Newsroom - Press Release

Phoenix Theatres to Relaunch Theatre at Woodland Mall

Michigan-Based Co. Invests $4 Million to Return First-Run Films with 1st-Class Amenities, To Open West Michigan's First Theatres with Dolby Atmos

July 27, 2021

Movies are returning to Woodland Mall as Phoenix Theatres has signed a long-term lease to bring first-run movies and first-class amenities back to the mall, including the first theatres in West Michigan to have Dolby Atmos®.

The 21-year-old independently owned movie theatre company plans to invest $4 million to refurbish the 14-screen theatre, creating a new premiere movie-going experience in the greater Grand Rapids area. Renovation plans have been submitted for the 47,000-square-foot building, which will feature all-new premium reclining heated seating, 4K digital projection, Dolby Atmos, first-run movies and family-friendly pricing.

The Woodland Mall project marks the 50th screen for Michigan-based Phoenix Theatres, which operates theaters in Southeast Michigan, Iowa and Massachusetts. This is the first location in West Michigan for Phoenix Theatres, which expects to welcome its first Woodland Mall moviegoers in late 2021.

Phoenix Theatres at Woodland Mall is the first major post-pandemic theatre investment in West Michigan – and one of the first in the country, signaling renewed confidence in the strength of this property and the regional economy.

"We are delighted to partner with Phoenix Theatres to bring movies in an upgraded format back to one of our premier assets, Woodland Mall, said Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT, the mall's parent company. "Our $100 million investment in this property enabled us to bring first-to-market retail and dining options including Von Maur, Urban Outfitters and The Cheesecake Factory to West Michigan, and this addition highlights the continued strength of this property.

"Phoenix Theatres' focus on providing a premium guest experience makes it the perfect fit for extending the experiential options at Woodland Mall. Their planned upgrades ensure the theatre will be a true destination for all moviegoers in the region. We look forward to celebrating their grand opening later this year." Phoenix Theatres CEO Cory Jacobson said he knew they would be a good fit for the Kentwood property right from the start.

"Phoenix Theatres has always been a neighborhood theatre company, and that's something we're very proud of," Jacobson said. "We visited and were simply stunned by the vibrancy of the mall and the exceptional mix of high-end retail tenancy.

"After spending several weeks exploring the city, we felt very much at home in the culture of the community. Movie theatres are places where people come together to enjoy themselves. Creating an environment that celebrates community has always been our highest goal."

As a reflection of what West Michigan residents can expect, Phoenix Theatres offers the following amenities for each of guest:

  • Every seat in every auditorium will be a large love-seat style (with adjustable middle armrest), fully reclining, heated chair with 75 inches of leg room
  • Specially equipped premium format auditoriums featuring Atmos for a premium, immersive, audio experience and 4K Christie® Digital projection
  • All 14 auditoriums equipped with premium Dolby Digital sound and Christie Digital projection
  • Phoenix mobile app and online tickets that allow customers to reserve their seats easily
  • Self-serve Pepsi drink stations for added service speed and convenience
  • Combined ticketing and concession purchases in one line
  • Family-friendly prices

"We are thrilled to have Phoenix Theatres join the Dolby Atmos family. They are committed to bringing a first-class presentation to the community and having auditoriums equipped with Dolby Atmos will ensure a premium, immersive audio experience," said Michael Archer, Vice President, Worldwide Cinema Sales.

"We were one of the first in the United States to offer 100% reclining seating in every auditorium," said John Scanlan, COO of Phoenix Theatres. "Our goal is to offer the highest-quality first-run movie-going experience by offering state-of-the-art digital projection and Dolby Atmos audio along with comfortable luxury amenities. We focus on the little details that large national theatre chains just cannot provide at the local level.

"We were fortunate to be considered for this opportunity at Woodland Mall and look forward to bringing our own unique amenities to the greater Grand Rapids community. Phoenix was originally formed with the idea of refurbishing closed theatres in viable retail areas and returning well-operated neighborhood theatres to their respective communities."


Michigan-based Phoenix Theatres was founded in 2000 and has four Michigan theatres in Wayne, Monroe, Livonia and Grand Rapids. Four theatres are located out of state in Dubuque, Iowa, Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Defiance, Ohio. North Olmsted will mark the company’s 69th theatre screen and second location in Ohio.