Since its inception, Studio Movie Grill (SMG) has remained committed to community service and outreach in its cities and neighborhood. Back in 2003, an SMG General Manager, and the father of a child with special needs, expressed apprehension when attending a movie with his whole family. From that conversation an idea was born and SMG created its Special Needs Screenings Program. Since that time, SMG has shared the magic of the movies by hosting a Special Needs Screening featuring a new release title with unique screening considerations. Additionally, when opening a new location, SMG regularly partners with Variety, the Children’s Charity to present an adaptive bicycle to a child in need. This past year, SMG Teams presented adaptive bikes to children in California and Texas while welcoming the child’s therapy center to a Special Needs Screening. The children participating have often never attended a movie or been to a movie theater.
Beginning in 2023, SMG has announced that it will be supporting the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, Feeding America. This year, all salaried field management, area directors and home office team members will be offered paid time off to volunteer with Feeding America or one of its affiliate programs. For the seventh year, SMG has also announced a partnership with Autism Speaks in a month-long culinary offering, with a percentage of proceeds going to support the non-profit for World Autism Month.
SMG has also made changes to its loyalty program SMG Access. Along with the support of SMG Guests, SMG Access now affords free tickets to all Special Needs Screening Guests. SMG most recently added a Special Needs Screening of Champions during the film’s opening weekend and reached out nationally to Best Buddies, whose Global and State Ambassadors appear as stars in the movie. Best Buddies and their families nationwide were invited to celebrate and watch the screening at their local SMG location.
“When we launched SMG Access in 2018, it was the only theater loyalty program that had a ‘get-give’ component. We remain true to that tenet and have now expanded the Special Needs Screenings Program to align these two legacy outreach efforts for good,” said Ted Low, SMG’s vice president of brand and marketing.
“Team members have always been involved in their communities, lending hands to voluntarily support programs that mattered to them,” said Jenna Patrick, vice president of human resources at Studio Movie Grill. “The chance to positively impact the lives of those within their local communities is a unique attribute to SMG, and one that new team members consistently identify as a key factor during their employment search.”
“It truly is a gift to be a part of an organization that values giving back. Sometimes that’s financially, sometimes that’s our facilities or a movie on the big screen, and sometimes that’s a fun run in our neighborhood, but it’s always something. ‘Opening Hearts and Minds, One Story at a Time’ is a sign inside most every building and at the home office, and it serves as a constant reminder that we can impact the people around us for good through the power of movies and sharing a meal with family and friends,” said Michael McCreary, SMG’s longest tenured team member and the vice president of operations.