Archive for June, 2010

“The Karate Kid” Contest Winner’s Private Tour

By Jamie Murray
Marketing Intern

Between May 28th and June 10th we held a Karate Kid Contest on our website. The contest was promoted through the Celebration! Cinema Facebook page, Twitter account and e-newsletter. The winner of the contest received a private screening of The Karate Kid for up to 10 people, complimentary concession combos, a backstage tour of the projection booth and VIP Karate Kid Prize Packs that included jackets, t-shirts, chopsticks and more!

Our lucky winner was Chris Eels from Jenison, MI. Chris brought 10 of his family members to watch the private screening of The Karate Kid. On Monday, June 21 Chris and his family arrived at Celebration! Cinema RiverTown where they were greeted by managers and had their concession orders taken. Each person received a complimentary ‘pick 3’ combo!

A Private Tour
After placing their concession orders, the group was taken to the upper level of Celebration! Cinema to take a tour of the projection room. On the tour they saw both working digital projections and 35mm projections that were not being used at the time. The guests were also showed where 35mm films were assembled and got a quick explanation of how it was done. The guests were able to see actual 35mm film reels and even got to hold them to see how heavy they were. They were given an explanation on how the 3D digital projectors work and were able to see the projection of a 3D movie in action. The tour lasted about 15 minutes and then they were escorted down to their theatre to watch the show.

Once in the theatre, employees had concessions waiting for the guests. They eagerly got their concessions and took their seats to begin enjoying their private screening. Before the lights were dimmed down and the movie began, the guests were handed their prize packs.

At 7:30 p.m. the movie started playing and the happy guests sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the movie!

See below for a photo gallery from the evening:

Jamie Murray is a Summer 2010 Marketing Intern at Celebration! Cinema.

TV Commercial Shoot at Celebration! Cinema!

Jennifer GaroneBy Jennifer Garone
Marketing & Events Specialist

On Friday, June 4 we asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers if they were interested in 15 seconds of fame. They answered the casting call! On Tuesday, June 8, about 80 of our best fans showed up at Celebration! Cinema North to be extras in 15 second television commercials.

Getting Paid in Concessions
As guests checked in on the day of the shoot, they were given a $10 Celebration! Cinema gift card and a coupon for a free combo to use as a later date. The extras were then ushered into the IMAX auditorium where they witnessed the production crew setting up lights and a green screen and working with the paid talent on the initial scenes. Our extras enjoyed their unlimited complimentary pop & fresh popcorn (8:30 a.m. is not too early to enjoy movie treats!) as they watched the Hollywood magic unfold. Answering movie trivia and questions about Celebration! Cinema earned the extras free movie SWAG during down times of the shoot.

Once the crew had the initial scenes for the IMAX commercial in the can, the extras piled into the seats surrounding the hired talent and filled the role of “movie theatre audience”. The group was packed with naturals and it only took a few takes of “act scared!”, “act excited!”, “act like something is hilarious!” before the director called, “that’s a wrap!”

Flick the Movie KidCommercial #2
The crew then moved to a digital auditorium and we brought in a new batch of extras for to film a scene for the second commercial, which will be a generic ad for Celebration! Cinema. After following the same format as we did for the first commercial (SWAG give-aways during downtime, instructions to “act sad! Act happy! Act scared!”) the extras were genuinely thanked for their participation. Within minutes of being dismissed, the extras began tweeting and posting Facebook messages raving about their fabulous experience.

Green screens and vikings
We needed more space to shoot three of the scenes for the second commercial, so after the shooting in the digital auditorium was complete, the crew made the move to the theatre lobby. Unsuspecting theatre patrons stopped before and after their movies to watch our hired talent acting in a variety of costumes. (It proved highly entertaining to see an actor in full chain mail, wielding a sword and shield and screaming like a Viking in the middle of a theatre lobby, particularly since the scenes were shot in front of a green screen, which means the background will be added during the editing process.)

After a 10 hour day, the filming was done. It was a very exciting process and I’m glad that so many of our fans were able to be a part of it. We expect to have the final commercials within a few weeks, and in addition to airing on television, we’ll post them to our Facebook page.

