Newsroom - Press Release


July 19, 2020

Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres, purposes using his dozens of shuttered theatre auditoriums and facilities in Michigan, Iowa and Massachusetts for economical rental to school systems – offering a viable option to temporarily increase available space for fall classes. The concept can easily be adapted by other theatres and school systems nationwide to provide a positive solution for both groups.

"I was recently listening to a podcast on the vast challenges facing the nation's K-12 school systems and colleges to open for fall classes. I had a creative thought that we may have the perfect temporary solution by utilizing our auditoriums," Jacobson said.

The theatre business is temporarily shuttered due to a lack of new Hollywood films and local restrictions. The nation's school systems are struggling with small classroom sizes and an inability to social distance students. "This seems like a natural way to solve both problems as our theatre auditoriums have numbered chairs that easily allow for assigned student seating and can accommodate social distancing guidelines," he added. "Each auditorium has professional audio and visual capabilities, making for a perfect lecture environment and allowing for on-screen visual instruction. With large multiple auditoriums in each complex, we can offer the ability to keep students socially distanced, while increasing class sizes to a more traditional scale."

John Scanlan, Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix said: "As for our traditional movie business, once the movie industry gets going again, we won't have to kick out schools with little notice. We can continue with film showings in the evenings and weekends. In essence, the school districts temporarily need more space during the pandemic crisis and we can offer that alternative. Once the crisis subsides, the schools can return to their regular facilities and the theatre can resume its normal film programming for extended hours. This creative solution solves a critical problem for the school system and allows the theatre operation to remain solvent."

Jacobson said this can be the perfect public - private collaboration to help resolve education's logistical challenges of spacing students, while still having them in one room; it is proven more learning takes place live and in person with a teacher. "It is my hope we can find a safe and practical solution that will benefit our students and teaching staff during this unprecedented crisis." said Jacobson.

Phoenix has started to reach out to both public and charter school institutions in Michigan, Iowa and Massachusetts with the idea of taking proactive steps to provide this alternative by the fall semester. If you have any further questions or would like more information please contact us at:


The Michigan based Phoenix Theatres opened its first Detroit-area theatre in 2001 and currently operates 7 theatres, with the introduction of Northtowne marking their 59th theatre screen.