Studio Movie Grill News: Dine-In Chain to Reopen 2 Locations, Resumes Construction on Georgia Theater; New Executive Hires and Promotions Announced

Image Courtesy of Studio Movie Grill

Studio Movie Grill has announced the reopening of its newest location, the 12-screen SMG Chisholm Trail in Fort Worth, TX, which was completed last July and will open this fall. The exhibitor is also in final negotiations to reopen another of its previous locations in North Carolina, while last week it resumed construction of SMG Northpoint in Alpharetta, GA, which is slated to open in November or December 2021.

In a press release, Studio Movie Grill also touts that it “has reinvented itself with a simplified approach to sales, service, and the stakeholder model” – a strategy that earned the company its highest Net Promoter Score ever last month. That milestone resulted in higher per-caps and average checks and budget performance that has exceeded guidance since February.

“We join fellow exhibitors in celebrating our ability to re-emerge from this past year and grateful to have retained our most successful locations. It’s truly a testament to our teams’ resolve and their love of movie-going to bounce back like they have. We’re staying focused on our core business and modernizing our technology to make the experience more convenient for our guests,” said Ted Croft, SMG’s new CEO, in a statement. “It’s a key differentiator for us that we were able to remain open and keep our teams busy. We launched SMG’s Takeout and Delivery Program, 540 Pizzas and Calzones, and one of the first private theater rental programs, alongside some critical online and back-of-house technology initiatives.”

“We’re inviting guests back to the movies, and they are responding,” added Tearlach Hutcheson, VP Film. “We’re seeing our attendance growing weekly and our market share is stronger than pre-pandemic in our various markets.  Guests are appreciating the enhanced experience movie theaters provide over streaming at home, and we are certainly all looking forward to the release of Free Guy, Suicide Squad, and No Time to Die, not to mention Top Gun: Maverick and Spider Man 3 to round out the year.”

The company’s VP Human Resources, Jenna Patrick, who was recently promoted, also announced several additional new promotions and one hire as the company emerges from pandemic shutdowns. Studio Movie Grill’s longtime CFO, Ted Croft, returns as SMG’s new CEO, while other promotions include Brian Hood to COO and Ted Low to VP Brand & Marketing. Meanwhile, Denise Lytle was upped from VP, Finance & Accounting/Controller to CFO; Sheri Lawrence was promoted to VP Learning & Development; and Elizabeth Keeler was elevated to Senior Director, Purchasing. Finally, the company hired systems and technology veteran Chris Roberson, who was previously VP, IT for Corner Bakery Café, to head up its IT department.

“To support the demand, SMG recently held nationwide job fairs and quickly rebuilt its local theater teams under Area Directors’ leadership, all of whom remained part of SMG throughout the pandemic,” said Patrick in a statement. “SMG’s experienced executive team remains almost entirely intact with a combined 150+ years of theatrical and hospitality experience.”

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