I love my job. A lot of people aren’t able to say those words, so I do not take that for granted. As Senior Sales Manager for Studio Movie Grill Private Events, each day I am exposed to new people and new experiences, but I have to share my favorite experience yet.
On November 17th, I was lucky enough to be part of the LONE SURVIVOR premiere fundraiser event in Houston, Texas, at our City Centre location. If you’re not familiar with LONE SURVIVOR, I will give you a brief overview. Marcus Luttrell wrote the book…the movie, to be released on December 25th, is based on his book and experiences as a Navy SEAL. The story follows the failed mission of SEAL Team 10, Operation Red Wings, and is truly an account of courage and heroism. Luttrell, since returning from serving in Afghanistan, started a foundation called the Lone Survivor Foundation. The fundraiser hosted at SMG City Centre was held to support this foundation and Luttrell’s efforts to give back to our men and women in service.
This event was so important that director and producer Peter Berg was in attendance. He and Marcus went into each theater following the film screening to thank everyone for coming and supporting the film and Marcus’ foundation. Many of the Navy SEALs involved in saving Marcus and the widows of those that did not survive were in attendance along with some major Houston celebrities. It was quite a day!
Shaking Marcus Luttrell’s hand was truly an honor. Here is this man who has sacrificed so much for his country, has lost friends in combat, has seen horrors we will never see, and he is standing in front of me. He has more courage in his pinky finger than I could ever hope to possess. I am inspired. This is why I love my job. Not only am I allowed to do what I love to do, but I am inspired. SMG donated over $7,000 to the Lone Survivor Foundation and helped to raise thousands more. This isn’t work, this is a privilege, and I am so grateful for that privilege.
Working with the Studio Movie Grill this summer, through a partnership with Charlotte Parent Magazine, has been extremely exciting! We worked closely in promoting the 2013 Children’s Summer Movie Series through a fun and interactive social media and movie trivia contest promotion. Each week the trivia question was related to the week’s special feature!
Winners were picked at random each week and were awarded with a pack of four free movie passes to attend the film for the week!
To conclude our promotion and celebrate the accomplishments of our winners, we hosted Charlotte Parent Day at the Studio Movie Grill for the film, Charlotte’s Web! We hosted on-site trivia, gave away tons of wonderful prizes, and did arts and crafts with the children!
Charlotte Parent Magazine loves working with the Studio Movie Grill and looks forward to many more fun promotional opportunities with them!
— Maria C. Vita
Sales and Marketing Assistant
Last month with the SMG Toons series showing of Pound Puppies: Mission Adoption, we were engaged with a sweet story about the Pound Puppies gang on a mission to find the perfect home for every pup, so we felt inspired to invite our local dog rescues to our theaters to help find homes for real life pound puppies.
Little did I know how incredibly powerful that experience would be. It’s a no brainer – anyone in his or her right mind loves puppies, and if they don’t, then those folks are just plain mean! So why then are there so many sweet adorable homeless pups out there?
Let’s face it. Our economy has been through a rough and tumble couple of years and employment hasn’t been what we’d hoped. Lots of people became upside down on mortgages and lost their houses, which means our nation has seen an influx of people moving into apartments, which were predominantly occupied historically by single people, so the multifamily housing industry was ill equipped to accommodate families, especially those with pets.
When I began contacting rescues to pair them up with theaters for our Mission Adoption event, I was surprised at how incredibly eager they were to take on our theaters as a venue for an adoption day. If you think about it – most of the time we see rescues camped out in front of pet supply stores, and how effective can that be? Aren’t most people headed there because they already have a pet? So bringing puppies to SMG was an exciting prospect.
So exciting that once my campaign to find rescues to partner with us for Mission Adoption their demand exceeded our supply of space for them to use! SMG Scottsdale took their Mission Adoption Day and turned it into an Adoption Weekend so that they could accommodate three dog rescues.
As the organizer of the event, I traveled to a few different SMG locations to see how things were going, and got to meet some pretty amazing people and puppies.
