MJR Theatres began in the early 1980s with the acquisition of the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan. The chain took its name from its original slogan, "Movies Just Right." MJR's current slogan is "It's More Fun at MJR," as heard on its advertising jingle which appears in the beloved policy trailer.
During the 1990s, MJR would begin building more Multiplex cinemas, including the Adrian Cinema in 1990, the Chesterfield Cinema in 1995, and soon after the Waterford Cinema in 1996. In order to help finance the new cinemas, MJR sold some of its existing theaters, including the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, the Livonia Mall Cinemas and a drive-in in Monroe. Open in 1998, the Southgate Cinema 20 was the chain's first megaplex, followed by the Brighton Cinema 20 in 2001, which had opened with 16 screens, and the Marketplace Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, Michigan in 2005.
In December 2013, MJR announced its first Studio Bar and Lounge, to be built adjacent to the lobby at its Marketplace location in Sterling Heights. As of 2019, the MJR Studio Bar and Lounge is now featured in all of the 10 locations, offering a diverse array of cocktails, beer, and wine.
The 16-screen Troy Grand Digital Cinema opened on June 20, 2014, along with MJR's first PLF (Premium Large-Screen Format) auditorium, aptly titled the EPIC Experience. The EPIC Experience at the Troy location features one of the largest Cinema screens in Michigan, measuring 43' tall and 80' wide. The EPIC Experience also includes 4K projection and Dolby Atmos sound. Soon after, an EPIC Experience auditorium was added to the Southgate Cinema location.
MJR's newest location, the 16-screen Univeral Grand Digital Cinema opened on April 7, 2017 at 12 Mile & Dequindre in Warren, MI.
In 2022, MJR debuted VIP Seats, an exclusive seating concept designed to bring privacy, convenience, and luxurious comfort to the theatrical experience. Consisting of two-to-three seat pods, VIP Seats feature premium heated reclining chairs, two convenient side tables, storage compartments for personal belongings, coat hooks, and a surrounding privacy enclosure designed to provide additional personal space.
Also in 2022, MJR opened its second PLF experience, titled Laser Ultra, at the Brighton Cinema location. This state-of-the-art auditorium features a Barco 4K Laser projection system, immersive Dolby Atmos sound, and zero gravity heated reclining chairs throughout. When combined, these features provide the ultimate theatrical experience in sight, sound, and comfort. Based on the overwhelming postive reponse, in 2023 MJR expanded Laser Ultra to the Markplace Cinema location.