LOS ANGELES - Tony Kerasotes, Chairman and CEO, and Dean Kerasotes, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kerasotes Showplace Theatres will be honored as the "ShoWesters of the Year" at the 2009 ShoWest Convention, it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, Co-Managing Director of the annual event. The award presentation will take place on Tuesday morning, March 31st in the Theatre of the Arts of Paris, Las Vegas.
On this, the momentous occasion of celebrating their 100th Anniversary, it is a great honor for ShoWest to be able to present Tony and Dean Kerasotes with the "ShoWester of the Year" Award at ShoWest 2009," said Neuhauser. "Their belief in the strength of the industry is unparalleled and their dedication to continuing and expanding the legacy of Kerasotes Showplace Theatres is exceptional and inspiring. Their commitment, to the moviegoing public, in providing the very best, state-of-the-art motion picture theatres is widely heralded nationwide and we are thrilled that they have agreed to accept this prestigious award."
Tony Kerasotes has over 40 years of experience in the film exhibition industry and sits on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Theatre Owners. In his current position as Chairman and CEO of Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatre, his primary responsibilities include film licensing, real estate and strategic planning.
Dean Kerasotes has 25 years of experience with Kerasotes Theatres. As the President and Chief Operating Officer, he is responsible for the Company's operation including theatre management, human resources, theatre design and construction and is a director of the company. He is also active in the National Association of Theatre Owners and NATO of Illinois.
Kerasotes Theatres was first conceived when their grandfather, Gus Kerasotes, opened his first storefront nickelodeon in Springfield, Illinois in 1909. He continued to pioneer, opening four theatres in Springfield during the transition from the hand cranked nickelodeon to silent films and, finally, talking movies. Their ompany headquarters was opened on the town square in Springfield in 1926. With his four sons joining the business, Kerasotes expanded to operate theatres in central Illinois and by 1953 Kerasotes Theatres was comprised of 22 theatres and employed over 600 people. The company continued to grow after Gus Kerasotes passed away in 1960 and operated 220 screens in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri by the early 1980's.
In 1985, the company split in two with Louis Kerasotes and two of his brothers retaining Kerasotes Theatres with 145 screens. Tony Kerasotes then became CEO and was later joined by Dean Kerasotes as COO. In 1999 their company headquarters were relocated to Chicago where Providence Equity Partners invested in the company in 2003; and the company became Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres.
The company has continued to see significant growth concentrating on building new modern multiplex theatres, entering suburban markets and acquisitions of theatres.
Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres currently operates 95 theatres with 935 screens and is the seventh largest motion picture company in the U.S.
Past recipients of the "ShoWester of the Year" award have included: Ellis Jacob, MaryAnn & J. Wayne Anderson, Peter Brown, Stephen Marcus, T.G. "Teddy" Solomon, Phil Harris, Michael Campbell, Kurt Hall and Bruce Corwin.