EMAGINE’S PAUL GLANTZ: ‘SEIZE LIFE’S AUDITION’
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January 31, 2024
Notre Dame Prep middle school students get pep talk ahead of 2024 Amazing Shake competition.
“In the movie of life, you are always auditioning.” That was the advice Paul Glantz gave to students at Notre Dame Prep’s middle school last week as they wrapped up preparation for the school’s third annual Amazing Shake competition, set for Feb. 1-2. Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc., spoke to the students for about 20 minutes sharing anecdotes about his humble beginnings.
Raised in a middle-class family in Detroit, Glantz said leading a multibillion-dollar company that operates 28 theaters across Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota was never something he saw in the cards.
“When I was in school, I didn’t have that clarity of vision with what I wanted to do in life. My goal was to be prepared, but I wasn’t sure what I was preparing for,” he said. “So, I made sure to study hard and make good grades because I wasn’t sure what was next for me, and I didn’t have a trust fund.”
The hard work paid off when Glantz was accepted into Wayne State University on a full academic scholarship. It was at WSU where he met his future wife of 39 years, but more importantly set him on track for future success.
“Your opportunity is to make yourself a target for luck,” he said.
For Glantz, that luck came in 1989 when as a young certified public accountant, he ventured out for other business opportunities — family restaurants, dry cleaners, bars — before stumbling onto an add to purchase a theater in Clarkston. Glantz and a business partner secured the company by maxing out their credit cards and applying for a bank loan. The revenue from movie sales was not enough to support his family, and Glantz stayed in the accounting business, managing the theater on the side.
As fate would have it, luck struck again in the early ’90s, when Glantz and his business partners decided to purchase land to open a second theater.
“I didn’t have any capital of my own, but people saw something in me. They knew I was a hard worker, and they knew my character. Someone took a chance,” he said. “You are always auditioning for things we are auditing for. I was auditing for seed capital to expand my theater business. Without that confidence I built with others, I wouldn’t be standing here today. My advice to you is to inspire other people, get along with others, and be a good team player.”
Before taking questions from the students, Glantz told them no matter where they go in life, it is important to always remember the sacrifice their parents made.
“… go home and tell your parents that you love them,” he said, adding that his mom and dad are his biggest cheerleaders.
“They always believed in me. The world is tough. Without my parents encouraging me, who knows if I would’ve taken such a big risk,” he said. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are probably right either way. The love of my parents is an integral part of who I am. Love is critically important to the success of our society.”
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.