The Emagine Palladium in Birmingham has surpassed its pre-pandemic revenue.

The Emagine Palladium in Birmingham has surpassed its pre-pandemic revenue.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Local theaters focus on recovery following post-pandemic supply shortages

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 7, 2023

 The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township was one of the best performers in the state for the recent film “Asteroid City.”

The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township was one of the best performers in the state for the recent film “Asteroid City.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP/BIRMINGHAM — Supply-chain issues due to the pandemic have affected industries throughout the world.

Delays in production also meant the entertainment industry suffered from a shortage of content.

Once the pandemic ended, production roared back, but that did not affect the gap that was left directly after the shutdown. According to, 111% more films entered production nationally in 2021 compared to 2020.

As production picks up, local theaters are focusing on bringing people back to fill the seats in front of the big screen.


The Emagine Palladium
Anthony Laverde, the CEO of Emagine Entertainment, said they had roughly 68 feature films that were released by studios in 2022. This year they will have over 115 films, which is closer to the number of a typical year, about 140.

“The issue is just that films were delayed in production,” Laverde said. “They weren’t able to be completed due to COVID delays, and all of that has to sort of catch up. That’s what 2022 was.”

Laverde said the problem was not that people did not want to go to the movies; the problem was the available supply.

“Every slow period in 2022 was simply because we didn’t have a new film, and this year we are seeing that diminished quite a bit where we have a full slate of films in 2023 —​ almost a full schedule, and folks are back,” Laverde said.

Laverde said the Emagine Palladium in Birmingham, 209 Hamilton Row,  is at about 85% of their pre-pandemic attendance, but they have surpassed their pre-pandemic revenue.

“2023 is a terrific year. We expect it to be a record year for revenue for us, and the supply chain issues have eased. They are not totally out of the way, but they have certainly eased quite a bit,” Laverde said.

Laverde said he has noticed a trend of brand loyalty shifting since the pandemic.

“What we are seeing is consumers are really voting with their wallets these days to only attend theaters that have reinvested in their building, provide high-quality food, high-quality sound and picture and really put the guests first and a really enjoyable experience,” Laverde said.

Pre-pandemic, Laverde observed that people would attend a different theater if their preferred theater had sold out of their desired show. Now, he said, it seems that people are willing to wait a few extra days to have the experience they want.

He said they are “really just seeing consumers vote to spend their money only on the operators that are providing a high-quality experience.”

Guests can check out the Emagine Palladium at


The Maple Theater
“It’s been slow to get back to pre-pandemic numbers,” Maple Theater managing partner Ruth Daniels said.

The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, 4135 W. Maple Road, specializes in arthouse, foreign and independent films.

“It’s all about the movies, and it’s the small, independent theaters that are struggling the most at this point,” Daniels said.

Daniels said one of the issues independent theaters are facing is that films that used to be played exclusively for a couple of weeks alone are now opening in every other theater at the same time. This has forced theaters, such as The Maple, to play films they would not normally play.

“For ‘Asteroid City,’ we were one of the best performers in the state,” Daniels said. “But if it played like it used to play where we had a week or two to ourselves, it would have been much better.”

The success of films has depended on the genre throughout the pandemic.

While The Maple Theater used to be a popular spot for foreign films, Daniels said a large audience interest in foreign films has not returned.

One of the first audiences that returned to the theaters was families.

“The audience was crying out for family films because kids were locked up too during this whole thing, so once there were films for them to see, we saw the families returned,” Daniels said.

Theaters saw success periodically last year, including “Top Gun: Maverick,” which Daniels said felt like one of the first tastes of normality.

Most recently, Daniels said “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have both been very successful at The Maple. She said it has not been this busy since 2019.

Daniels said The Maple Theater has increased events beyond film screenings as a way to bring people back.

Guests can now hang out at The Maple Theater for trivia, comedy shows, live music and more. The lounge provides snacks for guests to enjoy while they are at the theater.

The Maple Theaters offerings can be found at