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County chamber hosts Emagine Entertainment owner

By: Thomas Franz | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published October 22, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — As part of its “Secrets of My Success” series, the Macomb County Chamber welcomed Emagine Entertainment founder and chairman Paul Glantz for an event on Oct. 14 in Clinton Township.

Glantz took part in a 45-minute question and answer forum with chamber CEO Grace Shore, along with questions from other chamber members.

The forum touched on many topics with Glantz’s theaters and business expansion, and how it relates to entrepreneurship. Emagine opened its first Macomb County location in December 2014 with a theater in Macomb Township on 23 Mile and Hayes roads.

“That location is far exceeding our expectations. We thought we would be lucky to get a half million guests a year there, and we’re probably looking at 600,000 this year,” Glantz said. “It’s probably doing 20 percent more patronage than we had even forecasted to begin with.”

Glantz opened his first theatre in 1997 under the name of “Cinema Hollywood” at a location in Birch Run. Currently, there are nine Emagine locations across Michigan. The Macomb location was the first to open with fully reclining seats. 

Glantz said that he frequently speaks with other entrepreneurs to further connect businesses.

“I’m an angel investor myself. I’ve helped a lot of small businesses, and I’m proud to do so. I think that entrepreneurship is terrific. I’ve had the privilege of creating more than 1,000 jobs in Michigan, and I think entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of a strong economy,” Glantz said.

Glantz’s appearance was the second of the chamber’s quarterly entrepreneurial series. The first event highlighted Achatz Handmade Pie Co., which is based in Chesterfield Township.

Shore said the chamber hopes to inspire other entrepreneurs through the event series.

“Some people think it’s easy; you come up with an idea, you open up a storefront or whatever, and your customers come. It’s not like that,” Shore said. “It’s a lot of planning, a lot of research, a lot of market research, and you certainly have to have a plan B, because you have to know things aren’t going to go exactly as you think they’re going to go.”

As the economy and automotive industry took a downturn in 2008, Shore said that many of those workers who lost jobs became entrepreneurs. Today, she said, that entrepreneurial environment is healthy in the county.

“We have a very solid entrepreneurship community. You saw a lot of startups during the time a lot of the big automotive companies were suffering their decline,” Shore said. “We’re a hardworking community in Macomb County, and I think it lays the groundwork for entrepreneurship.”

Shore said that startups in the county have ranged across all industries.

To help small businesses in Macomb, Shore said, the chamber provides counseling to entrepreneurs and directs them to the county’s small business assistance center, which helps with many aspects of starting a business.

“The whole concept of the chamber is to unite the business community so they do business with one another and give back to the community,” Shore said. “Success breeds success. When things are going good, it makes it easy to do business and attract other businesses.”