Article Kathleen Blair, Michelle Talsma Everson, Michelle Guerrero, Alison Stanton | Photography David Apeji
With the success of our Women’s issue, it seemed to be a no-brainer to carry it forward and feature The Real Men of Chandler in the June Men’s issue. We found these guys everywhere—donating their talents, time and/or money to make a difference in our great community.
Again, nominations were solicited through the magazine, social media and word-of-mouth. The nominating criteria remained loose because we were looking for men from a broad cross-section of our community and our Editorial Committee once again had a difficult task making the selections. All 62 nominees deserved to be in this issue, but space only allowed us to bring you 17.
I hope you enjoy reading and learning more about each of these men. Some will not be a surprise, but some will. Some are similarly motivated. Some are extremely unique. Some are innovative. Some have overcome great adversity. All are amazingly selfless. All are interesting. All are dedicated. All are motivated to do good.
Next time you see these men around the neighborhood, I hope you say hello and thank them for caring. They truly embody what gives Chandler our small-town feel and true sense of community.
MICHAEL A. POLLACK
PRESIDENT, POLLACK INVESTMENTS
Often referred to as “The Plastic Surgeon of Commercial Real Estate,” Michael A. Pollack began his career in the real-estate development business in 1973. After several years of building new projects, he turned his talents to redevelopment. As a leader in real estate, he has developed and redeveloped over 10 million square feet of real-estate properties in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada.
With a focus on redeveloping old and antiquated retail centers throughout Chandler and neighboring communities, Pollack has brought pride back into the neighborhoods. People are often stunned when they see some of the before-and-after photographs of the many redevelopments that his company has completed. He has received more than 100 awards for his work and charitable efforts—including recognitions and acknowledgements, Governor Awards, Congressional Awards, Senatorial Awards and even Presidential Honors.
Known for charitable giving, Pollack has given to numerous local organizations, including Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Regional Medical Center, Chandler Education Foundation, Chandler Service Club, Assistance League of East Valley, ICAN, Matthew’s Crossing, Fans Across America, numerous schools in the Chandler Unified School District, and is one of the largest private donors to Goodwill of Arizona.
What is one of your fondest memories of a time you were giving back to the Chandler community?
I’m thankful to say that during the past 25 years that I’ve been in Chandler, I have been able to give back to several local and national charities that make a positive difference in the lives of so many. Every charity I have been involved with has left me with a fond memory that upon recalling reminds me why I continue to strive to make the great city of Chandler an even better place.
How do you balance work, community and a personal life?
Finding a balance includes prioritizing my time so that I am able to give to each part of my life. I continue to strive to find the perfect balance between work, community and personal life; however, I can honestly say that it is a work in progress.
What is the most rewarding part of being able to give back?
I have always believed that being part of a community means helping your neighbors by giving in any way you can. The most rewarding part of being able to give back is knowing that my donations help provide the resources that charities need to continue their great work in the community.
By Srianthi Perera
Michael Pollack shows off the Borsch man.
The Mesa corporate headquarters of Michael Pollack seems ordinary enough from the outside.
Inside is another matter. In addition to the opulent offices of the real estate mogul, the building houses three extraordinary museums, one a contender for the Guinness World Records.
Pollack’s 8,000-piece collection of three-dimensional advertising memorabilia in the Pollack Advertising Museum is said to be the world’s largest and has pieces dating from the 1700s. It also houses 156 animated Baranger jewelry store window displays of the mid-1900s. It’s estimated that 165 total were made.
His other two collections—meticulously restored collections of antique wheeled slot machines and three-reeler slot machines—are no less unique. Some of the wheel machines date to the 1900s and would dispense gum or candy or would play a song so that saloon owners could circumvent the illegality of gambling.
The three-reelers include slot machines carved in the 1950s by Arizona cowboy artist Frank Polk.
“I think it’s history, and I’m fascinated by history,” Pollack said.
Pollack submitted an application for the world records book after a Guinness representative toured the three-dimensional advertising museum. He’s awaiting a response.
It’s a one-horse race.
“There isn’t another place that has that many pieces of one type,” Pollack said.
