Emagine to open with charity-event weekend

By: Jeremy Carroll | Online Only | Published May 9, 2011

 Workers put the finishing touches on Emagine, a movie theater and bowling complex. The facility will open for special charity events May 13-15; it will be open to the general public on May 16.

Workers put the finishing touches on Emagine, a movie theater and bowling complex. The facility will open for special charity events May 13-15; it will be open to the general public on May 16.

Photo by Jeremy Carroll

For Emagine, May 13 is show time.

The much-talked-about movie theater and bowling complex will hold a three-day charity preview weekend May 13-15 to benefit various local nonprofit groups. It opens to the general public at 5 p.m. on May 16.

“We’ve overcome a number of challenges,” said Paul Glantz, CEO of Emagine Entertainment. “It’s a very attractive venue inside and out. We feel like we addressed the concerns of the community and we hope we have done so.”

The 10-screen movie theater complex will have a 16-lane bowling alley inside, along with a liquor license to sell alcohol to patrons. The 71,000-square-foot facility is located at 200 Main St., near the corner of 11 Mile and Main.

The development faced opposition from resident groups, some saying the liquor license was unnecessary and voicing concerns about children in the area. The City Commission approved the transfer of a liquor license from another community into the facility, a rare event in a community that already has more than its state quota of liquor licenses.

The development also hit a snag with financing, but pushed through with a $300,000 tax abatement from the Downtown Development Authority. The first $300,0000 the complex pays to the DDA will be returned to the business for work it did improving the sidewalks around the development.

As they have done with the opening of other Emagine movie theaters, the company will dedicate the first days to raising money for local charities. On the opening night, May 13, money raised will go toward Variety Detroit, a local branch of a larger organization that aims to help kids facing financial challenges.

The opening night will have a Las Vegas-style show, black-tie bowling, food and drinks, and various movies playing. Tickets start at $150. The second night will have movie showings and food and entertainment that will benefit the Judson Center and Gleaners Food Bank. Tickets for that event are $100.

On May 15, the youth and family events will benefit the Royal Oak Foundation for Public Education and the Royal Oak Boys and Girls Clubs of South Oakland County. Tickets for that event, which starts at 1 p.m., will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Glantz said they hope to raise $250,000 for local charities during the three-day events.

Marn Myers, president and CEO of Judson Center, said they were thrilled to be part of the opening of Emagine.

“There’s a buzz about this fundraiser because it’s so different,” Myers said.

Participants will be able to watch a movie, bowl, get chair massages, eat and see vehicles from the movie franchise “Transformers.”

Myers said she is very thankful to Emagine and Glantz for being included in the event. The Judson Center provides a variety of services for children and families in need, including special needs kids. Money raised from the Emagine event will specifically help a newly launched resident program for girls ages 11-17 at facilities in metro Detroit.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic and fun event,” Myers said.

For more about the events and how to purchase tickets, visit www.emagine-entertainment.com.