Michael Mihalich

CEO and Founder of MJR Digital Cinemas in Oak Park. MJR Digital Cinemas has eight locations with132 screens in Michigan. Over 30 years ago, Mihalich moved to Detroit and started MJR Theatre Service, Inc., with about 90 screens. MJR has a history of expansion and industry firsts, including its Chesterfield Township location, which was one of the first theaters in the U.S. to be converted to stadium seating utilizing foam blocks. Recently, MJR’s Marketplace Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights has been the top grossing theater in Michigan. The company recently announced that it will build a $16 million, 74,000–square–foot theater in Troy. Scheduled to open in 2014, the theater will feature the MJR Epic Experience for extra comfort and the MJR Studio Bar & Lounge. Mihalich started his career at Warner Brothers and worked his way through various positions. He then partnered with Jim Payne and Marvin Mann to form Midwest Entertainment, an independent distribution, booking, and buying company, which he later sold. He then worked at Cooperative Theatres of Ohio before founding MJR. Mihalich also has been the executive producer on three films, including “The Rosary Murders” with the screenplay written by Fred Walton and Elmore Leonard. Mihalich attended Arizona State University on a football scholarship until an injury ended his career.

WHERE BORN: “Alton, Ill.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Blair Mooney and Joe Young. My first job out of school was at Warner Bros., and Joe was my supervisor. He promoted me and I advanced quickly. Blair owned a business. I joined him and he taught me a lot when I took over a similar business. Seeing his philosophies and how he operated had a tremendous influence.”

LAST BOOK READ: “The Steve Jobs autobiography.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Cautious and sensible, considerate, and generous.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Theaters are getting more and more user friendly. Technology keeps improving the movie-going experience. For instance, one thing that is in the works now is brighter light on screen to make the picture clearer and more vivid through laser light technology. And a lot of new things are coming with new and improved sound systems.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “Pebble Beach.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Golf and my business.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Eggs over easy with bacon at Denny’s. I had it before I had heart surgery.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had an ability to get along with people and even those who others couldn’t get along with. It’s been a big help in my business career.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “Kind, considerate, generous, and I try to treat people in the same manner I’d like to be treated.”