At SMG Royal, Stephen Foster from Furgotten Friends had brought in a dachshund named Ginny that had recently given birth and one of her pups. Stephen had rescued Ginny from the pound before she had her litter, because pregnant females are often the first dogs that get euthanized in public shelters. If they give birth in the shelter, the newborn puppies are not strong enough to survive long enough to get the vaccinations and medicines they would need live in that environment, and the mother’s weakened immune system after giving birth can make it dangerous for her as well.
We also met a dog named Sadie who had just had surgery to correct hip dysplasia, a common ailment in puppies bred in puppy mills that causes their hip bones to be malformed, and therefore walking and standing is painful. I learned that this is the result of unscrupulous breeders cranking out hordes of puppies to supply pet shops, breeding the same dogs so closely together that they become inbred and have poor genetics and all kinds of health issues.
As SMG Royal, Stephen found homes for 3 dogs, and possible parents for two more, and was able to collect a nice sum of money toward Sadie’s final surgery.
At SMG Plano, we played host to Texas Little Cuties, a rescue run by our own Executive Chef, Thad Kelley and his wife Melissa. Melissa told me that she and Thad are currently fostering 78 dogs at their home!
At SMG, Lewisville, I met the folks from A Different Breed and they had brought several small dogs in that needed homes. The shelter was so happy to work with SMG that they had driven from two and a half hours outside the city to come show their pups that day.
And, as many rescues do, they had another sweet puppy in need of surgery. A tiny three lb. dog named Toby had been abandoned by his owners after he had chewed on an electrical wire and gotten stuck to it. The shock had severely burned one side of his mouth and blown out some of his teeth, but A Different Breed had gotten him two surgeries to restore his face and he was almost ready to move on to a new home.
I only made it to four theaters that day, but I was so proud of the fact that SMG had 10 out of our 12 theaters participating in this event, because I know that there were so many sweet puppies out there in need of homes, food and supplies and I am so thankful we were able to help these organizations that take care of them.
For more photos and details on the event you can check out our Pound Puppies: Mission Adoption Report.
Barbie in the Pink Shoes showed at select SMG Theaters across the United States as part of the SMG Toons Program, with $2 screenings every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and additional showings throughout the week.
As part of the promotion, on March 23, participating locations invited children for Bring Your Own Barbie Day when they got to show us their favorite Barbie toy or clothing item for a chance to win an authentic Barbie in the Pink Shoes doll.
For more information, check out the cool marketing report in the presentation below!
Sunday, March 3, 2013, Studio Movie Grill in Arlington, TX has committed to donate $1 from every ticket sold to screenings of the romantic film Safe Haven, starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough to Tarrant County’s own SafeHaven organization.
Based on a best selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven (the film) stars Julianne Hough who portrays a troubled woman seeking to escape an abusive relationship with her alcoholic husband who starts over in a small town. In a Q&A promoting the film, Hough said that her performance was inspired by her own experiences with abusive relationships.
SafeHaven of Tarrant County provides resources for battered women and children to free themselves from their abusive relationships by offering clothing, shelter and education resources.
The two emergency shelter facilities have a 174 bed capacity and provide 24-hour care to families fleeing life-threatening situations. The shelters provide living quarters, meals, clothing, transportation, counseling, children’s recreational and therapeutic activities, medical and dental care, and case management.
In 2006, SafeHaven answered almost 44,000 hotline calls; sheltered 1,095 abused women and 1,624 children; provided 150,036 meals; 100,024 snacks; housed 128 clients through the agency’s transitional housing programs where stays range from 3 months to 2 years; and educated over 60,000 community members on domestic violence and shelter services.
To support SafeHaven of Tarrant County, simply buy a ticket to any screening of Safe Haven at SMG Arlington on Sunday, March 3.
Beloved actress/singer and songwriter Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012. Studio Movie Grill pays homage to the woman whose songs we sang when our hairbrushes were microphones and our heads were full of dreams for this “Girl’s Night Out.”
When I wrote those words to market our February 13 Girls’ Night Out event in SMG theaters across the nation, I had no idea how much attending the event would drive that thought home.
