The founder of what will be Royal Oak's new movie theater hopes to break ground by the end of this month or early next on the entertainment complex.
Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Plymouth-based Emagine Entertainment
, says the process has been challenging, yet exciting to bring a first-run theater complex offering food, alcohol, and bowling to the city. Yet, "I think this venue is going to be very successful," he says. "And I think it's going to be successful not just for our benefit, but for downtown Royal Oak."
He expects that not only will the theater bring in new visitors to the downtown area, but they'll stay and visit the existing restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. It's expected to create 100 full-time jobs in the kitchen, at the ticket counter, and in the food-service area.
"It's going to be a pretty substantial economic engine," he says.
At this time Glantz is reviewing contractor bids before breaking ground this summer. Helping to fund the project is a $1.25 million Brownfield Tax Credit from the Michigan Economic Development Corp
, which helped garner support from Royal Oak's Downtown Development Authority, and what Glantz calls a "substantial economic boost."
"We are really in the home stretch in terms of starting construction," he says. "It's very exciting. You pour a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into bringing one of these projects to fruition."
He still hopes to have the theater up and running by April, to get all the kinks worked out before next summer's blockbuster season starts.
The 10-screen complex, 73,000 square feet spread over two stories, will be located on the parking lot on 11 Mile Road just east of Main Street, behind the Main Art Theatre. The $14 million project will house 1,680 seats and 16 lanes of bowling. There will also be a private party area/meeting room on a second-floor mezzanine level over the main entrance.Source: Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine EntertainmentWriter: Kristin Lukowski