The Dallas-based theatre concept, Studio Movie Grill (SMG), which incorporates affordable box office hits, full menu options for food and drinks, plush leather reclining lounge chairs with individual dining tables and push-button concierge-like waitstaff service, celebrated its Grand Opening event on April 13. The Northwest Bakersfield theatre is located in the shopping center on the corner of Calloway and Rosedale Hwy. and is one of the newest business additions to the Bakersfield scene.
The 46,037 square foot ten-auditorium theatre venue, has 1,056 seats, according to SMG’s General Manager Teejay Scharf. With a 275-team member operation, he said that movie goers can sit back with the family and relax. Here, “you won’t be serving yourself. The staff takes care of everything for you at the press of a button.”
Scharf highlighted the expansive menu choices, which he said are affordable for families. Every night of the week there’s a special drink menu. The $5 Margarita Swirl with a fruit flavor like watermelon is Thursday night’s special. Appetizer prices range from $7 -$10. Burger options are $12 – $13. A large coconut shrimp dish is $13. BBQ ribs are $15, with an averaged mixed drink price of $11. There’s an open-window sidewalk bar for people who just want the dining or bar experience without a commitment to the movies, according to Scharf. Everyone is welcome to experience what SMG has to offer.
As far as the movie goes, “What we do is we give you the full package. We give you a sit-down, recliner seat, laser projection system and the full American grill coming right to your tray in a matter of minutes. Full service bar, great selection of wines, draft beers. I don’t think there’s anything like this in Bakersfield,” said Scharf.
The 10 auditoriums incorporate state-of-the-art performance Q-SYS custom sound systems, laser technology, and Dolby 3D.
With a Founder & CEO that is passionate about community, according to Scharf, Brian Schultz put thought into making sure that everyone feels comfortable when watching a movie at his theatre. Scharf said the recliners located on the front main row in each theatre are designed to be roomy and additionally, to accommodate those who are in wheelchairs. Instead of guests remaining in their wheelchairs, they have the choice of sliding into a recliner, which is a specially designed to open on the side. Once seated the side can be closed. It’s a part of giving back to the community, said Scharf.
The theatre includes sight-impaired and hearing-impaired accessibility devices also according to Scharf. The headset devices amplify sound. The closed-captioned devices allow the viewer to follow along with the film’s dialogue. There’s also the video description device for those who are visually impaired. This gives the viewer personal narration of the movie. There’s one caveat though, not all movies are device available. Movie goers will want to check with the box office should have any needs.
The movie ticket process is simple and similar to the ticket purchase process for seats at a concert. To reserve seating movie goers log online where they will see a diagram of the available seats for their desired film. If a seat is available, the movie goer will see the visual cue. Seats can be chosen by number and row. Once a guest has paid for the seat, it’s reserved. This removes the stress of not having a seat available and allows people to plan their movie going experience on their own terms.
Hosea Mercer, a Bakersfield resident, attended the grand opening and said that he came to check out the dine-in and bar options. “I always love to come on opening night so I can see the progression later on,” he said.
As far as his thoughts on what the theater has to offer patrons, Mercer said, “the concept is awesome. It’s perfect.”
He has plans to keep an eye on SMG, that’s because he lives right across the street and can. He hopes that a cooling system will be added to the outside bar and dining area to keep patrons cool in the summer and heat lamps to keep patrons warm in the winter.
Seth McGary, a team member who works in the box office said, “there’s no other place like this. Before the movie even starts you’ll have your food in front of you. You’ll have all of your drinks in front of you. If you need something, just press the button on the table and the servers will come to you and ask you what you need. Here, it’s not just candy and popcorn. It’s real food. We have a big menu.”
Grand Opening featured blockbuster’s Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson and Thriller Horror film Truth or Dare, by Jeff Wadlow.
An entire box hit movie lineup at SMG is now available.