in Nation’s Capital
Launched in January
NATO Opens D.C. Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – NATO opened
new offices in Washington, D.C., Jan. 5.
“Increasing NATO’s presence in the nation’s
capital has long been a priority for the association,
as the representation of exhibition interests to lawmakers
is considered one of the most important things NATO does,” said
association president John Fithian.
Fithian himself now
maintains offices at both the association’s
new D.C. offices and the existing offices in North
administrative, board meeting, membership services,
bookkeeping, data collection, press
relations, membership service and subscription
service operations have migrated to the new D.C. offices,
has NATO vice president and executive director
Mary Ann Grasso, who has overseen the North Hollywood
for more than 15 years.
NATO’s publication offices, including the editorial
and advertising departments of In Focus and
annual Encyclopedia of Exhibition, continue to be based
at the association’s California offices.
The publications’ business, circulation and billing
departments have relocated to the D.C. office.
NATO’s main D.C. phone number
is (202) 962-0054. Its new fax number is (202) 962-0370.
The new address
National Association of Theatre Owners
750 First Street, N.E., Suite 1130
Washington, DC 20002
New Multis For Lacey and Lima
Regal 28 For Ohio
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Regal Entertainment Group announced
in December plans to construct two multis, in Lacey,
Wash., and Lima, Ohio.
The 75,000-square-foot Regal
Cinemas 16 in Lacey will be part of the Martin
Village located adjacent to Interstate
5 on Martin Way.
“Regal Cinemas has carefully
monitored moviegoing trends and population
growth around our Lacey and Olympia area
theatres over the years,” noted circuit senior
vice president of marketing and advertising Dick Westerling. “After
reviewing alternatives we determined the I-5 site at
Martin Way to be the best location in the area for a
Design work of the 16-plex
has commenced and, since the circuit is expanding
from an existing building, construction
progress was expected to move rapidly.
Regal’s new 2,000-seat
12-plex in Lima is slated to open in 2004.
The 46,000-square-foot Regal American
Mall Stadium 12 is part of an expansion of the American
Mall, which will later include additional restaurants.
Both facilities were set to
include stadium-style seating,
plush high-backed rocker reclining seats with retractable
cupholders, fully stocked concession stands offering
value-added combos, digital surround sound and the
Regal Crown club loyalty program.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal
currently operates 6,061 screens at 555 sites
in 39 states.
Great Escape Opens
8-Plex In Kentucky
SHELBYVILLE, Ky. – Great Escape Theatres celebrated
a Nov. 12 grand opening for its Great Escape Stadium
8 in Shelbyville, Ky.
Circuit CEO Anne Ragains hosted
a VIP ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside local
dignitaries, followed the next
night by a media event with all proceeds from popcorn
sales donated to Shelbyville Community Charities. Doors
opened to the public Nov. 15.
All eight auditoriums feature
stadium-style seating, high-backed love seats,
wall-to-wall screens and digital
sound. Additionally, the lobby features a modern
New Albany, Ind.-based Great
Escape currently operates 103 screens, with
32 more under construction and
60 in development.
16-Plex Set For Mall
SEATTLE – Century Theatres announced plans for a new 16-plex in the recently
remodeled SeaTac Mall in Federal Way, Wash., marking the circuit’s first
entry into the Seattle market.
“We’ve long looked forward to an opportunity to bring our brand
of moviegoing experience to the Seattle market,” said circuit chairman
and CEO Raymond Syufy.
The site will feature stadium-style
seating, rocker love seats, digital surround
sound, wall-to-wall screens and a Cinema Café.
San Rafael, Calif.-based Century
currently operates over 900 screen in 11
2,000 Navy Personnel
SUFFOLK, Va. – The naval drama “Master and Commander: The Far Side
of the World” was the highly appropriate feature presented during Consolidated
Theatres’ annual private screening for U.S. Navy personnel.
The event, hosted Nov. 18
at the Harbour View Grande in Suffolk, Va.
(minutes from one of the largest U.S. Naval
bases), began at 8 a.m. and was only open
to currently active Navy personnel. Nearly 2,000 servicemen caught the screening,
held in eight of the venue’s 16 auditoria, and it marked the third year
Consolidated hosted such an event exclusively for American military personnel.
“We want each person
to know how proud we are of them and that
we appreciate what the U.S. military does
for us all,” said circuit CEO Herman
Designed to help boost camaraderie
and morale, the event was attended by
rigorous security precautions.
Fire Victim Inspired ‘Radio’
Regal, Others Donate
$115,000 For New Home
ANDERSON, S.C. – James “Radio” Kennedy, whose life inspired
Sony’s October release “Radio,” received $115,000 from Regal
Entertainment Group (REG), Columbia Pictures, Revolution Studios and Cuba Gooding
Jr., who played Kennedy’s character in the movie.
Kennedy and his family
had been living in temporary housing since an early
November fire destroyed their home.
Mike Tollin and REG president Greg Dunn presented Kennedy
a check at a ceremony held Nov. 19 at T.L. Hanna High
School in Anderson,
Regal agreed to match
donations collected from cinemas in five states across
the Southwest for a total donation of $50,000. Sony and Revolution Studios
each donated $25,000 each and Gooding donated $15,000.
