Mart closed its store next door, the new owners didn't want to have teenager parking lot overflow from the Alpine and so wanted to pave the Alpine over for even more parking lot. The Alpine closed in April 2002. The last movie was a 9:45pm showing of I Am Sam.

Last Update: 20 June 2002 Thu