By Kathy Conroy, Vice President & COO, National Association of Theatre Owners
Thank you for participating in CinemaCon 2017! Welcome to the largest and most significant gathering of movie theater owners and operators in the world. The leaders of exhibition, distribution, and industry partners have come together this week to celebrate the moviegoing experience. CinemaCon is the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), and its success is the result of the active involvement and generous support we receive from NATO members.
I’d like to give a “shout out” to a few of the individuals and organizations whose contributions have been extraordinary. This seventh-annual CinemaCon convention would not be possible without the leadership of NATO Conventions Committee Co-Chairmen Rob Del Moro, Regal Entertainment Group, and Steve Zuehlke, Cinemark USA, and committee members Bob Bagby, B&B Theatres; Byron Berkley, Foothills Entertainment Co.; John McDonald, AMC Entertainment; Miguel Rivera, Cinépolis; and Racheal Wilson, Harkins Theatres. The Conventions Committee works closely with NATO’s professional convention staff—Mitch Neuhauser, managing director; Matt Pollock, associate managing director; Matt Shapiro, director of operations; and Cynthia Schuler, finance manager. A debt of gratitude, too, goes to NATO’s officers—Chairman John D. Loeks, Celebration! Cinema; Vice Chairwoman Amy E. Miles, Regal Entertainment Group; Secretary Jeff Logan, Logan Luxury Theatres Corp.; and Treasurer Byron Berkley, Foothills Entertainment Co.; to the chairman of NATO’s International Committee, Jan Bernhardsson, Nordic Cinema Group; and to all of NATO’s Executive Board members who have been so supportive of the convention.
With strong support and participation from studio partners and sponsors, NATO’s Conventions Committee put together a CinemaCon 2017 program that is diverse, information-packed, and exciting. It includes the largest cinema trade show in the world, featuring innovations in cinema technology and new and enhanced concessions offerings. NATO is grateful to Mike Archer and the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA), and to Terry Conlon and the National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) for their help putting together a world-class trade show floor.
The CinemaCon schedule includes educational sessions that are highly valued by attendees. NATO would like to thank the following members for sharing their knowledge and experience as presenters—William Barstow, Main Street Theatres; Kevin Cardullo, National Amusements; Bobby Babgy Ford, B&B Theatres; Jenni Jacobi, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema; Brandon Jones, Studio Movie Grill; Steve Knibbs, Vue Entertainment; Rob Lister, IMAX Corporation; Joe Masher, Bow Tie Cinemas; Randy Smith, Regal Entertainment Group; and John Zeng, Wanda Cinemas. We are grateful, too, to the NATO members who are participating as moderators this year—Steve Bunnell, Regal Entertainment Group; Eddy Duquenne, Kinepolis Group, N.V.; Ellis Jacob, Cineplex Entertainment LP; Bob Lenihan, AMC Entertainment; Alejandro Ramirez Magaña, Cinépolis; and Mark Zoradi, Cinemark USA.
CinemaCon is a great place to recognize outstanding NATO member-leaders as they are surrounded by their industry colleagues and friends. This year, Cameron Mitchell, VOX Cinemas, will receive the Global Achievement Award in Exhibition; and Byron Berkley, Foothills Entertainment Co., will receive NATO’s Marquee Award.
Be sure to attend the “Big Screen Achievement Awards” presentation on Thursday evening, honoring the talent in the movie industry today, and the After Party, sponsored by our friends at The Coca-Cola Company. I encourage you to participate to the fullest in all the education and fun that CinemaCon 2017 has to offer. Enjoy the show!