Thank you to all of our fans who answered our casting call!

Jennifer Garone is the Marketing & Events Specialist at Celebration! Cinema

Approved for Appropriate Audiences: Movie Ratings at Celebration! Cinema

Jeannie DeibisBy Jeannie Deibis
Celebration! Cinema Programming Coordinator

I was asked to write a blog post about movie ratings and I had a bit of concern about it, as ratings, in my opinion are very different today than just a few years ago.

Indiana JonesThe Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) began to assign ratings (G, PG and R) during the 1960’s.  The ratings system was also designed to help parents protect their children from ‘mature material’.  This ratings system was and still is voluntary (not mandatory) and is designed to inform movie-goers of content in movies they might see.  PG-13 was added in 1984, when “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom” and “Gremlins” were deemed too violent for PG.  Incidentally, it was just 1990, when NC-17 was added and this rating is meant to keep children under the age of 17 from seeing the movie (not admitted at theatres).  This rating differs from the R rating, in that the R rating is intended for adults and parents to understand there is adult material and it is generally not appropriate to allow children under the age of 17 without a parent or a guardian attending.  It is also noteworthy to know that the rating process is largely subjective, and ever changing.  Please see for additional information.

How Movies Are Rated
Criteria for ratings, well, seem again subjective.  Taken from

A Policy Review Committee comprising of MPAA and National Association Of Theatre Owners (NATO) officials monitors the Review Board and provides guidelines to follow when rating movies. At this time, the Rating Board, located in Los Angeles, California (Classification and Rating Administration – CARA) rates movies as follows:

  • G — “General Audience – All Ages Admitted”: Applied when a film contains no nudity, sexual content, drug use or strong language. Violence is minimal and the theme of the movie is deemed appropriate for young children. According to the MPAA, a G rating does not indicate the film is a children’s movie.
  • PG — “Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children”: The Rating Board applies this rating when the members believe the film contains themes or content that parents may find inappropriate for younger children. The film can contain some profanity, violence or brief nudity, but only in relatively mild intensity. A PG film should not include drug use.
  • PG-13 — “Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13.” The MPAA added this rating in 1984 to denote films in which violence, profanity or sexual content is intense enough that many parents would not want to expose their younger children to the film, but not so intense as to warrant an R rating. Any movie featuring drug use will get at least a PG-13 rating. A PG-13 movie can include a single use of what the board deems a “harsher, sexually derived word,” as long as it is only used as an expletive, not in a sexual context.
  • R –“Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian”: The Rating Board applies this rating to movies the members believe contain a high level of adult content, such as harsh profanity, intense violence, explicit sexual content and extensive drug use. In some states, the minimum age to see an R rated movie unaccompanied is 18.
  • NC-17: “No One 17 And Under Admitted”: Originally called X, this rating is applied to films the board believes most parents will consider inappropriate for children. It indicates only that adult content is more intense than in an R movie; it does not imply any sort of obscenity. As with films rated R, the minimum age to see a NC-17 movie is 18 in some states.

R-Rated Movie Trailers
Preview ScreenHow does a movie trailer that might be rated R end up on a PG13 movie, you might want to know?  Again, the MPAA approves a trailer for ‘appropriate audiences’, the newest lingo you now see on your green movie preview screen.  The lingo used to read ‘this trailer is approved for all ages’.  Many times, the movie trailer requested to be on a movie ‘has not been rated yet’ and again, approved by the MPAA for placement on the PG13 movie.  This makes for some tough judgment calls. Most recently, a film company wanted their trailer ‘not yet rated’ on the PG rated “Karate Kid”, so after previewing the trailer, our theatres deemed it ‘inappropriate’ for “Karate Kid”, even though the MPAA approved the placement.

Today, a movie, if animated, can retain a G rating, even when there is mention of death (dare we discuss the ‘classic, beloved’ G rated “Snow White”, where the wicked Queen wants Snow White ‘killed’) or scenes of violence (“The Lion King” has one of the most violent death scenes ever shown, in my opinion and is rated G).