The folks from E&J Gallo supported our tribute to Whitney by coming out to our Spring Valley theater and offering a sampling of their Apothic Red wine, a blended red comprised of zinfandel and merlot varietals that strike notes of vanilla and chocolate, creating a rich flavor, the perfect complement for red meat or desserts. The wine is featured as our monthly special for February.
Before the lights went down, our guest host, Shannon Powell Hart of Good Morning Texas, gave introduction to the film, inspiring members of the audience to engage with the content by giving away prizes for knowing trivia from the movie, and three women came up to the front of the auditorium to sing a few lines of “And I Will Always Love You,” to win an admit two pass to come back for another movie of their choice.
Kevin Costner was definitely not at his best, and Whitney was pretty inexperienced as an actress when this movie was made, but I can still think of no greater homage to the fallen star than this movie, in which we revisit the best selling soundtrack of all time.
Whitney’s vocal performances were stunning.
Everyone in the audience danced in their chairs to the beat of “Queen of the Night,” and I realized that one of the reasons Whitney was such an amazing performer is that over the years she provided so many wonderful songs for the soundtrack of our lives.
Sometimes we don’t love movies because of the performances. We love them for the memories they evoke that are forever tied in our hearts.
I remember when the movie first came out in 1992. I was a dorky, awkward eighth grader with glasses and a huge crush on an equally quirky boy with red hair and blue eyes, who was my lab partner in Biology. I admit he probably just liked the song, but I melted when he sang, “And I Will Always Love You,” in a fleeting moment alone with me before class.
As Studio Movie Grill continues to offer retro series as part of our alternate programming, we will be showing other favorites – for women with Girls’ Night Out, for men with Brews ‘n’ Views, and for everyone with $1 Classics.
I hope every movie we revisit for these series evokes as fond memories to share with younger generations as they did for us when they first came out.
Dallas Film Society and Moroch Entertainment brought actors Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough as well as author Nicholas Sparks to SMG Spring Valley to promote Safe Haven.
On Thursday, January 24, Studio Movie Grill played host to Exclusive Premiere Screenings of the documentary film, Chasing Beauty at our locations in Spring Valley, Wheaton and Duluth.
At the Spring Valley event, we collected donations for the local chapter of Attitudes and Attire, an organization that helps the needy acquire the proper clothing and skills to re-enter the workforce and become self sufficient after personal hardships.
Guest speakers from Pilates Barre and BeautiControl gave out goodie bags to attendees that contained up to $75 worth of beauty products and a certificate good for one free Pilates class.
Following the screening, filmmaker Brent Huff and a panel of experts from the beauty industry conducted a lively Q&A. Panelists included Whitney Caston, Director of Nutrition at Walker Wellness Center; Elizabeth Lindberg, Owner of Pilates Barre; and Jodie Warner from Alliance of Women in Media.
With two packed auditoriums, the event had an amazing crowd, the type of women that make me happy we have them as our patrons. So many happy smiling faces, everyone so incredibly friendly and excited to be there. Everyone was dolled up to express his or her own excitement about feeling beautiful. Following the Q&A we invited guests for the rare opportunity to take photographs of themselves with their glammed up friends in the theater to remember the occasion.
The film presented a humanistic look at the hardships men and women put themselves through in order to feel beautiful or pursue a career in modeling or entertainment. As opposed to models simply complaining that “it isn’t easy being pretty,” as comes to mind from a 1980s ad campaign, the film shared the human experience with us, that often we envy the lifestyle and image models and actors portray, but in reality the lives those people lead does not always match up with the image they represent.
Members of the audience found moments to laugh and cry and to deeply connect with the film’s unifying theme that we are all unique individuals who feel different and pressured to conform to some nebulous idea of the perfect image. The film closed on the inspirational note that being different is what makes us beautiful, and that it takes a special strength to identify your own beauty and harness it to pursue the life you want.
Additional Chasing Beauty events exclusively at SMG coming up include:
January 31 @ 7pm
Guest speakers include former Ford Model, Shawn Huff, and representatives from Fashion Group International.
January 31 @ 7:30pm
Special Post Screening Panel with Experts from Phoenix Fashion Week.