Bob’s Bullpen to open theater June 15

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Bob’s Bullpen owner Bob LeFever takes a break from putting the finishing touches on a new movie theater he plans to open downtown to snack on some popcorn. LeFever said he will screen recently released movies at his cinema, as well as having themed movie nights. His first feature film to play will be the Transformers action flick “Bumblebee” on June 15.

ALPENA –When the Royal Knight Theater in Alpena closed last year, it limited the selection of movies people have to choose from for viewing in the area.

Now, a downtown Alpena business owner is ready to open a single-screen movie theater, which the owner hopes will not only increase movie options, but also introduce a new theater experience for customers.

Bob LeFever, owner of comic book store Bob’s Bullpen, has purchased a large section of theater seating from the former Royal Knight and refurbished them. He’s installed the seats and a high-definition theater system in a large back room behind the Bulldog, a small eatery connected to the comic book store that LeFever opened last fall. He’s calling it B Royal Movie Theater.

LeFever, who opened his comic book store five years ago, said adding a movie theater to compliment the AMC Classic State 3 theater was always in his plans.

In mid-June, he will begin showing feature films for a crowd up to 35 people. He said people should have a good view of the screen no matter where they sit because of how his theater is designed.

“It is stadium seating that slightly elevates, so you don’t have to worry about getting your view blocked like you would with flat-floor seating,” he said. “It kind of mimics the same thing we had over at Royal Knight.”

The first movie will be shown on June 15, when LeFever will show the latest Transformer movie, “Bumblebee.” In the future, there will also be theme nights during which the movie and food will be themed.

“We will have kung fu Fridays and scary movie Saturdays, and we also have special menus that coincide with the theme,” LeFever said. “We want them to be event nights. We will keep an eye on the movies AMC is playing so to be sure we have more options in town when it comes to newer movies.”

LeFever said that, because there are so few movie screens in Alpena, there are several movies that aren’t shown at all. He said his new business will help to prevent that.

“There are a lot of great movies that we really never get a chance to see. This will help cure that,” he said.

LeFever said he is pricing tickets so moviegoers will be able to afford going to the movie, while allowing him to make enough to pay the licensing fees needed to present quality films. He said tickets will be $7.99 for adults, $5.99 for a child or student. Senior tickets will be $6.99.

“Getting some of the larger-named movies can be quite costly,” LaFever said. “For one showing of ‘Bumblebee,’ it is going to cost $200.”

Tickets for the movies are already on sale and available at

LeFever said people can receive updates on shows, showtimes and dates on social media.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at Follow him on Twitter