BIG & SMALL SCREEN MAGIC
In 1994 the former NBA player created a chain of movie theaters in minority neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area. Seeing the need for first-rate movie multiplexes in Black neighborhoods, Johnson Development Corporation later partnered with Sony-Loews Theaters to open additional locations in Atlanta, Cleveland and Houston. AMC Theaters purchased Sony-Loews in 2006, renaming the entrepreneur’s multiplexes to AMC Magic Johnson Theaters. Since giving up his management role, most theater locations have since closed with only two remaining—one in Harlem and the other in Largo, Maryland.
In February 2012, Magic Johnson became one of the few minorities to acquire his own television channel through Xfinity (formerly Comcast). Named Aspire, the channel is geared towards African-American and families will offer movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy and inspirational programs. “Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations,” said Johnson about the channel, which is set to launch this summer. “Aspire will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture.”