WYOMING, Mich. (AP) - The demolition of a well-known movie theater in western Michigan that once drew thousands of moviegoers a day now is attracting picture-takers and souvenir-seekers.
Michael Arnold, 45, of Jenison, said it was “horrible” to watch crews tear apart Studio 28 in the Grand Rapids-area community of Wyoming, but that he had to witness it. He saw “Star Wars” there as a child - his first movie in a theater.
“Every time I come out on 28th Street, I always look at this building because I have such a great memory of it,” Arnold said.
Arnold snapped images on his cellphone to send to a friend to share the memories. He was among those who stopped by Tuesday to watch the exterior demolition begin, The Grand Rapids Press reported, (http://bit.ly/NSVVLA ). Some walked away with bricks.
Studio 28 opened in 1965 with one theater and seating for 1,000. It was converted into a multiplex in 1967 with the addition of a second screen, and after several expansions had 20 screens in 1988. It closed in 2008, citing a decline in attendance.
The property, which has sat empty since then, was condemned by the city of Wyoming in December. Plans call for redevelopment at the site.
Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids