Go big or don’t go at all.
Lansing resident and touring comedian Amaru took that adage to heart when he purchased the shuttered theater in the Lansing Mall.
His two-phase project kicks off with the Amaru Flix Summer Drive-In Series, a three-screen outdoor drive-in that will run from May to September and feature two movies per day Friday through Sunday and a different movie each weekend.
The second phase, which broke ground in January, is Greenwood District Studios — and is the state’s first black-owned state-of-the-art movie studio. The 24,000-square-foot building, slated to open in 2022, will feature sound studios, stages for local productions and even a comedy club.
According to Lisa Michelle, media relations manager for Greenwood District Studios, the studio is named after the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race riots. The area most affected was called Black Wall Street, which was in the Greenwood District of the city, and was burned to the ground.
“The possibilities for Greenwood District Studios are endless,” said Michelle. “People have been contacting us to ask how they can help. It’s been great; that’s why we’re excited.”
The plan is to use profits from the drive-in to help finance the studios and also donate 25% of those funds for community projects each month.
“We are always interested in redevelopment projects that repurpose buildings and look forward to working with Greenwood Studios,” said Collin Mays, Delta Township’s community and economic development coordinator. “Greenwood Studios would be the first of its kind here in Delta and in Michigan, and we certainly appreciate them wanting to operate right here in Delta Township.”