In early 2015, Studio Movie Grill will light the marquee and open its doors to deliver one of Tyler’s newest hot spots. A self-proclaimed leader in in-theater dining, SMG looks to provide East Texans with a literal dinner and a movie experience when it opens at The Village at Cumberland Park on South Broadway.
In a recent press release, Brian Schultz, CEO of SMG, announced plans to open up four new locations, including Chatham, IL, Colleyville, TX, The Colony, TX and Tyler, TX.
“Studio Movie Grill is excited to be expanding and to be on the forefront of enormous growth in our segment of the movie exhibition industry,” Schultz said. “We are always seeking new ways to provide the guest with a relaxing, no-rush experience in an appealing environment, coupled with the best technology, dedicated service and a continually evolving, eclectic menu.”
SMG will soon become one of Tyler’s big three franchise theaters, following its soon to be neighbor Carmike Cinema on South Broadway and Hollywood Theater on Loop 323.
Missing from the big three is Times Square Cinema, also on Broadway. The only family-owned theater in Tyler, TSC has been the financial underdog since 2003 when it first opened.
New competition from larger theater companies isn’t just a mild set-back for TSC, it can be a major blow to their business, according to theater owner Howard Charba.
What sets it apart above all the other theaters in town is that the people of Tyler truly love this “little theater that could,” based on the glowing reviews posted on Yelp and Google.
“It’s gonna hurt, everybody flocks to new business so yea, it’s going to set us back quite a bit. The thing that we are hoping we can draw from everything, is that we still do have a reasonably loyal customer base,” said Charba.
Charba, a Texas native and father of four, believes in supporting the community. An active member of the church, he looks to give back to the people that have enabled him to be in business for over 10 years.
“We are trying to make it so you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to go see a movie,” said Charba. “You know, a family of four goes here, as opposed to the competition, you are going to see a huge, huge difference in the amount of money you spend.”
With the framework of his business being customer service, Charba hopes that will continue to set TSC apart from the competition.
“We’ve always tried to pride ourselves by being the cleanest theater, offer the best value and be the friendliest. That’s really what we built our company around,” said Charba.
Like most college students, Shamada Landers understands the value of the dollar and appreciates Times Square Cinema’s customers first mentality.
“It’s much cheaper than all the other ones. Even though Carmike has a bigger theater and all this other stuff, Times Square is cheaper and closer to me,” said the freshman graphic design major.
TSC recently eliminated the 3D surcharge for their films playing in that format.
“There’s a lot of movies that come out in 3D that I personally feel like don’t belong in 3D and it’s just a shame to have to charge people extra for it,” said Charba.
TSC also offers a wide variety of specials for customers, such as student discounts and $1 popcorn all day on Wednesdays. For more deals and ticketing, visit www.Tylermovies.com.
“I like Carmike. I like ‘Go Big or Go Home’,” said Freshman Foreign Language major Wynter Ledesma.
Going big is exactly what Studio Movie Grill intends to do once it opens. The theater will be roughly the size of a football field, 42-000 square feet to be exact. It will have 10 screens, seat 1,400 people and offer chef prepared meals.
Other SMG locations and showtimes can be found at www.studiomoviegrill.com.
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