GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Studio C has announced new renovations for the Celebration Cinema North movie theatre in Grand Rapids. The renovations will include recliner seats and upgraded projection technology.
The renovations will begin on July 31 and are expected to last for four months. It will take place in several stages, which will allow the theatre to continue to remain open. The old seats will be replaced with Zero Gravity Spectrum Recliners from West Michigan’s Irwin Seating. They will include heated backs and swivel tray tables. “Recliner comfort has improved tremendously over the past decade,” said Celebration Cinema’s Emily Loeks. “I was a skeptic, and have been completely won over.”
For upgrading the theatre’s projection technology, the largest auditoriums will be receiving new Christie 4K RGB Pure Laser projectors. The new projectors will give a brighter, higher contrast and more vibrant images. They will also be able to project films that are created for high frame rate presentations. The remaining auditoriums will be upgraded with Xenon projectors. These projectors create 15,000 lumens of brightness, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, and are capable of showing 35.2 trillion colors.
“We’ve been planning to make these investments for a few years, but hit a bit of a bump with the pandemic,” said Loeks. “The good news is that our industry is recovering. Major movies like [Top Gun:] Maverick, Minions[: The Rise of Gru], Elvis, Thor[: Love and Thunder] re-energized ‘normal’ movie-going over the summer. We now have the capacity to dive fully back into our mission: creating space for the best movie-going experiences around. Our team is thankful. We are eager to welcome friends, family and community back to the movies.”
The renovations are expected to be completed by November 18, just in time for a number of highly anticipated holiday movies. One of the highly anticipated films is Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the original 2018 Black Panther. It is scheduled to be released on November 11. The film will bring back Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, and Letita Wright as Shuri. However, T’Challa/Black Panther will not be in the film. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that the character would not be recast after the death of actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020 from colon cancer. The film will also feature the first appearance of Ironheart/Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thorne will reprise the role in an Ironheart television spin-off for Disney+. The film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who also directed the first film. The original 2018 film was a box office success and became the second highest-grossing film of the year after fellow MCU film Avengers: Infinity War, which featured many characters from Black Panther. It was also the first superhero movie to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Another anticipated movie is Avatar: The Way of Water, a sequel to the original 2009 Avatar film. It is scheduled to be released on December 16. The film will bring back Sam Worthington as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri. It will be directed by James Cameron, who also directed the first film. The first Avatar movie went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time. It was later nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It went on to win in the categories of Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. A third Avatar film is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2024. Another highly anticipated release will be the DC Extended Universe film Shazam!: Fury of the Gods, a sequel to the original 2019 Shazam! film. It is scheduled to be released on December 21. The film will bring back Zachary Levi as Shazam, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman. It was directed by David S. Sanberg, who also directed the first Shazam! film. Shazam’s archenemy Black Adam will also appear in a film this year, played by Dwayne Johnson. Black Adam is scheduled to be released on October 21.
The renovations to Celebration Cinema North are scheduled to begin on July 31. They are expected to continue until November 18.