The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today marked the retirement of longtime CEO & President John Fithian. Fithian’s retirement ends thirty years of service to the theatrical exhibition industry, that began as outside counsel in 1992, before taking the role of CEO and President in 2000.
“John has been an effective and tireless advocate for the men and women that drive this nation’s theatrical industry.” said Michael O’Leary, incoming CEO and President of NATO. “He built NATO into what it is today and skillfully captained the association through times of tremendous change for the industry. It is fitting that his contributions could be recognized and celebrated by the motion picture industry in Las Vegas this past week.”
Thousands of domestic and global leaders from the creative, distribution and exhibition sectors gathered in Las Vegas for CinemaCon 2023, NATO’s annual celebration of the economic and cultural importance of the theatrical experience.
“The enthusiasm for movies being played on the big screen at CinemaCon was undeniable,” said O’Leary. “Our partners at the studios and in the creative community – through their words and the obvious energy, thoughtfulness and creativity of their presentations – demonstrated their continuing commitment to a broad range of movies being released to theaters. NATO and its members are equally committed to working with these leaders to give movie fans the world over the unforgettable cinematic experiences they deserve.”
“From mainstream tentpoles to specialty titles, there is a broad and diverse array of movies set for release over the coming months and beyond.” said Mitch Neuhauser, CinemaCon’s Managing Director. During the week, in presentations that included top global movie stars and directors, CinemaCon showcased over 50 motion pictures, either through exclusive footage or feature screenings. “They pulled out all the stops, and made the event special.” said Neuhauser.
Added O’Leary, “I want to acknowledge with deep appreciation the work of the CinemaCon team for spearheading a tremendous event.”
On the final evening of the weeklong event, cheered by friends and colleagues, Fithian was honored at the Big Screen Achievement Awards. Joined on stage by the NATO team he built, Fithian spoke about his passion for the industry, the NATO team and the success they collectively enjoyed.
“It was fitting tribute following such a meaningful week for the industry he successfully championed for so long. It was the perfect exclamation point on his undeniable legacy at NATO,” said O’Leary.
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 35,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and more than 32,000 additional screens in 101 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in Los Angeles, California, NATO represents its members in the heart of the nation’s capital as well as the center of the entertainment industry. www.natoonline.org