Beer + Movies = Crazy Delicious!…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, February 26, 2007

When I first moved to West Michigan, Studio 28 in Wyoming was the premier theatre complex in the area, maybe the whole Midwest. With 20 screens and a central location on the main retail strip, 28th Street, Studio 28 was at the cusp of the megaplex boom.

But now, 20 years hence, new megaplexes have been built at new retail locations, and the glut of fresh screens is definitely hurting the former big dog. So in an effort to stay afloat, the owners petitioned the city of Wyoming to allow beer sales at the theatre. Part of this was to set themselves up to host banquets and events there. Makes sense. But mostly it’s about hoping that beer sales give them an edge on attracting movie goers. Wyoming, anxious to keep their shrinking retail business from further shrinkage, said okeydoke.

And this is the part of the story where we pass judgment. Go ahead. I did.

Done? Right. I actually had two judgment passes: First (as reflected in the comic), sharing a theatre with stupid people is bad enough, but stupid people with beer can’t help. Second, does the world really need another place to buy a $7 Budweiser? Yecch!

Confession: Not a week before I drew this, I sat in the State Theatre in Ann Arbor with my kids (because I had brought them there and bought their tickets) and watched three Beavis & Butthead cartoons roll across the screen. We were attending the Animation Show, a collection of recent animated features that otherwise don’t get widely seen. (The show itself had some very cool stuff!) Mike Judge, the creator of B&B, is one of the presenters, so I wasn’t surprised. It just wasn’t expected. They ran them as cartoons before the main show (like in olden days). Not a high point in my parenting career. Plus I was drunk. (Only the last bit isn’t actually true…)

And this is the part of the story where you get to pass judgment again. Go ahead, but this time, leave a comment….


  1. ryan said,

    March 8, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    (First, nice SNL reference.)

    God forbid anyone try to intoxicate West Michigan. Next they’ll be serving beer in Ottawa county on (lazy) Sunday! Won’t someone think of the children?!?!

    Will there be stupid people? Of course, but that’s not the fault of the beer. I’m pretty sure you could get worked up, sans alcohol, wandering around any other location in Wyoming. And if they can save Studio 28, there’s no harm in that. Hell, Roger’s couldn’t stay open across the street; give S28 all the help they can get.

    And you were in Ann Arbor and didn’t look me up for a beer? Man, Arbor Brewing is right down the street.

  2. John said,

    March 9, 2007 @ 5:34 am

    Another way to look at this is that selling beer at a theater concession stand is actually a step in the right direction — the first item with some nutritional value….

    Arbor Brewing. Mmmmmmm…

  3. ryan said,

    March 9, 2007 @ 9:23 am

    Considering the quality of most movies lately, you could chop off the word “nutritional” and that comment is still valid.

  4. harrison said,

    March 9, 2007 @ 9:40 am

    I remember watching Hannibal at a microbrew/resturant/theater in Anchorage Alaska, it was one of the most enjoyable movie experiences of my life. Can’t remember a thing about the movie, but I can still taste the porter and the blackened halibut tacos I had for dinner. Somehow I don’t think the studio 28 will be the same experience.


  5. John said,

    March 9, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

    Yeah, Bud Light and velveeta nachos probably isn’t going to capture the moment for you….

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