Until 2009, the collections were open to the general public and counted nearly 300 daily visitors. It was hard to keep up and required extra resources. Nowadays, it’s open during charity fundraisers and by appointment to Pollack’s friends, acquaintances and serious collectors.
If you manage to wrangle an invite, it’s best to walk the rooms of any of the three displays with the collector himself. In the absence of introductory plaques and devoid of the stories to give them context, the objects may seem just a collection of antique toys. It’s easy to forget that most of these objects were made before the Walt Disney Company was even founded.
So what’s there?
Advertisements featuring an elephant (Hamlin’s wizard oil—“great for pain”), tea (Lipton), airlines (Air India), shipping lines (Hamburg), a wooden ship (Cutty Sark), a bear twirling on a motorcycle (Hamm’s Beer) and the Old Crow flapping his wings and moving his head while pedaling on a unicycle (Old Crow bourbon whisky). There’s a green-shirted Squirt boy, Buster Brown with his shoes and a life size Esso tiger, just to mention a few.
One of Pollack’s favorites—he uses the word dozens of times—is the life-size Bosch man used to advertise the well-known battery in gas stations during the Nazi years in Germany. At the time, Allied forces were bombing the stations to prevent gas from being transported. This particular statue was discovered in a basement of an excavated building in East Berlin; it was safe inside a coffin.
Another of Pollack’s favorite finds, with an accompanying narrative, is an apothecary’s display of a terracotta figurine of a little man with a pointy beard, a cat and many mice dating to the 1800s. His is a tale similar to that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
A village in Germany hires a man to kill rats and mice that are invading, is only paid half the agreed amount. He’s called again when the mice return. This time, the man asks for what was owed to him as well more for the new job, which the desperate villagers pay. The man finally brings in several cats that destroy the mice.
“That was the story that goes with him; it’s sounded like a really good one,” said Pollack, who had to clamber up a rat-infested attic in a Berlin antiques store to retrieve the statue at the shop owner’s bidding.
Pollack is also particularly proud of his Baranger collection because the company made 165 or so machines, out of which he owns 156. Manufactured in Pasadena, California, the Baranger moving figures advertised pieces of jewelry. The machines were never sold to jewelry shops; instead, the company leased them and placed them inside the shop windows.
“There are about 10 that are pretty elusive, and I haven’t got to them,” he said. “There’s not a lot to add; we have an extremely complete collection.”
Pollack began his collection in northern California when he was about 12.
“I was fascinated by these moving, mechanical signs that were advertising different products,” he said.
He would buy items such as electric beer signs at flea markets on Saturdays, repair them at night and sell them for a profit on Sundays to antique stores.
“I actually was making money as a kid, but I was fascinated with these signs,” he said. “I liked them so much that I would try to keep one of each kind for myself. And, pretty soon, it went from a kid’s hobby to now one of the largest assemblages in the world.”
With his collector zeal, Pollack continues to scout for additions. He’s looking for the missing—and elusive—Barangers. He doesn’t have to travel too much these days, because collector’s items are listed online, and his museum is notified of any new finds because it has a worldwide reputation.
As for the future, Pollack plans to write a book to chronicle the history of the collection’s individual pieces. Although he doesn’t claim to know the story behind each and every piece, he remembers a fair amount.
“I have so much of the history memorized that it would be a shame not to preserve it,” he said.
For more information, go to pollackmuseum.com.
By: Brian Corsetti
We live in amazing times where we can watch big name movies in the comfort of our home. This means we sometimes just skip the theater experience altogether. Brian Corsetti has three of the coolest and unique cathedrals of cinema across America that are worth getting off the couch for.
1. Pollack Tempe Cinemas in Tempe, AZ
Real estate mogul Michael Pollack is such a movie buff that he opened a theater just for the community. This awesome spot only charges $3 to see a movie! You can’t beat that deal.
2. Starlight Six Drive-In in Atlanta, GA
There were over 4,000 drive-in theaters back in the day, but now there are barely 400. Starlight is a rare gem that’s been open since 1949 and they have perfected the drive-in movie experience. Who doesn’t want to bring back great memories while watching a flick?
