×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Studio Movie Grill Launches Loyalty Program That Gives Back to Charity (EXCLUSIVE)

Studio Movie Grill, the Texas-based chain best known for its in-theater dining offerings, is unveiling a different kind of loyalty program, one aimed at encouraging customers to get involved in charities.

Dubbed SMG Access, the rewards program works by donating a movie and a meal to a local non-profit program every time guests hit a certain number of points. People who enroll in the rewards program will also earn a $10 coupon when they see a certain number of films. Loyalty programs are standard in the industry — Regal has its Crown Club, AMC has Stubbs — but this one is unique. Unlike other offerings, Studio Movie Grill’s is more weighted towards giving back than offering up cheaper tickets or film memorabilia.

“I was never a big fan of discounting tickets or doing those kinds of programs, but this appealed to me,” said Brian Schultz, the company’s founder. “This lets us open up some hearts and minds and do some good. It allows us to amplify our impact in terms of giving back to the community.”

Studio Movie Grill, which boasts 314 screens in 30 locations around the country, has been testing the loyalty program in certain market in recent weeks. They’re working with several charities, including Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, which provides outdoor education to children with disabilities; Mighty Kids, a youth development program; and the Boys and Girls Club.

Schultz started Studio Movie Grill more than two decades ago, but he said he’s always been interested in giving back to the community from his early days as a staffer on Capitol Hill.

“I started in politics with a deep drive to have a positive impact,” he said. “Things changed, but that stayed with me.”

The company has also lined up some studio partners, such as Sony Pictures, which donated 1,500 movies and meals timed to the release of “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” on July 13. It also will work with Lionsgate and is trying to line up additional distributors.

“It’s great to see a loyalty program that gives back to the community,” said Vinele Grana, vice president of worldwide exhibitor partnerships at Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a statement.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

  • ALACARTE_HOME

    Brazil’s Pandora Filmes Readies Country’s First Classic Film Streaming Platform

    Brazilian distribution company Pandora Filmes was founded by André Sturm in 1989 as the country’s first independent distributor of foreign and domestic, classic and contemporary arthouse cinema. Still pushing the envelope three decades later, Juliana Brito is representing the company at this year’s Lumiere Festival, looking for classic film titles to fill out the catalog [...]

  • Hannah Minghella

    Bad Robot Poaches TriStar Pictures President Hannah Minghella to Lead Film Unit

    In a surprise announcement Thursday, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot revealed it has lured away Sony Pictures executive Hannah Minghella to lead its film division. Minghella will report to Abrams and Bad Robot co-CEO Katie McGrath. She will oversee both development and production. TriStar executive vice president Nicole Brown will take up the mantle in the [...]

  • Paul Dano arrives at the 71st

    'The Batman': Paul Dano to Play The Riddler

    Paul Dano is in talks to join Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. “The Batman,” sources tell Variety. Though the studio would not confirm the role, insiders believe that Dano would be playing the classic comic book villain The Riddler. Dano’s casting comes on the heels of Jonah Hill turning down an offer [...]

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Vivendi's Third Quarter Results Up Nearly 17%, UMG Still Rising

    Vivendi saw its third quarter revenues increase by 16.7% to €3.97 billion ($4.4 billion) compared with the third quarter of 2018, once again boosted by the growth of Universal Music Group, while Canal Plus Group remained stable. For the first nine months of 2019, Vivendi’s revenues reached €11.3 billion ($12.5 billion), an increase of 14.6% [...]

  • This-is-Cristina

    FiGa Films Takes Salma Hayek-Exec Produced ‘This is Cristina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Leading international sales agency-production-distribution company, FiGa Films, has snagged all worldwide rights to “This is Cristina” (“Ella es Cristina”), the directorial debut of Chilean scribe Gonzalo Maza, who has co-written four of Sebastian Lelio’s films, including his Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman” and Berlin Festival winner “Gloria.” “It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Gonzalo, whose writing [...]

  • 180423_A24_Day_03B_0897.jpg

    How Bright Bulbs Enabled 'The Lighthouse's' Tough Black-and-White Shoot

    Early in principal photography on “The Lighthouse,” writer-director Robert Eggers asked cinematographer Jarin Blaschke, who was shooting on black-and-white film stock, if he thought they could capture the look they were going for digitally. Blaschke answered no: Digital wouldn’t let them achieve the texture they had in mind — “what we photography nerds would call [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content