If you were around Grand Rapids in the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s you probably went to Studio 28 to see a movie!

Jack Loeks opened Studio 28, on 28th Street in Wyoming, back in 1965. It was just a single theater that could seat 1,000 movie goers.

Two years after opening, Studio 28 added another theater, often referred to as the "Little Studio". As a kid, I remember seeing movies in both theaters!

In 1976, Jack Loeks Theatres made another big leap, by expanding to six screens. This was something only a few theaters in the country were doing at the time. Those that wanted to see a variety of different movies now had additional choices when they went to Studio 28, now with a half dozen separate screens.

Expansions continued... In 1984 the movie complex added another six screens, bringing it up to a total of 12 screens under one roof.

The final expansion happened in 1988, when eight more screens were added, making a total of 20 theatres. At the time it was the largest movie complex in the United States. There was always a rumor that the company wanted to expand to a total of "28" screens, but that never happened.

I remember spending many Friday and Saturday nights back in my high school and college days at Studio 28, saving money and catching  a "Midnight Movie". (How did I ever manage to stay up that late back then? I wouldn't even think about starting to watch a movie at midnight now days -- I'd be asleep by 12:15 am!)

Studio 28 broke a few records over the years. Along with being the biggest complex in the U.S. at one point, on November 29th, 1990, they broke a single day attendance record serving 16,000 guests. (The movies "Home Alone" and "Dances with Wolves" were in their opening weeks at the time.)

With new movies theaters opening up in the Grand Rapids area in the late 90s, like Celebration Cinema! North and Celebration Cinema! South (also owned by Loeks Theatres), attendance at Studio 28 started to decline. The movie complex showed its last movie in November 2008. The building sat empty for many years, before finally being demolished in March of 2014.

The Broadcast Journalism class of Byron Center High School went behind-the-scenes in this video that was produced in 1995...

 

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