Liquor license approved for upgraded cinema

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — Movie fans will be able to enjoy adult beverages along with state-of-the-art film presentations at MJR Theatre, 15641 Trenton Road, after the City Council approved a liquor license request.

The city council last week received a report from City Administrator Brandon Fournier regarding the theater chain’s application for a Class C liquor license.

“The State of Michigan has approved the license contingent upon local authorization,” Fournier told council.

The cinema complex adjacent to the Southgate Shopping Center is scheduled to begin this spring an ambitious, $2.5 million upgrade at MRJ Southgate Digital Cinema. One of the larger auditoriums will be outfitted with a wraparound screen, 4K projector and Dolby Atmos piped through 39 speakers.

Mayor Joseph Kuspa said last year that the renovation project had been delayed when business picked up in 2013.

Council members last week reviewed the proposed MJR site plan, service model and policies regarding the sale of alcohol at its theaters.

Alcoholic beverages would be served in clear, plastic containers from a central, stationary bar separate from the main concession area. Wristbands would be given to patrons 21 years of age or older who wish to carry a drink away from the service area and to a theater.

Fournier said MJR has successfully upgraded cinema complexes in Westland and Sterling Heights to accommodate high-tech screenings for adult audiences. Upgrades at MJR join other projects slated for the Shopping Center area, including a $350,000 public marketplace and ampitheater designed to host live music and entertainment.

MJR representative Dennis Redmer addressed council members’ questions, and said that business was being lost to a nearby Emagine Theater which serves alcohol.

(James Mitchell can be reached at