“Radio,” released theatrically Oct. 24, is a true story about the
friendship forged between a white football coach and a developmentally challenged
Facilitates Volume Discounts
Exhib Purchasing Co-op Established
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Cinema Buying Group
(CBG), an independent, non-profit purchasing co-operative
designed to allow cinema owners to pool their buying
power, was established in early November.
Veteran exhibitor Ralph Papalia, who heads
a similar cooperative in his native Canada, helped establish
to allow American cinema owners to negotiate volume discounts
on such commonly-utilized items as xenon bulbs, concession
equipment and soft-drink syrup.
List price discounts are expected in the
25- to 30-percent range “in most cases,” according
to CBG officials.
While CBG is open only to NATO members,
it is not operated
by NATO or any of the association’s committees,
and elects its own officers and directors at annual meetings.
Interested NATO members pay CBG a one-time $150 application
fee; when approved, the applicant becomes a voting member
of CBG and is given password access to the co-op’s
online product catalog and buying page. The CBG office
can also process phone orders for members who can’t
or prefer not to order online.
Exhibitors interested in joining CBG can
request an application by phone at (262) 502-0727 or
online at www.CinemaSolutions.com.
Circuit Keeps Patrons Dry
Muvico Adds Ponchos
At Service Counters
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Muvico Theatres on Nov.
10 began offering its patrons signature rain ponchos
at 12 sites in Florida, Tennessee and Maryland.
Circuit president Hamid Hashimi noted
that the idea to make the durable plastic ponchos available
at $1 a piece came directly from a Muvico cinema manager.
After swift research, the ponchos were selected and made available at Muvico
guest service counters within a few weeks of conception.
“We can’t control the weather,” says Hashemi, “But now
we can keep our guests ‘covered’ – snug and dry – from
the moment they arrive at our door until they are on their way home.”
Elects New Officers
NATO of Florida Picks
4 Scholarship Winners
ORLANDO, Fla. – NATO of Florida elected Randi Emerman its new president
and announced its 2003 scholarship recipients at ShowEast.
Emerman, a Muvico Theatres vet who succeeds
outgoing president Lee Sparks of Sparks Theatre Inc.,
also serves as the executive director of the Palm Beach
International Film Festival.
James Norton of Group Theatres Film Buying
is the affiliate’s new vice
president; Karey Wray of Jordana Theatres assumes the role of secretary.
Also announced were the association’s four 2003 scholarship recipients,
who collected a total of $3,000 in scholarship money. The recipients are:
• Melanie Anne Reed, Florida Twin Theatre, Stark, Fla. – $1,000
• Carlos Saldana, Victoria Square 6 Theatres, DeLand, Fla. – $1,000
• LaTonya Henderson, Crown Theatres Abacoa 16, Jupiter, Fla. – $500
• Lawrence Smith, Victoria Square 6 Theatres, DeLand, Fla. – $500
ShowEast 2003 was held Sept. 29-Oct.
2, 2003 in Orlando, Fla.
14 Screens For Illinois
2 Sites For Holidays
GALESBURG, Ill. – Kerasotes Theatres celebrated November openings for
two Illinois sites: a new Galesburg 8-plex and a newly-renovated Quincy 6-plex.
The ShowPlace 8, located at 1401 W. Carl
Sandburg Drive in Galesburg, opened its doors to the
public Nov. 14, following the Nov. 13 shuttering of two
Galesburg Kerasotes sites: the Sandburg Mall Cinemas and the West Cinema.
The new 8-plex includes stadium-style
seating, high-backed chairs with cupholder armrests,
wall-to-wall curved screens and Dolby digital sound systems.
lobby features an arcade and a concessions area offering “Movie Combo” choices
and free refills on all sizes of popcorn, soft drinks and Icees.
Kerasotes’ renovated ShowPlace 6,
formerly the Showcase 6 Cinema, bowed in Quincy Nov.
26. Located at 300 N. 33rd St., the plex underwent a
in which the lobby was nearly doubled in size to accommodate a larger
concession stand, a large box office designed for interior
ticket purchasing and an arcade.
Completely new restrooms were also added.
All auditoriums were redecorated and retrofitted
with stadium-style seating and new chairs with cupholder
armrests. Wall-to-wall screens and digital
sound were also added.
Chicago-based Kerasotes operates 544 screens
at 76 sites in the Midwest.
De Niro Helps Launch Arthouse
Film Festival Folks
Reopen Screening Room
NEW YORK – Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal
and Craig Hatkoff announced in December plans to reopen the shuttered Screening
Room under Tribeca Cinemas.
Located in Manhattan’s trendy
Tribeca neighborhood, the triplex, said to have closed
in October due to financial difficulties, served as
cinema-restaurant until two years ago. Tribeca Cinema was expected to close
the full-service restaurant area.
Aside from Tribeca Institute and film
festival selections, upcoming titles to play the 14,000-square-foot
facility were not yet determined at press
time, but the site was slated to reopen in January.