You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor renamed Rave Motion Pictures after sale by National Amusements

By Jenn McKee

Dallas-based Rave Cinemas LLC on Friday will assume operation of Showcase Cinemas on Carpenter Road, following the sale of Washtenaw County's largest movie theater in December.

The theater's new name will be Rave Motion Pictures Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX. Basic theater operations will continue, but patrons will notice a few changes.

Perhaps most notably, concessions are being switched from Pepsi to Coke products, with expanded concession value combos to be offered. "Patrons will begin to see some signage changes inside (the theater), and then the outside signage will change in late May," Rave's vice president of marketing, Jeremy Devine, wrote in an e-mail.

In the email, Devine said about Rave: "We are a small company that was the first to go to 100 percent digital projection and (is) a leader in showing the new generation of 3D. We have already added several more digital screens and 3D capacity to the (Showcase) building. We will continue to roll out more digital in the months ahead and continue to operate the IMAX, which has 3D capacity as well on select titles."

National Amusements started the sale process in spring 2009 as owner Sumner Redstone committed to a debt-restructure of $1.6 billion in outstanding loans. The Massachusetts-based company planned to sell 54 theaters in the U.S.

The Pittsfield Township Showcase Cinemas is one of 29 National Amusements theaters purchased in December by Rave, which may buy up to 6 additional theaters from the company. It also acquired a theater in Flint from National Amusements and operates a theater in Kalamazoo.

With these acquisitions, Rave anticipates ownership or management of 65 theaters — approximately 1,000 screens in 20 states across the country. Rave is expected to become the fifth largest domestic circuit by box office gross and number of screens.

Rave did not release the purchase price of the theater.

Township tax records show the building was sold for just over $5 million in December, less than half the state equalized value on the property of $11.8 million. SEV in theory should be half of market value. The purchaser was an entity in Kansas City, Mo., which also has connections to several other theaters. Customers who hold prestige tickets and gift cards issued by the previous owner can use them through December 17, 2010.

For more information and showtimes, visit

Jenn McKee is the entertainment digital journalist for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.

Business Director Paula Gardner contributed to this report.



Fri, Apr 15, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Why couldn't Showcase just be acquired by Emagine Theaters. I mean, alcohol served with popcorn at the movies is a great time! I don't care much for Showcase. If their prices dropped from $9.50 a ticket on a Saturday night to $7.50 a ticket (at Q16), then that's something to argue about. Showcase -- or Rave now -- has been declining ever since they increased their ticket prices, dirty floors and more importantly, Q16 opened on the west side. Now, all we need is a movie theater in downtown Ypsilanti or Saline and we'll be all set.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 8:52 a.m.

While HFMGV Imax isn't bullet-proof, it is a MUCH better theatre and Imax experience than Showcase/Rave can ever hope to be. Switching from Pepsi to Coke? Guess the means my husband won't ever be going there to see a film again... :-) I doubt you'll see a huge difference in the movie experience, Showcase had already been declining in customer service and cleanliness over the years. Regarding the rowdiness on the weekends: I already avoid Friday and Saturday nights in any theatre. I rarely go to Showcase (Rave) as it is, this change will make it much more likely for me to drive 20 mins to Livonia.

Some Guy in 734

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 6:52 p.m.

Dave66--I agree... mostly. But Henry Ford's IMAX isn't bullet-proof, either. I well recall seeing one of the Harry Potter movies there, and after the pre-show ("We have speakers here, and here... AND HEEERE!") they started playing a Superman trailer with the soundtrack from an animated short, complete with cartoony sound effects. I was a little impressed by how well the visuals and audio synced up. And then, the lights went on and stayed for a few minutes, then the whole procedure started again, complete with the "gonna make you oooh-ahhh" IMAX promo. Do you know how ridiculous that mess sounds when it's played the second time in a five minute span?


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 3:28 p.m.



Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 9:23 a.m.

The Showcase IMAX is a joke. If you want *real* IMAX, go to the Henry Ford theater. The language needed to truly describe Showcase wouldn't be allowed by the censors, but it seems that most people here have the general idea anyway.


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 7:29 a.m.

After going to movie theaters in New York when I lived there for 10 years and seeing butter slicks followed by scampering mice in the aisles I don't expect much in the way of cleanliness (or security, for that matter!)from large theater complexes. I do agree it is a rowdy teenage crowd on Fri and Sat nights, better to go on Sunday for matinees to avoid the yelling/phoning/texting issues. Also, my phone app knew this theater was renamed RAVE two weeks ago; funny it's just coming out in the news now.

Some Guy in 734

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 6:24 a.m.

Basic Bob--I think the point is to be able to see those movies without having to be at Showcase. Sure, I've seen many a flick there. I'm pretty sure I even saw their first public screening--"Memories of Me", with Billy Crystal and Alan King. Not that I specifically wanted to see it, you know, but it had the earliest show time. That's how I recall it, anyway. But unless there's a major cinematic rolly-coaster of eye-thrillin' wow candy that we want to see in IMAX, Showcase isn't our first choice anymore, no matter how convenient it is. I'm sorry. Not "Showcase". It's now "Rave Motion Pictures Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX". Well, don't THAT one fall trippingly off the tongue. Showcase--uh, RMPAA20+I--is pretty far from a well-oiled machine. (Although that would answer a lot of questions about the condition of the floors.) Many times the level of squalor has made me yearn for the bad old days of the Kerasotes-era State Theater. I really hope that any honeymoon period with the new owners can last, because I'd hate to see the joint slip any more than it has.


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 6:18 a.m.

The abundance of 3D movies are a ploy by the movie makers and the theaters to rake in a few more bucks for the same show in order to "sell" you a 50 cent pair of plastic glasses (I have a whole bag of them at home from over the years). Most of the 3D movies have little/no value added to them by the "3D" so its just a upsell marketing ploy. Demand regular digital projection unless the 3D actually adds to it (e.g. Avatar, Train your Dinasaur, etc).

Basic Bob

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 4:58 a.m.

We go to Showcase all the time. Occasionally we drive over to Jackson Road, but usually they have the same movies, so what's the point? Next time I go on a Saturday night, I will be sure to be packing... a concealed Mountain Dew.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

"Be prepared for dirty theaters, underpaid staff,and an all together unpleasant experience." At Showcase? ok I'll "get ready" that in the future. I hope that my mind can take the change.

Yo Yo Yo

Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

Ready for the real story? Rave came into town and significantly cut management staff, while existing staff saw a major pay decrease. Rave reduced staffing levels to increase profit margins, therefore decreasing customer service levels. Be prepared for dirty theaters, underpaid staff,and an all together unpleasant experience. Is the theater prepared to handle its ongoing Friday night safety issues? I doubt it. It is a money-hungry organization and could care less about a long-term customer base.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 3:47 p.m.

Good news