Newsroom - Press Release

Phoenix Theatres Announces Re-Opening Date of Friday, October 9th

Returning to The Movies with Confidence, Just in Time for Our 20th Anniversary - Our Long Intermission Is Over

October 5, 2020

Michigan based Phoenix Theatres' humble beginnings took root in August of 2000, and in the two decades since they have risen above more than their fair share of difficult challenges that are typical to a small business.

However, none of these problems have been as serious as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The movie industry not only closed at your local theatre, but all production has stopped on new feature films as well. The film studios have responded by rescheduling all films beginning later this year and in many cases 2021.

As the film industry grapples with these unprecedented problems – in addition to the current uncertainty of public space management due to the Michigan Supreme Court ruling last week striking down the Michigan Governor's orders – Phoenix Theatres decided to proactively shift their focus to offer solutions that could make a difference and which allow moviegoers to safely enjoy their social time for entertainment and stress relief.


"Our management group has spent the past six months working on developing a comprehensive plan with the help of the National Association of Theatre Owners and their epidemiologist, Dr. Daniel Z. Uslan of U.C.L.A., and CDC guidance to carefully re-open our theatres," said Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres. "They developed the CinemaSafe guidelines that our company will be following.

"We then took the added step of validating the national protocols and the science behind them here locally in Michigan by having the Director of Infectious Diseases Research for Beaumont Health, Dr. Matthew Sims review the operational protocols," Jacobson continued.

Dr. Sims concluded: "I believe allowing the movie theaters to reopen while enforcing these guidelines is at least as safe, or safer, as any other comparable businesses currently permitted by Governor Whitmer to open, such as a shopping mall and likely safer than indoor restaurants, where people might have masks off for a significant amount of time and which are employing far less aggressive risk reduction strategies."

Jacobson promised: "With the recent verdict of the Michigan Supreme Court that places Governor Whitmer's guidance in question, we intend to follow the CinemaSafe guidelines to ensure the safety of our guests. All of our theatres in Michigan will re-open to support the return of Hollywood's blockbuster movies to the big screen."

To take the challenge away from implementing social distancing, Phoenix Theatres installed a new reserved seating program in its computer system that allows guests to select their seat in advance either on our web site or newly developed mobile app. The computer will automatically remove two seats between each pair sold, creating a checkerboard style pattern. With the extra wide spacing that's a natural result of the wide and comfortable reclining seats, there will easily be six feet of separation between guests to safely social distance while watching a film.

"Prior to our re-opening, we will be meeting with a small specialized training group to individually work with every employee in the company," said Sheena Hohman, Director of Employee Training and Development. "This will ensure a complete understanding of the importance of following our CinemaSafe established guidelines for operations. By providing our employees with the tools and training necessary we can establish a safe movie-going environment for our employees and guests."

Working closely with the National Association of Theatre Owners and with the help of our management and employees we have established new safety protocols for every aspect of the theatre:

  • We will have social distancing guidelines in all the common areas and most importantly in the theatre auditoriums. The seating layout will automatically be configured within our reserved seating computer software, so that customers will not be within six feet of other guests not in their family group.
  • Each employee will wear masks and other protective equipment.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks when moving about the theatre.
  • We have streamlined transactions at the ticketing and concession stand to further minimize touch points.
  • We will use a food grade disinfectant spray on all seats that removes 99.99% of all viruses on surfaces within 30 seconds.
  • Each seat will be labeled with a "clean and sanitized" sticker to verify the cleaning procedure between showings has taken place.
  • We will be using this disinfectant spray on high touch points throughout the building including the restrooms and concession areas.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will also be provided for customer use throughout the theatre.

Detailed Video Re-Opening Plan:

"In order to help easily demonstrate these new policies, we developed a video to help illustrate what you can expect to see during your next trip to the movies," said Tearis Reid, Vice President of Operations. "The cinema has always been a way for people to escape reality for a few hours. It is our job now more than ever to provide this experience to our guests while keeping them safe."

To view Phoenix Theatres re-opening video plan and a complete listing of safety protocols, please visit our web site in advance at:

Coming Attractions:

On October 9th we will be re-opening with:

Marvel's "New Mutants"

Solstice Studios' new Russell Crowe film "Unhinged"

101 Studio's family comedy starring Robert DeNiro "War with Grandpa"

Magnolia Film's thriller "Alone"

RSA Film's powerful family drama "Words on Bathroom Walls"

Warner Brothers' 10th Anniversary Exclusive Showing of Christopher Nolan's "Inception" and Christopher Nolan's long awaited "Tenent."

"This challenge was completely unexpected, and affects literally everyone in the world," Jacobson said. "We have faith in the human need to interact with one another and the art we present at the movies. It is unique to our American experience, as movies are one of our greatest cultural contributions to the world. Our business is both local and very social by nature and uniquely disadvantaged in a pandemic crisis."

New Online Store:

The past few months have also been a time of great creativity and several very technically talented employees have worked together to develop a new Phoenix Theatres Store on our website that for the first time will allow customers to purchase gift cards on line (in increments of $25, $50, $100) and are available by visiting us on the web at:

We have a special inaugural offer of a free large popcorn with the purchase of a gift card on our new on-line store. The gift cards can be used for any film and concession items.

"It is our sincere hope that our society can safely return to a normal routine of enjoying our lives and love of movies," Jacobson added. "The experience of living through this crisis has certainly been very humbling for all of us. I want to personally thank many of you that have called us and took the time to send us letters of support. These little niceties are just a little more appreciated than ever and proves to us that it's incredible customers who have supported us the last 20 years.

"Our long intermission is over."


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.