The National Capital Region and Southern California chapters of Variety–the Children’s Charity (Variety) are honoring John Fithian with a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to Variety and for promoting the movie theater industry’s support of children with disabilities. Fithian accepted the award, grateful that all proceeds of this award will go toward the work of these two chapters.
As President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners since 2000, Fithian is well known for guiding the industry through many challenges including the transition to digital projection, fighting movie theft, implementing the voluntary movie ratings system, advocating for a healthy theatrical release window, and most recently, for leading exhibitors through the massive challenges of the pandemic, including lobbying for grant programs, tax relief and financial assistance for furloughed industry workers.
The industry has supported Variety for over nine decades. Fithian re-opened the DC region’s chapter in 2014 and served as its Chair until 2022. As Chair of Variety DC, Fithian and his partnerships with studios, theaters and vendors have supported Variety DC with 26 advance charity screenings and five golf tournaments, where all ticket and raffle proceeds support the mission. Fithian announced his retirement as President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners in October 2022. He leaves the association on May 1st, following the annual industry gathering at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this April.
“My wife Maria and I are especially gratified to see how the industry has supported children in need for over 90 years. It has been our privilege to reopen a chapter in DC, MD, and VA to raise funds for adaptive equipment, emergency grants, therapeutic activities, and most recently to establish Variety Compassion Funds at Children’s National and Kennedy Krieger Institute,” said Fithian.
“Everyone loves going to the movies. The advance charity screenings are a unique, community-oriented way to bring in the public to help kids in need,” said Leigh Burke, the executive director of Variety-National Capital Region. “We’re delighted to partner with Variety of Southern California to honor John for the legacy he leaves to his profession and to Variety-the Children’s Charity.”
An online portal for contributions is available at varietysocal.org