Many movies are animated with computer generated images (CGI) and many carry a PG rating, which really does attract today’s families.  Noting that the rating PG carries this message:  PARENTS ARE URGED TO USE “PARENTAL GUIDANCE”, AS THE MOTION PICTURE MAY CONTAIN SOME MATERIAL PARENTS MIGHT NOT LIKE FOR THEIR YOUNGER CHILDREN TO VIEW.  Yet, there are many young, impressionable children viewing, my children included.  It is also noted that most parents are upset with ‘violence’ in animated movies.  It amazes me for instance that “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is rated PG, this summer from Disney (a family icon and trustworthy brand), and it’s PG for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language.

In defense of the MPAA
The ratings system is entirely optional.  And movies carry many messages that can help teach our children valuable life lessons.  “How To Train Your Dragon” is a great example, rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language. The film can teach our children life lessons including: be proud of who you are, be kind to animals, listen to children (for parents), and even learning about Vikings.   We, as parents can leverage a movie’s content and provide excellent in depth discussions with our children of all ages.  I also had an excellent teachable experience with “Where The Wild Things Are”, rated PG.

All of this to say, gather as much information as you can before you see a movie.  A PG movie today seems to be what PG-13 used to be, while a PG-13 movie certainly seems like R rated fare from just a few years ago.

Celebration! Cinema Helps
Some great resources we utilize at Celebration! Cinema to assist in movie-going decision making: and  One other really great review site is: that lists ‘all content’ scene by scene, very detailed, however it’s a subscription site, so you have to pay to see any of the reviews.

It is a really tough decision, but as a parent or anyone wanting to see a movie, there are many resources out there to help make an informed decision.

Please feel free to email or call me directly as well anytime with questions about movies, I am happy to help!

Jeannie Deibis is the Programming Coordinator at Celebration! Cinema.

Sex and the City 2 Ladies’ Night Out Party at Celebration! Cinema

Jennifer GaroneBy Jennifer Garone
Marketing & Events Specialist

“Sometimes you just have to get away with the girls…”

On Friday, May 27 105.3 Hot FM & Celebration! Cinema hosted the ultimate Ladies’ Night Out with the release of Sex and the City 2!

HOT FM Sex and the City 2 PartyThe fete began at 6 p.m. when guests sashayed into the Wave Room, which (with the help of iCandy) was transformed from a banquet space into a fusion of New York City and Morocco to capture the essence of the movie. Upon arrival, party goers were presented with a celebrity gift bag overflowing with SWAG valued at over $50 from vendors including Echo Salon, Stella and Dot by Julie Regan, Lipton Iced Tea and Midnite Sun and Cruise.

Local Carries, Samanthas, Mirandas and Charlottes noshed on complimentary hors d’ oeuvres including Moroccan garbanzo bean & feta pitas, orange scented couscous, feta & strawberry salad and veggie spring rolls. Sipping signature Cosmos from collectible martini glasses, socialites shopped vendor tables including Magnolia Salon, Endurance Fitness and Metro PCS, and registered for over $500 in prize giveaways. Title sponsor Smooch Beauty Boutique pampered ladies with make-overs and Lee and Birch was there with haute couture. Grand Rapids Adventure Boot Camp was even there with suggestions on how to work off the extra calories from the indulged in Skyy Vodka drinks.

HOT FM Sex and the City 2 PartyLast call for the night was a private screening of Sex and the City 2 – complete with a cash bar so party-goers could kick back and enjoy the flick with martini in hand. And anyone needing an excuse to justify a night out with her gal pals? $2 from each ticket went to the ATHENA Scholarship Fund, a program of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce that gives scholarships to women over the age of 30 who have returned to local colleges and universities to complete their degrees.

Tickets to this 21+ event were only $30 and sold out within a week of going on sale. Did you miss out on the fun? Become a fan of Celebration! Cinema on Facebook to be the first to hear about future events!

Jennifer Garone is the Marketing & Events Specialist at Celebration! Cinema.