3. The Tampa Theatre in Tampa, FL
This theater provides a movie experience that you just don’t get anymore in the modern day. It has been called one of the ten most beautiful theaters in the world by BBC and Trip Advisor! Definitely a cinema experience that will last a lifetime.
Have you ever conceptualized a western town schematic — with blueprints — in the fourth grade? Michael Pollack has. From a young age, Pollack, president and founder of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments, was already contemplating how to make the world a better place — one project at a time.
Immediately following high school in 1973, Pollack built his first home, which launched him onto a single-family and multifamily residential real estate career path that included more than 10,000 apartment units. His career evolved and expanded into all facets of commercial real estate and led him to work in California, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada and, ultimately, Arizona.
Many recognize Pollack for his dedication to community redevelopment and improvement, coining him with the moniker, “Renovation King.” Although he doesn’t claim rights to royalty, Pollack is appreciative of being acknowledged as someone who could leave a positive and lasting legacy.
“If I can do my part to leave this world a better place than I found it, that’s what I want to do,” says Pollack.
Pollack’s hope isn’t a tall order, considering his invaluable contributions toward not only the communities he improves through renovation, but also through his tireless philanthropic contributions with such organizations as Goodwill Industries, Boy Scouts of America, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Banner Health Foundation, and the Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa centers for the arts, as well as numerous other nonprofits and schools throughout the Valley of the Sun.
How, may one ask, does the man who has been involved in more than 13 million square feet of real estate projects find time to dedicate to his surrounding community and causes?
“One day at a time,” Pollack says, “I wear a lot of hats and I enjoy most of them. I always try to make each day count for something.”
Pollack is intentional in whatever task he targets — whether arranging items in his three-dimensional advertising museum, playing with his band — “Pollack ‘s Corporate Affair” — at charitable fund-raising events, giving back to the community or redeveloping an existing property.
One of Pollack’s favorite projects to date was a 100-percent leased project on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Ray roads in Gilbert. It was somewhat inspired by the miniature western town he envisioned during elementary school. When tasked with keeping an iconic horse statue associated with the project, Pollack had to get creative.
“I received over 300 emails from people wanting me to bring back the horse,” Pollack says, “I ended up building a balcony above one of the suites similar to the kind you’d see on Disney’s Main Street — a sort of half-story balcony façade, and placed the horse on it. It was a challenge, but one I was glad to work on.”
As an added bonus of witnessing his projects come to fruition, Pollack has observed the byproduct of his transformations for the surrounding community.
“Renovation almost becomes contagious,” he says. “In many cases, I’ll see the community spirit revived with people painting houses, adding new roofs and landscaping. I’m glad to know that my work inspires people to take ownership of their community as a result of seeing the projects and improvements that we’ve done.”
So what’s next for this man who has impacted so many communities?
“There are so many real estate projects in need of improvement,” Pollack says. “My goal is to continue improving our communities one project at a time.”
Posted: Michelle Johnson Sien 3-4-16 WP
Pollack Tempe Cinema Voted Best Budget Movie Theater 2015 by The Phoenix New Times Article written by publisher for Phoenix New Times.
BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER (2015)
Pollack Tempe Cinemas (link to article below from Phoenix New Times)
MORE AWARDS FROM THIS WINNER
Best Budget Movie Theater (2014)Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Best Cult Movie Series (2014)Cult Classics at Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Best Budget Movie Theater (2012)Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Best Budget Movie Theater (2011)Pollack Tempe Cinemas
Best Budget Movies (2009)Pollack Tempe Cinemas
BEST PLACE TO SEE AN INDIE FLICK (2005)Tempe Pollack Cinemas
Best Discount Movie Theater (2001)Tempe Cinemas
A great way to spend family time.
In March this year Pollack Tempe Cinemas decided to start playing movies from the past on Monday and Wednesday nights with the thought of creating a nostalgic movie experience for their customers. They brought back favorite movies like the Harry Potter series, Back to the Future series and other Hollywood favorites and have had held special events to go along with the movie. Each week 1 new movie is shown on Monday and Wednesday nights at 7PM and the admission is only $3.
