Company: Emagine Entertainment, Inc.
Year started: 1997
Offices: Seven Michigan locations
Activity: Recognized innovator in the theatrical exhibition industry.
Annual Revenue: Historically $10M–$20M
Attended: Wayne State University
Degree: B.S., Accounting, 1980; M.B.A., Taxation, 1985
Company website: emagine-entertainment.com
“Fear is a great motivator”
Accountant by day, entertainment tycoon by night, Paul Glantz admittedly is not your typical entrepreneur. The president and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc. (a specialty insurance broker serving over 1,600 financial institutions nationwide) is also the driving force behind Southeast Michigan’s Emagine Theaters—the first in the world to convert to high-definition digital imagery from 35mm film and to introduce complete stadium seating.
Glantz hadn’t always dreamed of becoming the cinematic expert that he is considered today, however. His foray into the movie business was born more out of chance than design when, as CFO of Proctor Financial in the 1980s, his fears over the economy pushed him to look at alternative sources of income to support his family and provide a financial cushion should the economy take a nosedive.
Glantz looked at a number of businesses, but was eventually persuaded by the transparency of its financial statements to purchase a one-screen movie theater in Clarkston, MI. He now has grown his movie empire to 46 screens in six cities throughout Southeast Michigan.
Glantz continues to focus on improving the moviegoing experience for his customers. Being the first to re-introduce alcohol in his theaters, he now is looking to expand that experience by allowing patrons to purchase specific seats in advance and be served dinner by a wait staff at his 10-screen, 16-lane bowling center in Royal Oak. Longer term, he’s looking to expand his theater business outside the United States while still working for Proctor Financial.
“Knowing what you don’t want can be as important as knowing what you do want.”
Glantz received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Wayne State University. He credits his alma mater for exposing him to the real world of business and helping him hone in on what he really wanted to do with his career. While working toward his master’s degree, he interned at a major automotive manufacturer where he learned firsthand the ins and outs of business—and that the auto industry was not for him. After a number of accountant positions at various companies, Glantz landed at Proctor Financial, where he worked his way up through the ranks to CFO, and to his current position as president and CEO.
Photo credit: Douglas G. Ashley