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HomeArts & EntertainmentGrayling native to oversee new Alpena theater

Grayling native to oversee new Alpena theater

ALPENA — Grayling native Jordan Stancil will oversee operations of new “Sanctuary Cinema” in Alpena.

The luxury three-screen movie theater is located at 101 S Second Avenue on the corner of W Chisholm St and 2nd Ave, in the heart of downtown Alpena. It features state-of-the-art movie projectors and sound systems, as well as plush seats that fully recline. It’s scheduled to open May 19.

The building was purchased in 2020 by Alpena natives Jeff and Tina Konczak who oversaw extensive renovation of the property. Every detail of Sanctuary Cinema has been hand-selected to ensure a superior customer experience.

Konczak brought on Stancil as Director of Theater Operations. Stancil is the owner of the Rialto Theater in downtown Grayling,  which was founded in 1915 by Stancil’s great-grandfather. Stancil grew up in the theater business and looks forward to bringing his decades of experience to Alpena.

Each of Sanctuary Cinema’s three theaters features cushioned recliners with their own tray tables, optional heated seats and individual controls to partially or fully recline.

“Jeff and his team have gone above and beyond with every detail of Sanctuary Cinema,” Stancil said. “It’s about creating a space that the community can be proud of. This is your movie theater and it’s exceptional.”

Tight rows and uncomfortable seats have been replaced with cushioned recliners and ample legroom for a more comfortable viewing experience. The old storefront windows have been restored to let in sunlight and provide a view of downtown Alpena from the lobby.

The building was originally constructed in the mid-1920s. J.C. Penney Company moved into the space in 1929. After the department store closed, it became the Royal Knight Cinema which showed its last movie in 2018.

The cinema’s name pays tribute to Alpena’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, an underwater preserve that protects the historic shipwrecks throughout Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay.

The cinema features three separate screening rooms, one large auditorium and two smaller theaters.

For ticket information call 989-340-0314.

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