The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) will honor Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex, with the 2022 NATO Marquee Award at this year’s CinemaCon. The news was announced Thursday by CinemaCon managing director Mitch Neuhauser.
CinemaCon is slated for April 25-28, 2022 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The NATO Marquee Award recognizes individuals who show “unequalled dedication, commitment, and service to the motion picture theatre industry.” Jacob will receive the award as part of CinemaCon’s “State of the Industry” program on Tuesday, April 26.
“Ellis Jacob is quite simply a marvelous human being,” said NATO president and CEO John Fithian in a statement. “He provided steady and insightful leadership as NATO chairman as the industry descended into the depths of the pandemic, and I continue to rely on his wise counsel. His dedication to his company and this industry is unmatched. That dedication is paired with a kindness and courtesy that is rare and is a hallmark of his career.”
Rolando Rodriguez, NATO chairman and Chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres added, “Ellis Jacob, while running his own company, dedicated countless hours to guiding the industry through our deepest crisis. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to NATO and his leadership. As his successor as NATO chairman during the worst of the pandemic, I know firsthand what that leadership meant to the industry and to me. We are stronger because of him.”
A 35-year veteran of the film exhibition industry, Jacob also serves as a member of the board of directors of Cineplex, Toronto’s Baycrest Centre for Geriatrics, the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, ASM Global and Boat Rocker Media. He is a former chairman of NATO and currently serves on the organization’s executive board. Jacob is also an executive committee member of the Global Cinema Federation (GCF) and a founding director of the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.
Jacob has received a number of previous industry honors, including the ICTA Global Cinema Innovation Award in 2019, Waterstone Capital’s “Most Admired CEO” in the Enterprise category in 2014 and “Most Innovative CEO” in Canadian Business Magazine in 2013. Most recently, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario after having previously been appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010, for his contributions to the entertainment and film exhibition industry along with his voluntary and philanthropic endeavors.
Cineplex is the largest film exhibitor in Canada with more than 160 theaters and 1,652 screens; it employs over 10,000 people across Canada and the U.S. The company additionally operates 13 entertainment complexes offering food, live entertainment, and gaming for millennials (The Rec Room) and young families (Playdium). It also operates businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media) and amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group). The company is a joint venture partner in Scene+, Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.