BOXOFFICE Hall of Fame: Bud Mayo, New Vision Entertainment

A veteran in the exhibition industry and pioneering voice for the expansion of event cinema in North America, the latest turn in Bud Mayo‘s career is the launch of a new circuit called New Vision Theatres. The circuit will have three primary areas of focus in its appeal to today’s moviegoers: enhanced food & beverage offerings, event cinema programming, and luxury seating. New Vision will look to leverage these three popular trends with marketing and operational initiatives developed to provide an outstanding guest experience. The company’s three co-founders —Bud Mayo, Chuck Goldwater, and Brett Marks– have all worked together in multiple ventures dating back to Mayo‘s first acquisition of a New Jersey movie theater in December 1994. With investment partners already secured, New Vision will be announcing its first acquisition soon –the first step in an exciting new chapter of Mayo‘s career.

By Chuck Goldwater, President, New Vision Entertainment

“We’ll figure it out.” With those words I began to learn and appreciate Bud’s brilliance in business. And equally his brilliance in life. At its essence what Bud was teaching us was simply to take the first step, and then another, trusting that we would always find our way to what would work best. Ultimately all the way to success.

One of Bud’s favorite quotes, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Bud embodies that sentiment totally. Bud is a pure entrepreneur. He is always moving forward, acting decisively, encouraging and inspiring everyone around him by example. And always with enthusiasm, which lifts everyone around him.

Enabling Bud’s enviable history of success in business are core personal principles that guide his life, and inspire others around him. I remember my first Cinedigm executive team off-site meeting. We were just getting started with our digital cinema business and looking to accelerate it together with our existing software and content delivery businesses. I was fairly new at the company, all excited to get together with my new colleagues. So at 8:30 in the morning, the day after a long week at what was then called ShoWest, there we all were, 20 senior executives, expecting to hear about our vision and mission, structure and process, all the usual off-site meeting agenda topics. Instead Bud’s began the meeting by telling us: “First, I want you to take care of yourselves; to exercise, eat well, get your rest, spend time with your family and your friends.” Okay, I thought to myself, that makes sense, the by-product of all that will make us better able to do our work at the highest level of performance. “Second,” he continued, “I want you to make yourself the kind of person others want to see succeed.” So Bud wanted a company full of good people, competing aggressively for sure, but morally, and succeeding by doing the right thing always. I was hooked.

As I got more involved in the company, and my responsibilities, and the company, began to grow, Bud asked me if we could have a regular weekly call to keep more closely updated with everything going on. We set the calls for Friday morning. One week he called to tell me he could not make it that Friday but could we do it anytime over the weekend when I had some free time. I was playing golf Saturday morning so I asked Bud if we could have our call after that. He said that was perfect, he would be on his way home from an all-day workshop. I assumed it was some public company CEO event, maybe an SEC or a corporate governance seminar. So when we got on the call I asked him how the seminar had been. He said, “It was great, I’ve always wanted to do clay sculpture.” I laughed and told him I had assumed it had been a business thing. Bud replied, “You have to take time to feed the soul, too.”

Throughout our industry people know the enormous professional and personal success Bud has achieved over the years. He would be the first to tell you that a good amount of that success is owed to the many people that have been a part of his team, some going back many years and continuing forward together from Clearview, to Cinedigm, to Digiplex and Carmike, and now New Vision Theatres. Bud engenders that much loyalty, respect and affection. He would tell you a great deal of his success also is owed to his family that is so important to him: his wife, Sudy, his four children, his nine grandchildren.

As Bud, and so many of us on his veteran team, now begin yet another new venture together, you can be sure we will do our best to follow Bud’s example: to take care of ourselves, to make ourselves the kind of person that others want to see succeed, and, yes, to take some time to feed our souls as well. And ultimately enjoy more success together, both professionally and personally. As we continue to “figure it out” every step of the way.

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