As theatrical box office numbers continue their upswing heading into a packed summer movie season, Emagine Entertainment, the national, Michigan-based theatrical exhibition chain specializing in a complete moviegoing experience from top notch projection and sound to high-end amenities like heated recliners, brick-oven pizza and customized bowling, enters Batavia, Illinois (550 N. Randall Road) this weekend with quite a proposition—the biggest movie screen in Illinois.
In a much-awaited June 1 ribbon cutting, Emagine CEO Anthony LaVerde was joined by actor James Jude Courtney, iconic as menacing marauder Michael Myers in Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, to unveil the soon-to-be hot destination for cinephiles, giving packed house attendees a first look at Emagine Batavia’s massive, 96-foot wide Cinemascope screen, inaugurated with a special fan screening of David Gordon Green’s Halloween followed by a Q&A between CEO and slasher- ahem, star.
I caught up with LaVerde and Courtney for an in-depth chat at the intersection of art and commerce, exploring such topics as Emagine’s formidable design and viewer value proposition, the state of theatrical exhibition and viewer habits, box office trends, theatrical and streaming dynamics and Emagine’s commitment to creating memorable experiences for filmgoers.
Courtney—a veteran actor and stuntman whose superbly physical performance as one of moviedom’s largest looming legends is at once original in interpretation while in loving service to franchise fans— shared insights on stepping into the shoes of a mammoth movie anti-hero, as well as thoughts on his craft, manifesting the role, his commitment to his ensemble and the healing power of art on its viewers, a notion not lost on the star across his interaction with thousands of worldwide fans.
View the interview:
- 00:07 — About Emagine Batavia
- 02:37 — A commitment to quality
- 04:57 — Manifesting a legendary character
- 12:00 — Theatrical and streaming post pandemic
- 17:32 — Theatrical is back; industry dynamics
- 21:02 — The art of acting: a healing force