The perfect date night

Simi Valley welcomed Studio Movie Grill, a first-run, in-theater dining concept movie theater on Oct. 22. The opening included ribbon cutting, cocktail hour and a showing of “Burnt” according to National Publicist Max Danielson.

Located in the Simi Valley Town Center shopping mall, Studio Movie Grill brings an entirely new experience for moviegoers. SMG features dine in options, custom-built recliners, plush seating and dining tables all around with access to the American Grill and a full premium bar.

First-run releases will include the movies Burnt, Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

The Simi Valley community can look forward to competitive ticket prices, with $6 tickets for children, $7 matinee ticket, and $9 for adults. Seniors, students and military receive discounts with ID present.

SMG in Simi Valley is the 23rd location to be opened in 10 states and is the second in Southern California.

“Opening this new location close to my roots in Southern California, the home of filmed entertainment, is a personal dream come true for me,” Brian Schultz, founder and CEO of SMG said in a press release.

SMG focuses on giving back to the community and has a company motto of “conscious business practice,” Danielson said. This is lived out by engaging with the surrounding communities of SMG theaters and catering to entire families.

So far SMG has contributed to the Simi Valley community by employing about 240 employees with many being high school and college students, according to Danielson.

SMG lives out its mission “to open hearts and minds, one story at a time,” by being active in supporting local nonprofits and offering programs to make differences in people’s lives.

October is World Hunger Month and SMG will be hosting its signature community-wide Cans Film Festival Food Drive  from Oct. 26-29, according to a press release.

Moviegoers can bring in four or more non-perishable food items to donate, and will receive a free ticket to any movie showing same day.

“One hundred percent of the ticket proceeds will go to [The Samaritan Center in Simi Valley.] We’re looking forward to getting help [to] fight hunger,” Unit Manager Sean Reynolds said in an email interview. Nonperishable items and monetary donations are accepted.

Shultz changed the game for movie-loving families when he began showing special screenings for children with special needs. Children with special needs are not always able to enjoy going to the movies in a traditional setting.

In response, SMG hosts monthly special screenings for families who are raising children with special needs. The children and their siblings can view free of charge, while the other family members can pay the before-noon matinee ticket price.

“We run a first-run movie at 11 a.m. free to special needs kids and their siblings so their parents don’t need to pay for a babysitter,” Danielson said. “We turn lights up and turn the sound down a little and encourage people to dance, talk and be among friends.”

SMG also partners with charitable organizations such as the Policeman’s Foundation and the Simi Valley Unified School District. SMG hosts’ special screenings to benefit these organizations and other nonprofits. “We make it a point to be a part of every community where we’re at,” Danielson said.

Jose Cordova, a freshman commuter at California Lutheran University, seeks to find community both on and off campus.

“I love movie theaters. The fact that it’s different than other ones is pretty cool,” Cordova said.“[SMG] is not only interested in the money but wants to help the community, and you’re helping the community just by showing up.”

SMG prides itself on serving their surrounding community,.They hope to provide an affordable option for many and provide moviegoers with an unforgettable, plush theater experience.

The Simi location additionally offers “reclining seats in the first few rows so that guests don’t feel upset about the first rows being the last seats left,” Reynolds said.

The featured menu includes but is not limited to: Sriracha chicken, three-cheese burger sliders, the steak ‘n gravy sandwich, fried onion straws, tempura battered green beans with Creole dipping sauce and entrée salads with “Farm-to-Table” ingredients.

“Everything on the menu is under $14,” Danielson said.

The thrifty ticket prices and menu items cater to both family pricing and students on a college budget.

“Studio Movie Grill is all about family. We want everybody to be able to come and enjoy the experience SMG has to offer. Whether you’re a child, teenager, adult or senior, SMG is a place for everyone,” Reynolds said.

Show times, menu access and more information can be found online at

Laurel Skinner
Staff Writer
Published October 28th, 2015