This month’s big event is June 22 & 24th when they are playing The Dark Knight, a 2008 film with Christian Bale as Batman and Heath Ledger as the villain, Joker. Pollack Tempe Cinemas invited The Justice League of Arizona, an all-volunteer organization of costumed enthusiasts to participate in this event. Customers are invited to bring their cameras and take photos with Batman and his team on these 2 night at 6pm-7pm prior to the movie The Dark Knight that starts at 7pm. Admission to the movie is only $3 per person. Visiting and taking photos with Batman and his team is Free.
The first 400 movie attendees will also receive a Free Pollack Tempe Cinemas Swag Bag. Don’t forget to see the life-size replica of Batman while you’re there, along with all the exciting movie memorabilia and wax figure Hollywood Stars. It’s never too late to bring Dad to the movies, the day after Father’s Day.
“The best movie experience around”
Walls filled with signed memorabilia, movie posters, and life-size wax figures of many Hollywood’s favorite icons including: Batman, Superman, Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, John Travolta and Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction, George C. Scott from Patton and many more are what you will see on display at Pollack Tempe Cinemas.
Pollack Tempe Cinemas is a discount theater featuring second-run movies. Waiting for the motion picture to be released and seeing the movie for only $3 admission every day except for the $2 Tuesday special is well worth it to our customers.
Don’t let the words “discount theater” mislead you. In 2014 Michael Pollack, President and Founder of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments and owner of Pollack Tempe Cinemas decided to convert the cinema to an all-digital format with state-of-the-art digital video and surround sound. To add to the experience he upgraded to all new seating in the 6 theaters and refinished the floors.
Pollack Tempe Cinemas, located on the southeast corner of McClintock and Elliot Road entertains thousands of families each year. The savings doesn’t stop with the $3 admission, you will find the popcorn and items in the concession stand cost less than competitors.
Special events such as the Summer Movie Club featuring children’s movies shown daily at 10AM Monday through Friday for a mere $5 per child for Season Tickets from May 25th through July 31st this year.
Equally important in addition to our regular scheduled movies, we have special featured movies on Monday & Wednesday nights at 7PM. The movies change weekly, and we enjoy bringing back favorites like Back to the Future series, Harry Potter series and Fast & Furious series as well as many other outstanding box office favorites.
For “The best movie experience around”, visit Pollack Tempe Cinemas at 1825 E. Elliot Rd in Tempe and stay informed through our social media and Facebook sites. www.TempeCinemas.com #familyfun
Welcome to Pollack Tempe Cinema’s Special Event Calendar
Here you will find weekly contests and promotions!
Weekend STARTING: Friday 4-24-15
through Thursday 4-29-15
“DOUBLE” or TWINS WEEK
CHECK YOUR EMAIL FROM US
Look for the CODE for your FREE Tootsie Pop Sucker.
*limited quantity, limited supply, first come first serve. 1 per person-per visit
Weekend STARTING: Friday 4-17-15
through Thursday 4-23-15
NATIONAL COMEDY WEEK
Weekend STARING: Friday 4-10-15
through Thursday 4-16-15
Weekend STARTING: Friday 4-3-15
through Thursday 4-9-15
Sign up for our loyalty club in the lobby of Pollack Tempe Cinema, or online through our Facebook page.
March 2015 Calendar available at Pollack Tempe Cinema
Friday, March 13th -thru- Thursday, March 19th 2015
Print: girl scout week flyer
Print: back to the future flyer
Print: science contest flyer
ALIEN – Extra Terrestrial Week
Friday, March 20th to Thursday, March 26th
Week of March 27th (Friday) through April 2nd (Thursday)
Week of a “Blockbuster Movie & Raisinete’s”
You can also cast your ballot-guess on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tempecinemas
- Contest/Permission slips can be emailed in to: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can print them or pick one up at the cinema. (Make sure your project is attached to your permission slip form, if you are sending a photo for your project, attach the form along with it).
- Please include one with each of your submission.
- No purchase necessary. See each contest rules.
- Limited quantities of special event promotional items, prizes, special candies and deserts.
*link to: Contest Permission Slip Form