Celebration Cinema is a leader in movie experiences not just in Grand Rapids, but across the globe. In fact, the now closed Studio 28 was the first cinema megaplex and was once the largest multi-screen movie complex in the world. The company is now run by the 3rd generation Loeks family member, JD Loeks and continues to drive innovation into a market where technology continues changing the movie-goers experience. I received an email from a fellow Grand Rapids based photographer inquiring about whether I was available to photograph a press conference for Celebration Cinema at the University Club on the following Monday. I was available and the time was added to my calendar for the photography work.
The nature of press conferences in the business world sometimes creates the need for secrecy and in this case, that was true. Because Celebration Cinema was making an "announcement" on the following Monday, they simply needed to have the vendors in place to take care of their needs when it came to professional photography.
At the event, it was announced that Celebration Cinema, in partnership with 616 Development, to construct a 9 screen movieplex called "Studio C" as part of a larger $140 million mixed use development that includes 38,000 square foot of retail, approximately 187 residential units, a large public piazza and a 900-space parking ramp.
Both Celebration Cinema and 616 Development see this project as "an on-going commitment to our noble purpose of Community Creation."
Our role was simple during the press conference: capture images that will begin to tell the story of Celebration Cinema coming back to downtown Grand Rapids.
My favorite image from the event is posted below of JD Loeks, President of Celebration Cinema and Jeff Olsen, Director of Development for 616 Development. The two men are chatting after the event, after the media has gone, simply to say congratulations to one another. I believe it will be an image that will be the beginning of an amazing story that future generations of Grand Rapidians will be able to experience.