NATO Regional Conventions Postponed to 2021

This year’s four remaining regional conventions from the National Association of Theatre Owners have been postponed to 2021. 

Leaders from the four NATO regional events originally scheduled for this late Summer and Fall released a joint statement announcing they would return to hosting the conventions in 2021, citing the uncertainty around hosting conventions as the United States continues to grapple with the Covid-19 crisis.

The events impacted by the rescheduling are CineShow (originally scheduled for August 24-27 in Frisco, Texas), ShowSouth (September 1-3 in Braselton, Georgia), Rocky Mountain Theatre Convention (September 1-3 in Whitefish, Montana) and the NATO Geneva Convention (September 15-17 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin).

“The first priority is the well-being of our industry,” explained George Rouman, Co-Chairman of Geneva Convention in Wisconsin. “After consultation with our attendees, trade show exhibitors, sponsors, and studio partners, we’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our 2020 conventions.” 

Geneva Convention Co-Chairman John Scaletta added, “As it became clear to theater owners that we would experience an extended period of closure, the primary focus has now shifted to reopening our facilities in a safe and responsible manner.”

With U.S. movie theaters currently implementing additional safety protocols for an eventual return of cinemas in the country, leaders of the four NATO regional events emphasized they will be focused on assisting individual cinemas resume operations within the timeframes provided by local officials. 

Diane Eve, Director of the Rocky Mountain Theatre Convention stated, “We’re cautiously optimistic that by Labor Day weekend theaters across the country will be fully operational and building momentum towards a strong period of moviegoing throughout the Fall and Winter months.” 

Todd Halstead, Executive Director of CineShow in Texas agreed while declaring, “This effort will require ‘all hands on deck’ from theater owners and managers. It’s highly unlikely that they will be keen to travel anywhere away from their business operations as the industry is starting to hit its stride again.” 

“These are unprecedented times,” according to Robin Miller, Executive Director of ShowSouth in Georgia. “Our industry partners have a long history of supporting us and our charitable causes, but this year we need to pause and give each other a chance to regroup. We’ll be back in 2021!”